Matching Colours: The Basics

When the time comes to paint or decorate your entire home, or even just a room, where should you start? Is it better to choose your colours first? Should you start with a decorative element that you like? Here is all you need to know about where to start and how to match colours in your decor for an optimal, uniform and, above all, harmonious result. 

 First off, most people tend to start by choosing a paint colour. This isn’t a bad way to go, but you can do better. For example, if you would like to redo your living room, basement or bedroom, the best way to start is to choose an accessory that you like. For a kitchen, it is better to take inspiration from the largest element, for example the cupboards. Matching the chosen accessory or piece of furniture with colours and materials will be easier than the other way around. If you are more conservative, opt for accessories with bright colours and choose more neutral colours for larger elements (paint, ceramics, flooring, etc.).

Monochrome colour scheme

A monochrome colour scheme is without a doubt the most common and simple. It is based on one colour that is used in different shades. More precisely, it is a colour gradient. 

 Complementary colour scheme 

The complementary colour scheme, also known as contrasting colour scheme, is the use of two opposing colours on the colour wheel. There are a multitude of options, depending on the colours and shades you prefer. 

 Triadiccolour scheme

The triadic,or dynamic, colour scheme, uses three colours that form a triangle on the colour wheel. This colour scheme is quite daring due to the three different colours found in this type of decor. A triadic colour scheme is an excellent choice to add movement and sparkle to a space. 

Analogous colour scheme

To achieve a colourful, natural-looking design, the analogous colour scheme is your best choice. It is composed of colours that are next to each other on the colourwheel, which blend naturally into one another for a harmonious effect. 


  • The first thing to do before looking at colour samples is to use a colour wheel to determine the colours that you will be using. Once you have decided upon the colours, then look at colour swatches to find the tone and shade you are looking for.
  • If you are using one (or more) bright colours, don’t forget to also useneutral colours to tone it down a bit, without diminishing the pizazz.
  • Choose bright colours for active spaces such as the kitchen, play areas or family rooms. For cozy spaces such as bedrooms, opt for muted colours.
  • When you go shopping, bring your samples with you so you can get the best advice about your future design.