Shelf color guide

Color is one of the most important attributes of corner shelves. By itself your shelves can look nice or poor. The best way to select color for your shelf is to install it then look by yourself, but we can’t always do that. This article has some nice theory & tips for you.

Matching color : the theory

In the theory of color there is one tool to be introduced, the color wheel. In the wheel there are a lot of colors, similar colors will be side-by-side while contrary colors are on the opposite side of the pallet. Blue is on the opposite of orange, green is on the opposite to purple, yellow to violet and so on. Normally the color wheel has red color on the top (0° position) and cyan on the bottom (360° position)


the standard color wheel

With the color wheel, ones can use it to choose matching color for the shelves and the walls. There are many ways to choose the color, here are some example.

similar colors method: use this scheme if you want the wall and the shelf ‘flatten’ together. Note that the color should not be too similar, or the shelf will be unseen.


Use similar colors if you don’t want the shelves stand out too much.

tritone method: look into the wheel, select one color, another color to match is on 120 degree to the left or right. This way you will get the pair that not too contrast but different enough to be distinguished. The technique has been used in product design, paintings and website design of a long time. This is a very simple method yet powerful. Most recommended.


Tritone method is very easy to use. Any picked will matched.

opposite color method: opposite colors together are normally scratch the eyes. There are just few exceptions. Choose wisely.


Black/white pair is one of the classic. Opposite colors look really nice in right setup.

any deep color on white: White wall are the most easiest to paired. Just throw some vivid color in and it’s done.


‘anything plus white’ works here

What you shouldn’t do

Some of pairs are really not good. These are few examples.

Dark corner shelves on dark walls – You won’t see the shelves. Remember that dark shelf should be paired with light color.


dark brown shelves on dark grey walls might not be a good idea

Inconsistent color of the shelves – If you have more than one corner shelves in the same area, be sure to make them coherent. The colors don’t need to be exactly equal, but they shouldn’t be too distinguished.


Too many differences in color can look awkward.