3 Unique Color Combo Ideas to Steal from Small/Cool

published May 4, 2022
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bright happy living space with gold velvet sofa, coffee table with yogi tea setup, patterned wallpaper, red and white rug, shelves with l'objets, plants
Credit: Rikki Snyder

Small/Cool is a cornucopia of interior design inspiration — furniture recommendations, art ideas, and more — but it’s also a great place to find new and fresh color combination concepts to try. Whether through paint or decor, color can add a ton of inspiration to your home, and the rooms in this year’s Small/Cool event space had a few surprising applications worthy of a deep dive.

Credit: Rikki Snyder

BEHR’s light teal “Breezeway” and bright red “Flirt Alert” in Happy@Home

Jordan Ferney, the founder of Oh Happy Day! and Color Factory, knows a thing or two about color. And when it came to outfitting the Happy@Home room, Jordan got creative not only in the combination of hues, but also in their application. Jordan combined two bold BEHR shades — a light teal called “Breezeway” and a vibrant red spray paint called “Flirt Alert.” Pairing these two distinctly different colors is already a breath of fresh air, but it’s also how Jordan applied them in the space that is so noticeable. “Breezeway” is splashed on an IKEA HEMMES bookshelf, which helps the piece blend beautifully with the room’s similarly hued, floral-patterned wallpaper.

Credit: Rikki Snyder

Jordan then incorporated “Flirt Alert” in a subtle yet striking way: The two black and white prints hanging above the sofa get a punch of personality thanks to their red frames. Painting those frames red not only adds a bit of uniqueness to the space (I wasn’t expecting that detail!) but it also helps strengthen some of the other red accents in the room, like the bright table lamp and patterned rug. The best part of Jordan’s application here? With a couple of cans of paint you can steal this idea for your own home, maybe even using furniture and frames you already have!

Credit: Rikki Snyder

BEHR’s “Perfect Penny” with Chasing Paper’s Jaipur pattern in yellow “Straw” in A Collector’s Eye

Designer Peti Lau applied her signature style — called AristoFreak™ — to the A Collector’s Eye room. The dining room is anchored by the gorgeous and rich yellow wallpaper on the wall, Chasing Paper’s Jaipur pattern in “Straw.” It makes a great neutral base for all the collected art on the walls, but isn’t boring and adds just enough warmth and vibrancy to the space. When it came to finding a color to complement the wallpaper’s hue, Peti chose an interesting color: BEHR’s “Perfect Penny.

Credit: Rikki Snyder

The copper-colored hue isn’t quite red, isn’t quite brown, and certainly isn’t yellow. But it’s a perfect color that both grounds the space while adding contrast. “Perfect Penny” is an earthy, terracotta shade that evokes nature but also stands out, too.

Credit: Rikki Snyder

BEHR’s “Empire Yellow” and light pink metal in Be Our Guest

Design duo Cortney and Robert Novogratz, of The Novogratz, decided to go colorful when it came to the Be Our Guest room, a space focused on creating a comfy home-away-from home for any overnight guests. BEHR’s “Empire Yellow” is a shockingly lively color, almost feeling like pure sunshine when applied to the walls of this guest bedroom. It’s hard to imagine anyone waking up sad in this bright, energetic space. But while one of the nightstands in the space is a neutral off-white, the design duo wasn’t content to let yellow be the only colorful element in the room. The pair combined “Empire Yellow” with a surprisingly subtle, soft pink thanks to their own line’s Cache Metal Locker End Table and Cache Single Metal Locker Storage Cabinet, both in “Pink Metal.” The unlikely combo of a pastel pink and a bright yellow might seem surprising, but combined they accomplish a space that is both vibrant while also being soothing enough to get a good night’s sleep in.

Small/Cool NYC is a shoppable, in real life and digital home design showcase full of decorating tips and tricks from your favorite designers. Visit us from April 22 to May 15, 2022, on weekends (Friday, Saturday, and Sunday) from 11 am to 7 pm ET at 515 Broadway in Soho, New York City. Check out our event schedule and the whole virtual experience online at smallcool.com and follow along on Instagram @apartmenttherapy. Thank you to our sponsors BEHR® Paint, Toyota Corolla Cross, Ashley, Yogi® Tea, and Chasing Paper for making this experience possible.