A triadic color scheme is comprised of three colors evenly spaced on the color wheel. The two most basic triadic palettes are the primary colors red, blue, and yellow, and the secondary hues orange, purple, and green. But these aren’t the only possible triads; the color wheel encompasses various tertiary colors between the primary and secondary colors (for example, red-violet, yellow-orange, and blue-green). You can also create triadic color schemes using these in-between hues.
Because of the strong contrast, a triadic palette is generally quite dramatic, but you can tone down the drama to a manageable level by choosing subdued shades. Check out these 10 bedrooms for some lovely examples of triadic color schemes done right.
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Use One Color as an Accent
When decorating with a triadic color scheme, don’t feel you have to use each color equally. In fact, it’s far more common to follow the 60-30-10 rule, where one color is predominant, one color takes a secondary role, and the third color is used sparingly as an accent. House of Harvee showcases a perfect example in this Scandinavian room with burnt orange as the main color, a darker green the secondary hue, and purple just a small accent found in the area rug. The result is colorful yet controlled, perfect for relaxation.Continue to 2 of 10 below.
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Red, Yellow, and Blue Grow Up
If you are concerned about primary colors appearing too bright for your taste, try muting one or two of the colors to avoid too much intensity when decorating with a triadic color scheme. For example, check out this bedroom; golden yellow adds warmth to a navy blue, while cheery red provides a dose of excitement. The subdued (but not gloomy or cold) colors are quite sophisticated and suited to the primary bedroom. You could work the trio in a variety of ways: burnt red and mustard yellow with pure blue as an accent; or a sunny yellow against barn red and cyan blue; or even pastel tints of blue, yellow, and pink combined for a feminine feel.
About This Term: Primary Bedroom
Many real estate associations as well as the Real Estate Standards Organization have classified the term "Master Bedroom" as potentially discriminatory. "Primary Bedroom" is the name now widely used among the real estate community and better reflects the purpose of the room.
Read more about our Diversity and Inclusion Pledge to make The Spruce a site where all feel welcome.Continue to 3 of 10 below.
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Purple, Green, and Orange for Kid's Room
If you want to try creating a relaxing space for a kid's bedroom that is still colorful, try using a subdued version of the orange, green, and purple triadic color scheme. A lavender bedspread, rust orange accent pillow, and dark green leaves in the painting above the bed are a stunning trifecta of color that is soothing to the eye.Continue to 4 of 10 below.
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Play With the Shades In-Between
Working with a triadic color scheme doesn't have to be as strict as red-yellow-blue or green-purple-orange. There are plenty of shades in-between that can be paired together to create a playful, colorful atmosphere. This bedroom from Melanie of Duundich Interior Design is a fantastic example with the teal shade on the walls and the accent pillows, the touches of pink on the bedspread and abstract shapes on the wall, and golden yellow on the pillow and within the bouquet of flowers. All three colors look right at home together.Continue to 5 of 10 below.
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Keep Orange, Green, and Purple Under Control
If you’d like to decorate with a bold palette like purple, green, and orange, but you’re afraid of overwhelming the room, stick with a neutral backdrop and small touches of each color to ease yourself in. Accent pillows are an easy addition, like this bedroom, which displays a luxurious shade of purple upfront, with dark orange pillows peeking out behind. Statement furniture can also do the trick, the way the emerald bench at the foot of the bed does here. Small doses of each color are present yet make a big impact given the neutral scheme of the rest of the space.Continue to 6 of 10 below.
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Blue, Red, and Yellow Eclectic
The primary color scheme can work in a variety of styles, including eclectic. This gorgeous bedroom by Marie of Charity Begins At represents each color well: the ocean blue wall, the singular yellow lampshade, and the red bedspread all bring each color to the table in a stunning display. Other neutral colors are at play to allow each color to stand out, which can aid anyone who wants to try a triadic color scheme.Continue to 7 of 10 below.
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Teal, Pink, and Golden Yellow: A Vibrant Combination
Primary and secondary colors have their place, but playing with the colors in-between is a great way to showcase your creativity. Case in point: this teal, pink, and golden yellow bedroom is playful and modern, but doesn't cover the whole room in overwhelming color. Each bold color complements the other well and can be used in a children's or primary room–the possibilities are wide open.Continue to 8 of 10 below.
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Turquoise, Magenta, and Honey Yellow: A Calming Collection
If you're concerned about your room becoming too intense, you're in luck–a triadic scheme can be toned down easily. For example, bright magenta can be switched out for a calming mauve, iridescent turquoise becomes an oceanic teal, and golden yellow takes on a softer honey glow. The simple shift brings a neutral space to life but still radiates tranquility.Continue to 9 of 10 below.
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Pops of Primary
When playing around with color schemes, it's important to keep in mind that you don't have to cover every square inch of your room with color. In fact, it can be much more striking to use small pops of color within a neutral space. The bedroom shown here, with its white walls, bedsheets, and accent table, has created a stunning blank canvas to work with. The blue, yellow, and red decor truly stands out when used on a minimalist backdrop.Continue to 10 of 10 below.
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If you're someone who leans towards pastel shades, then this is the perfect triad color scheme for you. Light shades of pink, sky blue, and daffodil yellow are a sight to behold. The entire room is bathed in color yet is subdued as not to become overbearing or distracting. You can add golden accents, like this bedroom shown here, if you want to keep true to the color scheme yet also add a level of elegance.