The foolproof guide to colour combinations

When you’re picking colours to give your home’s interior a new look, the possibilities can seem overwhelming. Sky blue, industrial grey, olive green … selecting colours that look good together is pretty tricky.

With over 1,834 colours spread across 225 families with 8 gradients, the Sico colour palette has plenty of options. Learn how to choose and pair them like a pro!

First off, it’s important to decide what ambiance you want in the room you’re painting. We don’t always notice it, but colours have a big impact on our mood. They also influence how we interact with a space. As each hue has its own unique properties, it’s first crucial to determine which colour family jives with the feeling you want your room to embody.

Warm or cool?

Interior decorators often speak of “warm” and “cool” colours. Have you ever wondered what these terms mean, or why they’re so important?

A visual metaphor, this natural dichotomy refers to the feeling of warmth or coolness certain colours convey. It’s why yellow instinctively evokes sunny skies and happiness, while blue conjures up images of the sea and encourages relaxation. Green, which is found at the centre of the colour spectrum, conveys balance.
“Different areas of the brain are activated in response to cool or warm colours.”
– Jean-Gabriel Causse, designer and colour specialist, in La Presse

In short, cool colours (blue and purple) have calming properties, while warm colours (red, yellow and orange) convey dynamism. Neutrals, meanwhile, are in a class of their own. That’s why it’s so important to choose the colour universe that fits your preferred style—before you begin choosing paint colours.

>> For more info: (Re)discover the wonders of neutrals!

Achieving A+ combinations with colour chips

Once you’ve pinned down the ambiance you want to achieve, start by choosing a dominant colour for the room. In general, it’s best to go with a neutral shade, as this colour will take up the largest portion of the space. This way, the dominant colour will pair pleasantly with any decor style. Then, consider harmonizing your furniture and accessories with the colours you choose.

You can find colour chips at your local hardware store. They’re a simple tool for choosing shades that will make your walls sing. Pick out your favourite chips and take them home to create the perfect combination. Don’t be afraid to pair cool tones with warm ones for a super-sophisticated, balanced effect.

To give you a hand, Sico has created sample duo and trio combinations for each and every shade in the Sico colour palette.

Pro tip

Tape chips of the colours you’re unsure about to your wall side by side and leave them there for 24 hours. Observe them at different times of day to see how they look in various lights.

Don’t forget that when you paint a wall with windows, it will be in shadow, so the colour will look darker. Keep this in mind when you’re selecting your shades!


Still unsure whether the colours you’ve chosen will look good together? Put them to the test with the Sico® Deco Colour Lab, which lets you see how the colour will look on your walls!

Test your colours