interior design / trends

Why it Works: Primary Colors in Modern Design

06.01.16

Primary Colors in Modern Design

I always feel like I need a disclaimer when I talk about things that aren’t necessarily celebrated in the design world.  Celebrated meaning you don’t see it often.  And I’m automatically drawn to anything we don’t see often usually in a good way and sometimes in a bad way.  Back to that disclaimer.  When I say “primary colors”, I don’t mean a kids lego bed because I know that might come to mind.  It’s always interesting when I’m researching these color combos or design trends because in addition to crazy good inspiration, I always come across the concept used in a terrible, terrible way.

BUT, below is that crazy good inspiration I found.

Primary Color Inspiration:

Inspiration Primary Colors in Modern Design

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Inspiration Primary Colors in Modern Design

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Inspiration Primary Colors in Modern Design

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There’s no doubt that primary colors feel very retro.

Inspiration Primary Colors in Modern Design

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And really, that’s the beauty of these colors.  One of the challenges of using primary colors in modern design is creating a space that stays true to the colors by feeling retro but doesn’t feel stale because the space hasn’t been touched in decades.

Paired With Traditional Elements:

This is my personal favorite way to see this color scheme done.  I love the juxtaposition of the primary colors and traditional elements.  So unexpected but it just works.

Primary Colors in Modern Design

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Primary Colors in Modern Design

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Primary Colors in Modern Design

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Primary Colors in Modern Design

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Primary Colors in Modern Design

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Primary Colors in Modern Design

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Primary Colors in Modern Design

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Primary Colors in Modern Design

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Primary Colors in Modern Design

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Primary Colors in Modern Design

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Primary Colors in Modern Design

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Paired With a Bold, Black and White Stripe:

Pairing primary colors with a bold, black and white stripe is another way to pull it off.  This look can potentially look a bit cheeky, but I think that’s the point here.  You’ll see that the last couple of images are done through a kids’ play room, and those spaces look especially playful, but the bold stripe adds some needed sophistication.

Primary Colors in Modern Design

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Primary Colors in Modern Design

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Primary Colors in Modern Design

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Primary Colors in Modern Design

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Primary Colors in Modern Design

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Primary Colors in Modern Design

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Paired with Unexpected and Overly Modern Elements:

Pairing primary colors with unexpected and modern (and sometimes random) elements brings the most interest for sure.  You might find yourself pausing a bit longer with these spaces to take it all in.  There’s a lot going on, but every single element looks intentional and needless to say, it works.

Primary Colors in Modern Design

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Primary Colors in Modern Design

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Primary Colors in Modern Design

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Primary Colors in Modern Design

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Primary Colors in Modern Design

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Primary Colors in Modern Design

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primary colors modern

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Primary Colors in Modern Design

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Primary Colors in Modern Design

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Primary Colors in Modern Design

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Primary Colors in Modern Design

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Primary Colors in Modern Design

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Primary Colors in Modern Design

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Primary Colors in Modern Design

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Well, thoughts? Are you into it?

xo,

Claire

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6 comments on “Why it Works: Primary Colors in Modern Design”

  1. Nice post Claire! I’m personally not into it, since I’m a neutrals (boring? haha) girl all the way. But I can definitely appreciate it! Just wouldn’t be throwing primary colors into my own house anytime soon! 🙂

  2. Hello. Just started reading your blog after the One Room Challenge. I’m into both modern and it’s use of primary colors. Although, I like the colors individually. I wouldn’t put primary red, yellow and blue in my house. Mainly because I’m not a big fan of yellow in my personal spaces. But I’ve been on the hunt for the perfect (pattern free) cobalt blue rug for a few years now.

  3. Great post! I think all the rooms are so cool! I’ve seen that one with the yellow door entryway, and each time I fall in love all over again with that first small over dyed floral rug! I wish I could find one similar.

  4. Beautifully described, Claire! I wouldn’t have spent this much time if you hadn’t showed these “flavors” of styles that incorporate SO MUCH color, appreciate the education. I tend to neutrals with loads of texture and modern elements, but the first “traditional” group is a tempting option! Nicely done, thanks!

  5. I don’t discriminate! I think primary colors can look chic and fun. Great examples! Miles Redd and Nick Olsen always come to mind when I think of primary colors in home design.

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