When it comes to selecting a color palette for your home, neutral shades are often the go-tos — and for good reason. But don't finalize your decision until you've considered a bolder combo, such as blue and yellow. "Blue and yellow conjure the jauntiness of a Provençal tablecloth and can imbue your home with the same cheerfulness," says architectural color expert Amy Krane.
Surprisingly, serene blue and energizing yellow might be two of the easiest shades to design around, but what colors go with blue and yellow? There are actually a lot of hues that will pair beautifully with the duo. For designer Malka Helft of Think Chic Interiors, a yellow and blue color scheme is one of her favorites to experiment with. "It's a very good combination," Helft says. "It's really simple, and you can play with the tone. You can [go with] dark on dark, light on light, [or] light on dark — they all work."
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Using blue and yellow as a jumping off point for your palette makes sense because as primary colors, blue and yellow are a high-contrast and dynamic pairing. Moreover, with blue's cool undertones and yellow's natural warmth, they create balance in any room. Blue in particular is actually the most popular favorite color in the world, according to a recent article by the BBC. That makes it a safer choice for your living room walls than, say, neon yellow. But in fact, adding a neon yellow lamp could be exactly the pop of brightness your blue walls need.
For a little inspiration, here are some of our favorite hues to pair with this eye-catching color duo.
Colors That Go With Blue and Yellow
There are many colors that go with blue and yellow, with much depending on the undertones of the hues you're choosing. How do you sort that out? A good first step is to familiarize yourself with the color wheel, a circle diagram that illustrates basic color theory.
Colors are organized around the color wheel based on how they relate to one another. Blues, greens, and purples are cool colors relegated to one side of the wheel, while reds, oranges, and yellows are the warm shades. Hues placed side by side on the wheel are considered analogous and create visual harmony when used together. On the other hand, shades directly opposite each other on the color wheel are considered complementary and create vibrant contrast when used together in a space.
Whether you are working with a navy blue wall and a marigold couch or you're just dipping your toes in home decor accents, such as flowers, artwork, or even a bowl of lemons, there are a lot of ways to rock the vibrant duo. Helft even recommends pairing yellow appliances with navy kitchen cabinets. The trick is adding a third hue to the mix. You'll need to find something that complements both cool and warm colors.
Following are some of the best colors that go with blue and yellow.
18 Blue and Yellow Color Combinations
1. Blue, Yellow, and Light Gray
You don't have to go all in on your blue and yellow color scheme. If you are a little hesitant to take the plunge, follow the lead of this neutral living space and allow smaller pieces of vibrant home decor to do all of the work. Here, a light gray couch and white walls set the stage for a yellow throw blanket; a patterned accent pillow; and an eye-catching work of art flaunting multiple blue shades, from teal to cyan to sky blue.
- Moods: Calm, balanced, sophisticated
- Best for styles: Midcentury, contemporary, Scandinavian
2. Blue, Yellow, and Blush Pink
In this dreamy bedroom color scheme, interior designer Heidi Caillier tempers the intensity of blue and yellow with a healthy dose of pink. The muted tone of the blush walls and the bed frame add just enough color without overwhelming the space or feeling too saccharine. A navy blue blanket and a mustard yellow lounge chair add a hint of contrast.
Moods: Soft, romantic, warm
Best for styles: Modern, traditional, midcentury, cottage, eclectic
3. Blue, Yellow, and Black
This black and white industrial bedroom is made a little cozier and less stark with the addition of vibrant accents. The light yellow side chair adds a cheerful note, a blue throw at the foot of the bed offers an additional pop of color, and the black and yellow plaid pillows echo the lines of the black steel-framed windows in the background. Light wood accents add even more warmth and style.
Moods: Modern, refined, grounding
Best for styles: Industrial, modern, contemporary, transitional
Cassie of Hi Sugarplum! designed a den of luxury with the help of vibrant jewel tones against a navy blue backdrop. There are so many colors that go with navy blue, and it's one that plays beautifully with the purple shades and flecks of gold in this area rug. The perfect finishing touch? Yellow curtains. Not only do the vibrant drapes coordinate with the rug but yellow and purple are complementary colors, too.
Moods: Luxurious, dramatic, worldly
Best for styles: Eclectic, maximalist, bohemian, art deco, Hollywood regency
5. Blue, Yellow, and Green
Analogous blue and green work together to create a serene vibe in this bedroom by Ashley Banbury, senior color designer for Dutch Boy Paints. Banbury notes that colors are trending a bit warmer now than in the past decade. However, she says, "Embracing cool and warm tones creates an overall temperature balance. Blues and yellows are a perfect pairing together, as they balance out the cool and warm shades we are bringing into the home."
Moods: Serenity, nature, abundance
Best for styles: Traditional, modern, midcentury, bohemian, maximalist
6. Blue, Ochre, and Greige
When you think of the color ochre, you probably don't imagine words such as tranquil and relaxing. However, when tempered by greige walls and a pastel blue coverlet as demonstrated in this bedroom, the sunny hue feels oh so serene. Potted plants round out the space, providing even more color and a hint of nature.
Moods: Warm, serene, sophisticated
Best for styles: Modern, contemporary, transitional, traditional
7. Cobalt Blue, Yellow, and White
Colors come in many different shades, from light to dark to electrifying, and blue is no exception. To our delight, this homeowner opted to go the more vibrant route, pairing cobalt blue with canary yellow. When working with such bold colors, a little bit can go a long way, as proven by the bright blue sofa, pillows, coffee table, and artwork showcased here. Besides a few potted plants, the rest of the scheme is relatively neutral and pared back.
