Ty Pennington Offers His Best Advice For Choosing The Perfect Accent Color

Finding the right accent colors for your interior design space, whether it's choosing the shade for an accent wall or selecting throw pillows for a couch, isn't always easy. If you're struggling with a particularly complex color scheme, designer and television personality Ty Pennington offers some wise advice. While appearing on the Rachel Ray Show, Ty Pennington took a question from a fan about accent colors and ended up giving one crucial tip: look at the color wheel (via YouTube). Using the color wheel as your guide will give you all of the color scheme inspiration you need.

As Pennington demonstrates, a color wheel is the perfect visual tool for seeing how colors are related to each other and identifying which color would work best as an accent, such as complementary colors (opposite side of the color wheel). But as an expert designer, Pennington also dove into several of the other color wheel combinations that can be used for planning color schemes, including analogous, triadic, and monochromatic. Pennington went on to share how to use a color wheel to find these color pairings, and why sometimes a neutral tone is your best option. 

Using a color wheel for accent colors

With a color wheel, you can discover various color palette options without feeling overwhelmed.  For something more subtle than complementary colors, choose an analogous color pairing, which is three colors next to each other on the color wheel, like red, orange, and yellow-orange. On the other hand, if you prefer having a lot of color in your space, use a triadic color scheme, the three colors that are equidistant on the color wheel. Alternatively, using a monochromatic color scheme incorporates multiple shades of the same color, such as light blue for three walls and dark blue for an accent wall. Pennington also praises the value of neutral tones, saying that instead of adding more colors, "you can actually pop up that color and use the neutral to make it pop," he said on the Rachel Ray show. One option with this strategy is to do three walls in a neutral tone and a fourth in a vibrant color, but Pennington also offers a more creative option, with a wall in one color, two walls with the same color in a lighter shade, and the final wall in a neutral.

If you want to try out this color wheel accent method on your own, there are some really helpful digital color wheel tools, such as the Adobe Color Wheel, which can extract a color from an uploaded image, identify all of the color wheel pairings, and produce a palette of up to five shades.