Aqua is a color that sits somewhere between blue and green, and it comes in a wide variety of shades that can be anywhere from bright and cheerful to calm and tranquil. The colors that you put with aqua will make a big impact in determining the type of style and atmosphere you achieve in a space.
Here we look at various colors that go really well with aqua for a variety of interior decor styles.
Colors to Contrast Aqua
As aqua is a mixture of blue and green, the opposing colors to aqua on the color wheel are orange-yellow, which is the opposite of blue, and red-pink, which is the opposite of green. This means that colors that fall anywhere amongst yellow, orange, pink, and red on the spectrum will be contrasting colors next to aqua.
Contrasting colors are also known as complementary colors because they are able to bring out the best in each other, making both colors appear more vivid. For contrasting shades with aqua, consider these versions of yellow, orange, and red:
Lemon yellow is a bright shade that is sweet and joyful. When used with pale aqua blue, this color pairing can work really nicely to create a traditional country cottage feel. Choose delicate floral fabrics incorporating both colors, with aqua walls and lemon accessories such as a lemon yellow rug or lemon yellow candles.
This is a look that works particularly well in a bedroom because it makes for a quaint atmosphere. You could alternatively pair lemon yellow with a bolder shade of aqua for a Scandinavian style. Paint old wooden chairs in glossy lemon yellow, and use bright hits of aqua for soft furnishings such as curtains or wall signs.
Pumpkin Spiced Orange
Orange and aqua work so well together in any variation. Bright orange and bright aqua will look great when used with a neutral like white or pale gray as the dominant color, or to use orange and aqua on a larger scale, choose one of the colors in a softer shade—for example, pale aqua with pumpkin spiced orange, or bold aqua with pale peach. Pumpkin spiced orange is a really warming color that is a cross between the color of orange pumpkins and cinnamon spice.
It has undertones of tan and brown that make it a really comforting shade that will contrast nicely against a cool-toned aqua. This is a color that will work best with a blue aqua or even a gray tones aqua. Paint walls in pumpkin spiced orange, and accent this with wooden furniture painted in a soft shade of blue-toned aqua.
Bright aqua and cherry red can work really well together to create a retro look. Paint walls in aqua and opt for red kitchen accessories such as a red mixer and a red toaster. You can also achieve a more eclectic look using these colors alongside rustic wooden furniture. For example, paint walls in a muted shade of aqua, opt for cherry red accessories such a knitted red cushion covers, and tan or chestnut-colored hardwood floors.
Mustard yellow is a deep shade of yellow with brown undertones, which gives it a really warm appeal. If you have an aqua space that needs to be made to feel more inviting, then add mustard-colored accents. This can work well in various styles, including modern coastal styles or vintage looks.
Mustard will add a comforting touch to aqua rooms, and it works equally well with bright aqua or paler shades of aqua. These two colors look great together in a bathroom environment or in fabrics with geometric patterns for a more contemporary twist.
Burnt orange is a darker shade of orange that verges on brown. It is a rich and earthy color that can make an aqua room look simultaneously warm and sophisticated. Burnt orange can be used in sumptuous fabrics such as upholstered velvet accent chairs to bring a modern glamour to a room, or if you choose burnt orange accessories in more homely textures such as chunky knit throws, this color can make a space feel very cozy and comfortable.
Burnt orange contrasts so beautifully against aqua shades that have blue or green hues. It can also look very chic with gray shades of aqua.
Coral is a pretty shade that can vary from pale red to a peachy orange shade of pink. It will contrast perfectly against pale and more vivid shades of aqua and can add a feminine touch to aqua spaces. Coral and aqua is a decidedly modern color pairing that works really well in contemporary and Scandinavian style interior decor.
You could set aqua and coral furnishings against a white background to make them stand out or select aqua or coral as the wall color for a more vivid and saturated space.
Salmon is a pale shade of pink with a hint of orange. It can work with any shade of aqua, but it looks especially beautiful next to aqua shades that have a mint hue or softer shades of aqua. Use this color combination in a child’s bedroom for a fun yet sweet look, or try it out in a kitchen for a French Riviera vibe.
Coral and aqua are often used together to represent the colors of the Mediterranean, so they can work nicely in a dining space or a living room to create a bright and cheerful summery look.
Flamingo pink is a dark and dusky shade of pink with tan undertones that give it a warmer feel than most other pinks. As a deeper color, it holds up well against brighter and bolder shades of aqua and helps to balance out any cool tones to create a leveled energy. For a warm and stylish room, paint the walls in flamingo pink and add fun accents with vivid aqua blue accessories.
Use a neutral shade to break up the two colors as they could be very overwhelming otherwise. An off-white or a pale gray would work well, or a light beige for a more natural tone.
Fuchsia pink is a hot pink shade that can be used alongside bright aqua to create a fun, tropical feel. This can work nicely in a bedroom or in a more common area like a living room. Choose a wallpaper that contains both aqua and fuchsia pink, and fix it onto a feature wall.
Paint the remaining walls white, then choose bright and bold pink and aqua accents around the room, such as a pink rug, blue sofas, and pink picture frames. You can add a few hits of other vivid colors into the mix to make for a really playful exotic vibe, such as lime green and bright orange.
Blush pink is a color that is really popular in interior design at the moment, both as a base color and also as an accent shade. Combine it with soft aqua to create a calming color palette that would be beautiful in a bedroom or bathroom.
Minty green aqua shades or blue-gray aqua shades would work nicely with blush pink; just be sure to keep them soft and subtle to avoid creating a jarring look with the pink.
A fierce and deep red such as blood red can work wonderfully with aqua to create a modern coastal look. Coastal themes are more commonly beachy breezy styles, but with these colors and the addition of white or navy, you can achieve a more structured and defined coastal vibe.
Colors to Soften Aqua
Contrasting colors help to highlight each other and make the opposite color appear bolder and brighter. While this can be a really great look, it doesn’t work for everyone. If you want a softer, more tonal look, then consider these colors to go with aqua that will create a more subtle interior.
If you have chosen a pale shade of aqua, then white is an easy choice of color to use with it that will make for a calming and casual vibe. Off-whites like ivory can also work nicely for a soft interior style with a touch of warmth.
Various shades of beige work well with aqua, including biscuit, almond, and tan. These are warm neutrals that will help to balance out the cool energy in aqua.
For aqua shades that have gray undertones, choose a cool dark gray as an accenting shade, such as slate gray. This will result in a modern and moody atmosphere with associations with an ocean storm.
Opt for pale gray shades if you want to create a layered look in a room, using gray aqua shades as a starting point and working up to full gray shades to create depth and texture. Mint aqua shades can also look stylish with gray for a modern twist on a classic color palette.