From peanut butter and jelly to floral prints and dresses, there are some combinations in life that will always be a no-brainer. The same can be said of picking a color palette for your home—there are classic pairings that will always look stylish and timeless when put together. To help you find the best hues for your next design upgrade, we've asked paint and color experts for their favorite color combinations, why designers have loved them for so long, and how to bring the style schemes into any space. (Spoiler alert: If you're a veteran gray lover, know that your number one neutral is here to stay!)
Of course, that's not to say that these are the only color combinations you can bring into your home for a look that lasts. In fact, according to Erika Woelfel, vice president of color and creative services at Behr, no matter what palette you pick, you can ensure it's a winning one by keeping a few designer tips in mind. "The most important first step is to consider the way you want your space to look and feel. Energizing and eclectic? Soothing and serene? Laid-back and casual? This can help you hone in on the types of colors to consider," she says.
After selecting a base color, Woelfel recommends selecting colors that have the same tone (either cool or warm) for an instantly seamless look. "This could mean using a modern, monochrome approach with varying shades of the same color, or selecting complementary colors—the choice is yours!" Ready to get inspired? Keep reading to see what color combinations our paint and color experts love, what has made them classic go-tos, plus some of their favorite ways to bring these hues into your home.
Light Blue + Dark Blue + Cool White
"Outside of neutrals, there is no color family with more wide appeal than blue," says Nivara Xaykao, a color specialist at Benjamin Moore. (Because who wouldn't love a traditionally soothing hue?) Not only can this shade bring a sense of serenity to any space, but it can also create that perfectly bold look without looking too trendy. Finish off your palette with a crisp white, whether in décor accents or on trims, and you've instantly got yourself a classic set of colors that promise to never go out of style.
When picking out your blues, Xaykao recommends trying out a relaxing monochromatic scheme. Opt for a light blue—such as Benjamin Moore's Iceberg 2122-50—on the walls, then choose a navy shade—like Newburyport Blue HC-155—for your cabinetry or shelving. "For the finishing touches, choose a cool white, like White Heron OC-57, to tie everything together," she adds.
There's no doubt about the fact that designers and color experts love gray. In fact, the pros have included this hue in their go-to color palettes for years—and for good reason, too. Not only is a good gray oh-so-calming, but it's both chic on its own (hello, minimalists!) yet neutral enough if you want to add more playful accents. "This color combination creates a contemporary, Scandinavian style environment that can blend into any home," says Charlotte Cosby, head of creative at Farrow & Ball.
There are endless shades of gorgeous grays to choose from, so you can easily find the color that works best for your space. If you're still feeling stuck, Cosby suggests this Farrow & Ball combo: "Use Purbeck Stone on your walls, Wevet on the ceiling, and Mole's Breath on any cabinetry, frames, crown molding, and other decorative elements." If your room's already been with #TeamGray for a while, you can upgrade the space by adding gray accents like a painted headboard or other accenting furniture. When picking these accent colors, Cosby says to choose a shade that's lighter or darker than the existing color of the room.
Earthy Tones + Orange Tints
From optimistic corals to grounding Terra-cotta, 2019 has certainly been the year of calming tones. Fortunately, when paired with earthy notes—think browns, greige, and off-whites—you've suddenly got a timeless match made in color heaven that's warm, welcoming, and simply amazing. "Warm colors are a great option for rooms in the home where your family cozies up, from living rooms to reading nooks and sunrooms," says Woelfel.
To transform any room into a rich, warm, intimate space, Woelfel says she loves pairing earthy hues, like Behr's Cider Spice, with a versatile greige, like Creamy Mushroom, on walls and woodwork. "When using these colors, I also recommend a warm but crisp white, like Polar Bear, for the trim," she adds. "The combination is sure to leave your space feeling perfectly homey."
White + Gray
If a fresh, modern look is what you're seeking, nothing beats a classic color palette of white and gray. These ultra-versatile, understated neutrals will evolve as your décor styles do.
While using whites on your walls and grays for your accents (Xaykao loves Benjamin Moore's White Dove OC-17 and Stonington Gray HC-170) has been the most traditional approach for this scheme, it isn't the only one worth trying. "Flipping the colors to make gray your dominant color and using white as a trim or accent is a bolder option that could give your space extra style points," she adds. Want to step it up? Consider a gray trim for an interesting designer's touch.
Greige + White
If you're looking for even more ways to pair white with gray, Xaykao recommends taking both hues in a warmer direction by opting for a greige shade, like Benjamin Moore's Revere Pewter HC-172, and a warm white, like Cotton Balls OC-122. "Doing this can instantly create a welcoming ambience," she adds. "The right shade of greige can also be the perfect canvas to play with bold colors, like Million Dollar Red 2003-10, in your furniture or décor and accessories."
Xaykao suggests coloring your walls with the Revere Pewter HC-172 (also one of Benjamin Moore's most popular colors!) to add just enough color to any room while still maintaining that clean, sleek look. "To polish off the scheme, use Cotton Balls OC-122 on trims and ceilings."