The Best Analogous Color Schemes In Interiors

Hi Everyone,

Did you see the post the other day about monochromatic color schemes? If you missed it, you can check it out by clicking the link.


This post is about analogous color schemes in interiors. They are some of my favorite, but they can be tricky.


What are analogous colors?

Analogous colors are two or three colors that are right next to each other on the color wheel.


Below is a standard color wheel.


P = Primary colour : S = Secondary colour : T = Tertiary colour (which is a mix of the 2 colours on either side)

P = Primary colour : S = Secondary colour : T = Tertiary colour (which is a mix of the 2 colours on either side)

  • There are three primary colors – red, blue and yellow
  • Three secondary colors which are red + blue = violet,  red + yellow = orange, yellow + blue = green
  • Then, there are six tertiary colors which are a mix of two secondary colors.


An analogous color scheme is basically one of the following.


analogous color scheme - Michael Stillwell

Michael Stillwell


Color is all around us. Right?


Maybe some of us don’t really notice this stuff. But, it’s never too late to change that, We can find inspiration in nature, gardens, art, fabrics, etc. So, I’m going to be interspersing room inspiration with art, flowers and fabrics to demonstrate that.






Above is an artist’s color wheel courtesy of artist Tina Wasselkeck.


So, I’ll just jump in here and we can start from left to right with the violet, indigo and blue. (I’ll be ending with those too.)





The unmistakable enigmatic work of Mark Rothko.

I imagine that Mark was a really clumsy kid and was always spilling his paints. One day he went upstairs and his mom shouted. “Mark get down here this instant and clean up this mess!” Afterward, she liked it so much, she hung it up on the wall.

Just being silly.


Analogous color schemes can also be pale and muted.


Blues and greens are probably the most frequently used in interiors. And, two prolific masters are James T. Farmer and Mark D. Sikes.  They also happen to be two of my favorite interior designers.



blues, teal and green


James T Farmer - beautiful analogous blue and green color scheme

James T Farmer photo Jeff Herr


Final Selects of Hollye Jacobs Residence in Santa Barbara, CA for Santa Barbara Magazine feature to be published in 2017

One of my favorite rooms by Mark D Sikes. The next two images are his as well.


analogous color schemes - Mark_D_Sikes_Pacific_Palisades

In the room above Mark mixes pale blues and greens with pale taupe. He rounds out his composition with a hit of chocolate brown, a black lampshade and a large white matted piece of art. His rooms are like a textbook in how to decorate.


Analogous color schemes - Mark_D_Sikes_Beverly_Hills

Mark D Sikes


analogous colors





Kelie Grosso



blue, green, chartreuse and yellow


desk_bronxville_benjamin_more_paint_colors_hc-4_hawthorne_yellowAbove and below, from my living room.


Laurel Bern Interiors Portfolio Cavaliers Lin

Manuel Canovas


blue - green bedroom Mark_D_Sikes_Marin_County

One more beauty by Mark D Sikes featuring an analogous color scheme of blues and greens



George Inness


Barbara Barry

Barbara’s use of color is legendary. For more of her beautiful rooms and philosophy, click here and here.



A photo I took a few years ago during a trip to the D & D building in New York City.

This was in the Lee Jofa showroom






Love this quick analogous study by Sofia K. Wang


Steven Gambrel analogous chartreuse color scheme

Steven Gambrel

I included this in the monochromatic color scheme, but it is really an analogous color scheme.



yellow, orange and red



Mark Rothko





Mard D Sikes living room analogous color scheme

Mark D. Sikes – His use of color and pattern is always extraordinary!

Strictly speaking this is a triadic color scheme.

But, overall, it has a great blend of warm and cool which is always desirable.


mas-de-pilon-provence-france-bunny-williams - analogous color schemesBunny Williams


Macao_chairs_Palmer_Weiss_Traditional_Home_April_2009 - analogous color schemes

Palmer Weiss


Laurel Bern Interiors analogous color schemes
A room I did in 2013 in Pound Ridge, New York



Mark Rothko



Rembrandt Van Rijn


Interior design by Miles Redd and architecture by Gil Schafer


@jamestfarmer design - photo @emilyfollowillphotographer - on instagram - analogous color schemes

@jamestfarme another fabulous room – photo @emilyfollowillphotographer – on instagram


mary_cassatt_-_woman_with_a_pearl_necklace - analogous color schemes

Mary Cassatt


jada pinka smith - analogous color schemes

The home of Will and Jada Pinkett-Smith designed by Stephen Samuelson


Mark_D_Sikes_Montecito_1 pink and white bedroom

Mark D Sikes and one of my favorite bedrooms of his.



orange, red and violet


Analogous red, orange and gold in this striking room by Mark D. Sikes


1682_stick_a_fork_in_it_LG.jpgcarolmarine - analogous color schemes

Carol Marine


@jamestfarmer on instagram analogous color scheme vignette

@jamestfarmer on instagram analogous color scheme vignette


bengal_cowtan - analogous color schemes

Manuel Canovas



red, violet, purple, indigo



Sergei Bongart


via @cakeatelieramsterdam on instagram - floral analogous color scheme

via @cakeatelieramsterdam on instagram – floral analogous color scheme - analogous color schemes

Manuel Canovas



I took this lovely at the High Point Market in 2015. Mary McDonald’s room for Chaddock Furniture. See??? She’s so talented. Does she study the master artists? I bet that she does!



Francois Boucher Madame De Pompadour


photo Mikkel Vang - analogous color schemes

photo: Mikkel Vang


I hope you’ve enjoyed this post about analogous color schemes


colin-cowie-wedding-hydrangeas-analogous color schemes

Colin Cowie-wedding hydrangeas


If you need more help and inspiration with paint colors and color schemes, please take a look at the Laurel Home Paint and Palette two-volume collection.

Hope you’re having a beautiful (balmy) weekend!

I am flying to San Diego tomorrow for a two-day intensive with supremo website guru NEIL PATEL!

But, you should be hearing from me on Tuesday or Wednesday, as usual.




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Welcome To Laurel Home!


Hi, I’m Laurel, and Laurel Home is the website and blog for Laurel Bern Interiors.
I’ve been creating new-traditional interiors since 1988. The blog is where I share all.

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