Test your color choice."We talk about colors as individuals, but in reality, you never see them individually but always in the context of other colors," says Leslie Harrington. For example, that lavender paint chip looks dramatically different in the store than it does beside your furniture and rugs. Designer Chris Barrett has chosen a light purple to evoke serenity in this bedroom.
Paint a board with your chosen color and place it on each wall — against a neutral shade, not the wall color it will replace. If you like your choice (and you've lived with it for a couple days), paint the walls and put the furnishings back in place for the full effect. "If you've made a conscious decision, it will all come together in the end," designer Vincent Smith-Durham says. "And if it doesn't? It's just a coat of paint. You can always change it."