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Compliment or Complement?

Which is the right spelling? Compliment or Complement? It depends, as follows...

Spellcheckers are no help regarding compliment or complement. Some information sources claim (incorrectly) that they are the same word, or alternative spellings of the same thing. This is not true. The words "compliment" and "complement" are different words, with different meanings. It's only the fact that they are just one letter different that causes confusion and the belief that they are the same word. Anyway, here's the difference, in examples:

Supposing someone visits your home and says "You have very nice decor!", then that is a compliment. They saying nice things to you, paying you a compliment.

Now supposing they comment "You've got the cushions and the curtains in the same colour scheme. They complement each other!". Here the meaning is that they match, or go together well. Things that complement each other aren't merely the same, but are things that go together well. For example, fish and chips.