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A Beginner’s Guide to Colour Coordination and Colour Schemes

Finding the right colours can be tough, especially if you’re not familiar with basic colour coordination. Fortunately, there are some rules to follow when it comes to figuring out how colours interact. They’ll help you choose the right palette for your decorating project, no matter how large or small it is. The basics of colour theory can help you find an eye-catching colour palette when you set out to decorate your home, and understanding how colours work together is key. No matter what you do, some colours are just not meant to be used together, and they may literally hurt your eyes. There are, however, groups of colours that make particularly appealing combinations, and thankfully, there are some solid rules governing their selection. If you want to learn more about this, read on for a beginner’s guide to colour coordination and colour schemes.


The monochromatic colour scheme uses all the variations you can have in the lightness and saturation of a single colour. You just pick one colour and use it in its variations. Monochrome is the most straightforward colour scheme to create because it is almost impossible to create an overwhelming or ugly design when you’re working with a single hue. Generally, monochromatic schemes look clean, soothing and elegant, but they can come across as boring. To spice it up a little, you could break out of the monotony with a bold accent, like using grays with a juicy pink. Or different textures for interest.


An analogous colour scheme uses three colours that sit next to each other on the colour wheel. It is a very natural way of colouring things and can be created easily, but it offers more variety than a monochromatic design does, and it is almost as easy to create. It’s not as rich and vibrant as a complementary design, but it allows for mild contrasts when used properly. 

The best way to work with an analogous colour scheme is to choose one dominant colour to take up the most space, support it with a substantial amount of another colour, and use a third colour for accents. Creating an analogous scheme using equal amounts of three similar colours is not a good idea. Stick to warm tones together and cool tones together, with the exception of paint colour, if you have a warm floor and interior furnishings it can be nice to cool off the paint colour for a touch of a crisp fresh contrast. Or use the warm tone paint for the more monochromatic approach.


A complementary colour scheme, also sometimes called a high-contrast colour scheme, is a combination of two colours that sit opposite each other on the colour wheel, such as yellow and purple or blue and orange. It’s a good option for making something stand out, but there are some rules for its use. It’s important to favour one colour over the other or to use both of them as accents against a neutral background. It looks best when you choose a dominant background colour and use the other as an accent colour.


We hope this article proves to be useful when it comes to helping you gain a better understanding of how to best utilise colours. As you can see, there are colour schemes that you can follow to make things infinitely easier for you. Be sure to keep everything you’ve learned here in mind so that you can make the most informed decisions for your space.

If you are interested in hiring an interior design consultant on the Sunshine Coast, contact us at Sage Interior Design and Décor. We offer interior design, space planning and styling concepts to help you create a livable and beautiful home.

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