The vibrant new Bohemian collection by Vanessa Arbuthnott was the inspiration behind this week’s Palette Addict post. I wanted to feature this room because I think it’s an excellent example of how to decorate with a contrasting colour palette. A contrasting colour scheme is when you use two hues that are opposite one another on the colour wheel, such as pink and green in this case. By placing opposite hues together in a scheme they become more vibrant and striking, just as the raspberry zings against the cooling apple green wall in this living space. It’s a common misconception that contrasting colour schemes result in loud and dramatic rooms, while this is true when using two dark and intense shades together, you can create a softer contrasting scheme with lighter shades of the same hues. Finally, limit the use of pattern in a contrasting scheme as the tension created between the opposing colours shouldn’t be crowded by too much visual noise – a simple ticking stripe works well here as it echoes the wood panelled wall. Have you ever decorated with a contrasting colour palette?

// Photography by Vanessa Arbuthnott | Bohemian Collection: Sofa, Plain-47, £42/mtr; Cushions (l-r), French Ticking-37-45, £45/mtr, For The Love of Rose-37-45, £48/mtr


Will Taylor

Will lives in NYC and is an interior design author and content creator. He's been blogging about his love of design, style and travel since 2009. His #MakeYouSmileStyle approach to decorating and dressing has inspired over one million Instagram uploads to the hashtag from followers across the world.


  1. Contrasting colour palettes are fun! I have used it several times..once even in a kitchen – with white original cupboards from the fifties. The contrasting palette was the yellow tiles as backplash, and lavender lilac contrasting wall. The white freshened up, and I still remember that kitchen as a bright and happy one!

    • @Katja – Thank you so much for sharing one of your old palettes; I love the sound of the yellow and the lavender together – such a great combo!

  2. Always dreamt of a tufted hot pink sofa and now I have found it. Never thought to pair with green like this but it does look great.

  3. I like how the panelled walls and floorboards are a continuation of each other.. The two colours work really well together as well.

  4. Love that apple green! With a tiny hint of more green, like lime green, it works with almost any other colour. I use it quite a lot in bouguets, it really makes the other flower pop out a little 😉

    • @Emelie – Thank you, so good to know as I’m always keen to improve my flower arranging skills. Maybe a lime green chrysanthemum or similar?!

  5. I like the principle of decorating with contrasts, specially black’n’white, but also pink and green (just not this apple-green!). My favourite would be a happy orange and a deep ocean blue, but I also like a coral red with turquoise a lot. The letter fits well to a lot of white. The first combination works well with wooden flooring or furniture, I think.

  6. I love love love that raspberry sofa! It definitely is a winner with the apple green walls behind it. Your post reminded me of my teacher when she said that contrasting colours really work well. I never realised before it really worked until I looked at my own kitchen – it has apple green walls with some red accents. And opposites attract. 🙂 Just like yellow and purple are contrasts and great minds alike, the red/hot pink and greens are real stunners too! 😉
    I’ve been thinking to bring in some orang-y colour accents into my boy Jules’ room. His room has pale blue walls, so it would make it feel more alive, don’t you think?
    Thanks for sharing this lovely room again Will, like always: beautiful!!
    Hugs, Inge x

  7. I love reading these tips.

    It’s been years since I had a bold colour on a wall in my home and I think I’m done with that period in my life. Now I’m more into a bold artwork + home accessories to pop things up. Maybe I’m just getting old! hahaha

  8. Hi Will, no I haven’t but I certainly would – it can look fabulous. The example you used is absolutely divine!

  9. Fantastic lesson how on to use contrasting colors to perfection! Love the way how serene and calm the raspberry pink and apple green look together.

    Adding in a bit of grey and shot of leafy greens, I am ready to live here!

  10. Wow! love the boldness of these colours but they do seem to work well together. i love decorating with bright colours at home but usually against a neutral backdrop. I should start getting a bit braver and experiment with a coloured wall. thanks for the lovely inspiration Mr. Bazaar. xx

  11. The Office Stylist Reply

    So gorgeous!! Love this space!

    –Sayeh, The Office Stylist

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Hey, I'm Will

Welcome to Bright.Bazaar, my make-you-smile style corner of the internet. I’ve been sharing my love of beautiful design, feel-good homes, everyday style, inspiring travel and, pretty much everything in between, since 2009. As well as working as a content creator, I write interior design books and edit a bi-weekly e-newsletter called Smile Mail. I live in New York City with my heartmate and can often be found listening to Madonna’s Confessions album and dreaming up my next home renovation project.