5 Classic Color Combinations That Work Anywhere in Your Home

These pairings will also stand the test of time.

benjamin moore paint color combos blue
Photo: Courtesy of Benjamin Moore

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.

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!)

blue living room with art and picture frame molding
Johnny Miller

Light Blue, Dark Blue, and Cool White

Tonal blue hues pack major appeal for a home, says Nivara Xaykao, a color specialist at Benjamin Moore. 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 a palette of navy or cerulean and robin's egg with a crisp white, whether in décor accents or on trims, and you've instantly got yourself a classic set of colors that will never go out of style.

Paint Ideas

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 says.

kettle cove home tour living room stone fireplace
Justin Levesque

Layered Grays

There's no doubt about it: 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 calming, but it's both chic on its own (hello, minimalists!) yet neutral enough if you want to add more playful accents, says Charlotte Cosby, head of creative at Farrow & Ball. "This color combination creates a contemporary, Scandinavian style environment that can blend into any home," she says.

Paint Ideas

There are endless shades of 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 gray for a while, you can upgrade the space by adding gray accents like a painted headboard or other accenting furniture. When picking these detail colors, Cosby says to choose a shade that's lighter or darker than the existing color of the room.

warm-toned, orange kitchen with seating and storage
Kelly Brown

Earthy Tones and Orange Tints

When you pair calming tones with warm, earthy notes—think browns, terra-cotta, greige, and off-whites—you've suddenly got a timeless match made in color heaven that's warm and welcoming, says Erika Woelfel, vice president of color and creative services at Behr. "Warm colors are a great option for rooms in the home where your family cozies up, from living rooms to reading nooks and sunrooms," she says.

Paint Ideas

To transform any room into a rich, warm, intimate space, pair earthy hues, like Behr's Cider Spice, with a versatile greige, like Creamy Mushroom, on walls and woodwork, Woelfel says. "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."

Bedroom interior with wooden furniture
CreativaStudio / GETTY IMAGES

White and 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.

Paint Ideas

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) is 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.

Helen Norman

Greige and 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."

Paint Ideas

Consider 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," says Xaykao.

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles