1. start with the experts - I've found that many designers have a few colours that they use over and over. I figure they have go-to colours for a reason so why not start there. Candice Olson recently partnered with Benjamin Moore and put together her top 5 favourite neutrals. They are a great place to start when trying to decide on specific colours and let's face it they are just plain beautiful. Click the picture below to see more about her great picks.
2. use the fabrics from the room as a jumping off point
This is fabric I'm considering for my dining room chairs. The lighter blue and the white were "pulled out" of the fabric and used as the paint colours on the wall. I think this fabric would look fun as chair upholstery and tie the whole dining area together without looking too matchy-matchy. You could then pull out the darker blue/black and use that colour as accents in the room - candle holders and picture frames would be a great place to start.
3. don't be bashful - use those suggestion cards at the paint store. Hey, there's no shame in using these little booklets and they are a really great way to know what colours to put together. (unfortunately, I don't have a pictures of one of those little gems).
Here is the MOST IMPORTANT TIP ever!
Always, Always, Always paint a large square sample of paint on the wall in the room where it will be used.
I can't tell you how many blue colours we went through before we decided to go with Cloudy Sky in our bedroom. Seeing the paint in the actual lighting of the room will bring out its undertones. Believe it or not, the undertones that come out can actually change the colour. At first, I wanted to use the ever popular Cloud White by Benjamin Moore. Once I painted it on the wall I quickly saw that, in our lighting, the paint turned light green. Uh...that wasn't the look I was going for. I eventually settled on Atrium White because it stayed white in our lighting.
Save your time and money - do a test patch!
Happy paint picking everyone! I promise there are more pictures to come but there's a bunch of furniture in the way so it may take a bit. Patience - at least that's what I keep telling myself anyway.