Color Schemes

Some colour combinations work better than others. Colour schemes are relationships on the colour wheel that can help you choose pleasing colour combinations for your spaces.

Whether you want to make an accent piece pop or plan a colour scheme for an entire space, use the relationships below to choose coating colours you’ll love to look at again and again.

Basic Color Schemes

  • Monochromatic

    Combine one hue with any or all of its shades and tints. Similar base colours, such as light and dark purples, create a calm energy in any space. All you need to do is select one key colour and then select related tints, shades and tones.

  • Complementary

    Choose a dominant colour, such as purple, and accent it with directly opposing colours, such as oranges. Balance a warm and cool colour for best results

  • Split-Complementary

    For a strong visual contrast with less tension than the complementary colour scheme, choose a dominant colour and accent it with two colours equally spaced from its complement on the colour wheel. This is a great solution if you’re nervous mixing colours. It’s difficult to go wrong with these combinations.

  • Analogous

    Do you love outdoor landscapes? Mimic the calming, harmonious colour schemes found in nature with an analogous colour scheme. Choose a dominant colour and then accent it with adjacent colours on the colour wheel.

  • Tetradic Double-Complementary Scheme

    Are you comfortable with colour relationships? Use two complementary colour sets to create a rich colour scheme. Control the level of contrast by him much distance you place between your two sets on the colour wheel. Tetradic colour schemes are not recommended if you’re nervous mixing colours. Don’t use all four colours equally. Choose one dominant colour for best results.

  • Triad

    Go vibrant. Select one colour. Then try out two more that are spaced equally apart on the colour wheel. Allow one colour to dominate and the other two to accent. This colour scheme appears lively even with paler tints.

Basic Color Terms

  • Hue

    Hues are pure colours. They do not have added blacks or whites.

  • Tints

    Tints result after whites are added to hues

  • Shades

    Shades result after blacks are added to hues.

  • Saturation

    Saturation describes the intensity of hue.

Get Inspired!

Visit our Inspiration area for great project ideas.