Look to the largest pattern in a room for inspiration. A multi-hue or a piece of art can hand you an entire palette.
Think about the big picture to give a home flow. Weave the same colors throughout main spaces, but make the dominant color in one room an accent in another. You’ll be surprised at how different the rooms will look, yet how easily they flow.
Try this surefire guide for palette proportion. Think 60-30-10: 60 percent your primary color, 30 percent your secondary color, and 10 percent your accent. If you’re feeling daring, give yourself an extra 5 percent for a wild card-a just-for-fun surprise accent.
“Reading” Paint Chips (or Samples)
Look at the bottom color on the paint chip card. It’s the most intense and helps determine the color family and the undertone.
When you think you’ve found the right color on the strip, go a step or two lighter (pale colors will give you more flexibility for pairing with other colors).
The color you see on a paint chip is what you’ll get-but bear in mind that the paint chip is much smaller; the color will appear more intense on the wall.
The best way to see a paint chip’s true color is outdoors in natural light; if this isn’t possible, find a bright white halogen lamp (the lamp can “cool” some colors, but it’ll distort hues less than other lights do).
To use a fabric as a palette-starter, look for one with two contrasting colors (like pink and green), a surprise hue (yellow), and several neutrals to soften the combo.
“Does one person in the house like fall colors, while the other one prefers spring hues? Pick one color (like purple) and play around with the hues. You can have a dark plum wall, a neutral sofa and lavender pillows to represent both.”-Jessica Brende
For more info, go to www.brendehome.com.
Source: “34 secrets to choosing and using color” by Jody Garlock-Better Homes and Gardens, March 2012