Bold Colors 101: How to Combine Them In Interior Design & Fashion

Spring and summer call for bold colors! But we know they can be a bit scary! So, today we are here to show you how to combine them for different occasions and effects. And not only in interior design, but also in fashion—so you, as well as your home, can look marvelously bold!

First, we want to talk about our favorite bold colors and color combos!


Bold Colors 101: How to Combine Them In Interior Design & Fashion


Our Favorite Bold Colors

Black — Bold yet discrete. It looks amazing with almost every color but pairs perfectly with gold and white.

Red — So classic! From red lips, red dress, red heels to red walls, red pillows, and even a red couch! Red and pink or purple is such a statement.

Mustard Yellow — A bold choice but very chic when paired with navy or forest green.

Tangerine Orange — Perfect for some spring action! Maybe mixed with some emerald green to create an “It’s almost summer!” look.

Coral — It was a hit some years ago and it was a little forgotten which is very sad considering how amazing it looks when paired with terracotta and other earthy tones.

Teal — It is risky and bold! Our tip is to partner it with a cute dark purple, maybe mulberry or wine color.

Royal Blue — The name says it all. It represents power and royalty! It looks wonderful with gold and caramelly colors.

Mint — A bold pastel. We love some pastel colors in spring so mix it with lavender or lilac for the perfect combination.

Magenta — Such a rich color! And when paired with light nude or even periwinkle it creates a look full of dimension.


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Bold Colors: A Guide on How to Combine Them

Pair Complimentary (or Opposite) Colors

Normally, when paired, opposite colors look nice to the eye. Blue and orange, purple and mustard yellow, as well as magenta and green, are some good examples.

In Interior Design

Create a perfect spring living room by choosing one main color and then add details with the complementary color. This is an easy way to explore bold colors in your interior.

In Fashion

To spice up any outfit with opposite colors add patterns that marry them together. This way it’s not that in your face but you still have lots of colors.

bold colors in living room of The Chainsmoker’s Alex Pall’s home designed by Peti Lau. Photo by Brittany Ambridge.
The Chainsmoker’s Alex Pall’s home designed by Peti Lau (Photo by Brittany Ambridge)

Pair Similar Colors In Order to Create a Gradient Look

In Interior Design

Choose a color that you love and explore its neighbors! One good way to do this is by exploring a light bold color and building up to the boldest version in the details.

In Fashion

The same goes with fashion! But here we can also talk about those color combos that have often been hated, like red and pink, even I used to hate it. Now, it is such a lovely color palette. A red heel with a pink and red dress and a red mini bag, perfection!

Mix Textures With Bold Colors

In Interior Design

Another way to create a balanced-out bold look is by sticking with the same patterns or mix them, depending on what effect you are trying to achieve. For example, a silk royal blue pillow with a cotton mustard yellow blanket next to it creates dimension. But sometimes, choosing one texture can create balance—this way you are able to play with more bold colors.

In Fashion

Once more, the tip goes for fashion too. Denim is a material that gives texture and color to any look, and when mixed with a silk tangerine orange top and maybe a leather hot pink bag, creates a stunning bold but balanced look.



Choose a Color to Shine and Pair It With Neutrals

In Interior Design

Who doesn’t love a good neutral? Because I do! Neutral nudes always make any color pop. A light nude couch can be highlighted with some green pillowcases and, since the couch is very neutral you are able to play with many patterns and colors!

In Fashion

Everyone has that nude or black heel and that black bag that goes with almost everything! It looks nice for the day and the evening, so it is a mandatory factor in your closet. Or maybe you prefer to do the opposite, go for a neutral top and bottom and bold up the outfit with a mulberry shoe and a teal patterned bag.


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Highlight Bold Colors With White

In Interior Design

White walls, for instance, always light up any room and highlight bold-colored details. But the same goes for a navy wall and white details. And in the mix, you can even add a bit of mustard yellow or candy red.

In Fashion

White jeans, white top, white shoes or white coat—white looks good with every single color. So go at it with brave patterns and strong tones!

Warm Vs. Cool Colors

In Interior Design

Purple and mustard yellow are a great way to create this mix of warm and cool tones. Am I the only one that lives for a caramel wall? I just find them so rich and bold! And it looks astonishing when paired with a purple sofa and even some bits of green.

In Fashion

This is a tricky one, a lot of people don’t really mess with this mix. But you, being as fierce as you are, are able to rock anything. Indeed, leather camel skirts used to be loved and would be paired perfectly with a white shirt. But imagine it with a cool emerald green top and a periwinkle coat on the shoulders, divine!



Use the 60-30-10 Rule

In Interior Design

This rule looks complicated, but it really is very easy to apply when using bold colors. It basically teaches to create a color palette with three colors, being one the dominant (60% of the room), the other the secondary (30% of the room), and the last one just to spice it up with some accents (10% of the room). This can be achieved very easily by having navy walls, pillows, bed frame, and blankets, then mixing it with a white ceiling and bedsheets and duvet, and finally sprinkling it with some gold photo frames and vases.

In Fashion

Although this rule goes for interior design and decor, it also helps when coming up with an outfit. For example, a lavender dress with a red coat and heels topped off with silver jewelry. Balanced but still brave!

You really don’t need to be afraid to go out there and explore boldness, in your home and your outfits! It is all about practice and taking risks. Just like Gianni Versace said:

“Decide what you are, what you want to express by the way you dress and the way you live.”

Words by Mariana Silva

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