The combination of orange and aqua blue in fashion and interior design has become increasingly popular in recent years. Though at first glance these colors may seem mismatched, they can actually complement each other quite nicely if styled properly. In this article, we will explore whether orange and aqua blue work well together by looking at color theory, examples in fashion and home decor, and tips for styling this color pairing successfully.
The color wheel
According to basic color theory, orange and aqua blue sit opposite from each other on the color wheel. Colors opposite each other are known as complementary colors. When complementary colors are combined, they create high visual contrast and intensify each other. This is because they contain no hues in common.
The high contrast created by complementary colors is dynamic and high-energy. It tends to be eye-catching. This makes orange and aqua blue an unexpected yet striking color combination.
The meanings behind the colors
When evaluating whether two colors work well together, it is also helpful to look at the meaning and associations behind them.
Orange is often considered a cheerful, vibrant hue associated with creativity, fun, and energy. Aqua blue evokes feelings of refreshment, relaxation, and flow.
Though different in mood, these color meanings can complement one another nicely. Aqua blue can soothe the high energy of orange, while orange can inject aqua blue with playfulness.
Use in fashion
The pairing of orange and aqua blue has become popular in the fashion world over the past few years. When styled harmoniously, this color combo can make a bold statement.
|Dior Pre-Fall 2019 Ready-to-Wear Collection
|Chanel Cruise 2021/2022 Collection
|Michael Kors Spring/Summer 2022 Ready-to-Wear Collection
The table above shows some recent examples of major fashion houses incorporating orange and aqua blue in their designs.
To successfully style this color pairing, it is best to choose one color as dominant and use the other as an accent. For example, an aqua blue dress with orange handbag or orange pumps. Monochromatic styling in one color with a pop of the complementary color works well.
Orange and aqua blue can be mixed in either warm or cool tones. Combining warm orange tones with cool aqua blues increases the visual contrast.
Use in interior design
Orange and aqua blue can liven up home decor and add a punch of color. This color pairing works best when the colors are well-balanced.
Here are some tips for harmoniously incorporating orange and aqua blue in interior design:
– Use one color as the dominant shade in larger accents like furniture or wall paint. Then, use the complementary color sparingly for decor accents.
– Layer different tones, tints and shades of each color rather than using them at full saturation. Muted blues and burnt oranges will be easier on the eyes than neon brights.
– Add a neutral color like white, tan or gray to give the eyes a rest between the two bold colors.
– Connect the two colors through pattern. For example, an aqua rug can pull out orange accents in pillows or artwork.
|– Orange sofa with aqua throw pillows
– Aqua walls with orange art and accessories
|– Orange headboard with aqua bedding
– Aqua painted nightstands with orange table lamps
|– Orange bar stools around an aqua kitchen island
The table above provides some examples of successfully incorporating orange and aqua blue throughout the home.
Proportion is key
No matter how orange and aqua blue are combined, proportion is the most important factor for harmony. Use one color as the starring role and the other color as supporting accents. Too much of both colors can become overwhelming.
Aim for an evenly distributed color ratio of 60/40 or 70/30. For example, paint 70% of the walls an aqua blue and use orange decor accents for the remaining 30% of the space. This creates balance while still allowing both colors to stand out.
Beware of clashing undertones
Orange and aqua blue can sometimes take on different undertones, either warm or cool. Combining a warm orange with a cool toned aqua risks clashing.
Pay attention to undertones when pairing specific shades. For the most harmony, match warm oranges with warm, tropical aqua blues and pair cool oranges with cool, teal aqua blues.
Creative styling tips
Beyond the basics, there are endless creative ways to stylishly combine orange and aqua blue:
– Incorporate orange and aqua blue in floral prints or abstract patterns. The colors will pop when used together in fun designs.
– Use orange as an unexpected neutral by pairing burnt orange shades with aqua blue. This creates an earthy yet refreshing color palette.
– Mix orange and aqua blue with metallics like gold and silver. The metallic sheen helps blend the two colors.
– Add orange or aqua blue as an accent color to wood furnishings and decor for a beachy, tropical look.
– Create an ombre or gradient effect by fading orange into aqua blue on a single surface or item.
– Use orange fabric like pillows or throws to tie together aqua blue painted walls and decor.
Orange and aqua blue may seem like an unconventional color combination at first. But with careful styling, these complementary colors can be balanced beautifully to create eye-catching, creative looks.
The keys are using one color dominantly, watching proportions, avoiding clashing undertones, and embracing creative accents or patterns. With these tips in mind, feel free to get creative and make a statement by mixing vibrant orange and soothing aqua blue.