Moods: Fresh, calm, balanced
Best for styles: Minimalist, traditional, modern, farmhouse, coastal, transitional
8. Denim Blue, Yellow, and Tan
White shiplap walls and natural tan accents, such as the ceiling beams, hardwood flooring, and furniture in this dining nook by Raili CA Design, are signature characteristics of coastal style. Throw in pieces of decor in muted tones of yellow and blue and you've got yourself a light and airy scheme worthy of any seaside retreat. As Raili Clasen herself puts it, "Blues and yellows are the ultimate colors to use for a summer vacation vibe in your home. The ocean and the sun — what could be more relaxing?"
Moods: Comforting, welcoming, inviting
Best for styles: Contemporary, traditional, coastal, minimalist, modern, earthy
9. Dark Blue, Yellow, and Light Blue
Starting with a blue palette and bringing in a yellow accent color is another good approach, which can be seen in this living room showcasing an area rug from The Rug Company x Farrow & Ball collection. The two-tone wall provides a subdued backdrop for a more vibrant blue sofa and yellow settee. The wall's blue shades include a darker paint color on the bottom that grounds the space, paired with a less saturated shade above, keeping the room feeling light and airy.
Moods: Peaceful, refreshing
Best for styles: Contemporary, modern, coastal, traditional, cottage, midcentury
10. Blue, Yellow, and Burnt Orange
Follow the lead of Melissa Bolivar from House of Sui Sui and pair a light shade of blue with warm tones of complementary burnt orange and a yellow that leans a bit orange. In this bedroom, an icy blue upholstered headboard frames a bed decked out with a golden yellow throw and burnt orange accent pillows. A framed vintage movie poster and warm wood tie the whole scheme together.
Moods: Warm, fiery, cozy
Best for styles: Contemporary, modern, Southwestern, boho
11. Blue, Yellow, and Lavender
If you're looking to experiment with new color combos, try swapping out your pillows. You can always change them back without any consequences. For the fall season, Cristina from Remodela Casa swapped out her pillows for an assortment of golden yellow and lavender designs to complement the vase of faux plum hydrangeas. This unique scheme pairs beautifully with the blue rug.
Moods: Calming, sweet
Best for styles: Traditional, transitional, cottage, maximalist, Hollywood regency
12. Pale Blue, Yellow, Red, and Green
Mixing yellow, blue, and red might seem especially risqué, but as equidistant colors on the color wheel, they form a triadic color scheme that's considered inherently harmonious. Brittany Jepsen of The House That Lars Built capitalized on this color relationship for her bathroom makeover. The trick to avoid overwhelming the eye? Using a lighter shade of blue for the wainscoting and trim to match the hints of blue in the wallpaper, paired with more saturated red and yellow tones.
Moods: Energetic, romantic
Best for styles: Modern, traditional, contemporary, eclectic, maximalist
13. Royal Blue, Lemon Yellow, and Charcoal Gray
As a neutral, charcoal gray has the power to create a sophisticated backdrop for any color you pair it with. In this room designed by Ashley DeLapp, charcoal gray walls balance warm and bright yellow walls, allowing them to shine without overpowering the room. A velvet royal blue chair provides cool color.
Moods: Cool, edgy, sophisticated, strong
Best for styles: Modern, transitional, contemporary, minimalist, industrial, modern farmhouse
Some of the best colors to pair with blue are warm tones because of how they pop alongside the cool hue. Light wood, with its warm yellow undertones, also qualifies and looks wonderful with all the yellow elements in this kitchen.
Moods: Lively, warm, energetic
Best for styles: Scandinavian, modern, transitional, bohemian, contemporary
In this office by Laura U Design Collective, we see two shades of blue, navy and powder blue, working together with mustard yellow. The pastel hue dominates and complements the pop of yellow beautifully. The navy and white wallpaper offers a calming backdrop with lots of negative space.
Moods: Serene, romantic
Best for styles: Traditional, modern, cottage, maximalist, Hollywood regency
16. Blue, Mustard Yellow, and Dark Wood
This fabulous midcentury-inspired space embraces period hues of a mid-toned blue, mustard, cream, and dark wood. The cream, of course, is a yellowish shade of white, and the undertones found in the dark wood lean yellow as well, providing visual harmony.
Moods: Sophisticated, warm, grounded
Best for styles: Midcentury, traditional, art deco, Hollywood regency, farmhouse
17. Royal Blue, Yellow, and Fuchsia
Much like the way that blue, yellow, and red make sense together, so too do a jewel-toned royal blue, dark yellow, and fuchsia. But incorporating such bold hues takes care. Note how it's done in this bedroom by The House That Lars Built. The royal blue bed is surrounded by white walls, while a fuchsia rug is balanced with darker purple tones. The yellow is used sparingly, limited to the curtains and an accent pillow.
Moods: Bold, youthful
Best for styles: Modern, contemporary, Hollywood regency, maximalist, midcentury, eclectic
18. Blue, Yellow, and Gold
Adding some metallic shine to a room is pretty much always a good idea. In a space with blues and yellows, we highly recommend going for the gold. This room by Lynn Morgan Design illustrates just how a gold accent enhances a blue and yellow room. With its natural yellow tint, gold blends seamlessly with other yellow elements in a room and creates contrast with the color blue.
Moods: Warm, luxurious, dramatic
Best for styles: Contemporary, modern, transitional, Hollywood regency, art deco
What color family are blue and yellow?
Blue and yellow are both primary colors along with the color red. These colors are called "primary" because when they are mixed with each other, they create the secondary colors of green, orange, and purple.
What are the benefits of a blue and yellow color pairing?
Blue is a tried-and-true color that can be used in many shades, tones, and applications. Just like your favorite pair of jeans, it goes with just about everything and always looks great. Yellow color schemes, meanwhile, have a vibrancy that can bring a space to life. Though the hue can have many applications, it requires deft handling, especially the brighter shades.