top of page
  • Writer's pictureEvie Polkadot

The Colour Wheel: Triadic Colour Scheme

We are returning to the colour wheel this week with the Triadic colour scheme.

A Triadic palette is made up of three colours, each evenly spaced on the colour wheel; this creates a bold and bright scheme, similar to split-complimentary, but with slightly less impact. As with split complimentary, I'd recommend being aware of how much power you give each colour; perhaps leave one as the dominant colour, whilst the other two take place as accents.

Triadic Harmony

They say three is the magic number, but are three colours really the right way to go in decor? Of course!

Three colours can be stunning in decor, especially if they are used in the correct way. Graphic design often uses three colours to great effect; though, of course, they don't always use the same kind of colour harmonies as interior designers.

You could use all three colours in equal measure, but that can often end up overwhelming, overstimulating and over-the-top! Using one colour as the dominant, with two accents, or having two dominants with one accent are the best way to work with triadic schemes.

As always, let's have a little look:

The Colours

For this design, I wanted to show you how bold triadic schemes can be.

I deliberately decided to go with the brightest choices in the orange, purple and green spectrums of the colour wheel - Nectarine, Grape and Clover. I then created a mood board with all three colours sharing equal parts of the design.

As you can see - it's pretty overwhelming! Definitely one for bold colour lovers!

The Design

With a kaleidoscopic wallpaper design and a rainbow rug, this scheme is already a little over the top for my liking; maybe using the wallpaper as a feature, rather than covering all walls could dull it all down ever so slightly!

Personally, I'd let the wallpaper do the work by itself and then give the rest of the walls a single pale colour; the table and lamp incorporate all three colours and soft furnishings could do the rest.

The Colours

I wanted to create a bedroom of primary colours for grown ups with this next mood board.

I often relate primary colours to children and therefore, they tend to fall down my list of ideal schemes for adult spaces. I can't think of anything but being back at infant school whenever I see red, yellow and blue together; and in all honesty - I'm not too keen on these three colours as a trio. Red and blue, I can like, depending on the shades used, but red and yellow, blue and yellow or the three together... not really.

So, for this design, I decided to go with the more 'mature' shades, Sapphire, Scarlet and Canary. For me, these feel 'older' - they bring to mind rich velvets, stately homes, red lipstick, can-can dancers and buttered toast on a sunny morning.

The Design

Using a sunny yellow paisley wallpaper with red and blue design, I'd likely use yellow elsewhere in the room to pull the scheme together; although, do remember that yellow can encourage feelings of depression and anxiety if there is too much of it and it isn't highly recommended for bedrooms. Red would work well for woodwork if you were to use the wallpaper around the whole room and then break up the colour with a crisp, white ceiling; but remember that red is also a tricky colour to work with, with it's more negative effects on our wellbeing...

Blue is the colour here which is taking the back seat as an accent colour, although, I'd be more tempted to make blue the dominant colour, with its more calming effects and links to positive feelings. I've switched this around a little for you to see what I mean:

This is much more calming for me; the blue dominance of the scheme has a more relaxing, gentle feel to it, pushing back the vibrance of the yellow and the red into their accent roles instead of allowing them to overtake the design.

If I were creating this in a real room, I would likely pair back the yellow even further and feature it only in ornamental pieces - using gold in it's place.

The Colours

These colours gave me tropical garden vibes, so I decided to go for my favourite shades in each spectrum this time - Wisteria, Smoothie and New England Ivy.

I love coral with green; my tropical guest bedroom is made of this pairing and it looks great. It's a very popular room. I found a gorgeous vintage style wallpaper from google and I stupidly didn't note down where it was from - and now I can't find it. But, here it is...

The Design

...isn't it beautiful? I absolutely love it; it feels so Renaissance - rich, vibrant and exotic.

I used lilac for the bed and that's all in this mood board; letting the green and coral take centre stage.

The gorgeous Matthew Williamson monkey cushion goes so well with this wallpaper; it's like they were made to be together. And I would definitely use more green and coral on the walls with paint. Perhaps even a lovely bright coral ceiling!

Design No.2

I created this mood board a couple of months ago and had forgotten all about it until I added the one above. Obviously these three colours spoke to me back in May, too.

The three colours are more equal in this design; there's definitely a lot more lilac and actually - I really like it. It goes just as well with the green and coral as those two do together; gorgeous!

The Colours

Well, aren't these last triadic colours just glorious?! They give me feelings of ice cream parlours and sorbet; sunny days, fun and laughter. So pretty.

Sundance, Flamingo and Peacock - also two of my favourite birds - are the shades I chose from these three colours. Ok, I didn't have much choice with yellow-orange, but the other two were standing out to me with their hands raised high, skipping on the spot, desperately wanting me to pick them... so I did!

The Design

How perfect is the wallpaper for this scheme?! Talk about ideal palette!

I actually really love this design; pretty much all colours are equal and yet, it isn't too much in my opinion. I suppose the yellow dominates slightly more than the pink or teal, but all colours are bold enough not to be overpowered by the others and actually, I think they all compliment one another enough to get away with being used together in this way.

I love a bit of maximalism and this is definitely that; bold, punchy and beautifully busy! There's definitely enough to please the eye here.

Also, these Graham & Green lamps are just perfect - I really want them...


And there we are - triadic design explained and displayed. I hope you like the examples and have fun playing around with triadic design yourself. Remember, there are so many other variations of colour out there; this is just the colour wheel I choose to work with for these blogs. I just like the shades within it.

Thank you so much - as always - for taking time out of your day to read. I really appreciate your support and interest in my little business!

Lots of love!

Evelyn M

21 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page