Color Rules for Small Spaces

When it comes to coloring your apartment, it's definitely okay to go outside the lines.

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Don't Forget Black

Whatever colors you choose for your small space, add one object that is black, says designer McCauley. "The black item — say, in a torchere lamp or a frame — will help ground the space and clarify the other colors. Try it, it works!"

Experiment With Color

Before you start slapping paint all over the blank canvas that is your apartment walls, consider these "baby-step" options.

- Experiment with 2-ounce samples. Many paint companies, including California Paints and Benjamin Moore offer them. That's enough paint to cover a 1’ by 2’ area, which should give you a good idea of what your chosen hue really looks like. Make sure to view it in natural and artificial light.

- Check out HGTV.com's My Color Central to find the color that suits your mood — and your space. You can check out various color combos via interactive color guides at BenjaminMoore.com, www.Farrow-Ball.com and www.Behr.com.

- Use photos of your own apartment and mix and match paint colors with Benjamin Moore's Personal Color Viewer CD. Visit www.BenjaminMoore.com for details.

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