Even for the most experienced decorators, choosing colors can be a time-consuming task. That's why so many pros tend to stick with their favorite shades. Here, we share our editors' fail-safe combos , plus tips on selecting the right white for trim, walls, and ceilings. Finally, we've included a downloadable PDF with color selection tips and even more color palettes to try.
Why we love it: There's something quite cheerful about aqua yellow. However, the combo isn't so high-voltage that you'll tire of it quickly. Mix in cool, grayish whites and pale greens for variety.
Where it works: These colors are best for brightening up small spaces, such as a sunroom.
For big impact: Paint or paper walls in yellow, using a grayish white semigloss paint on the trim. Add turquoise accents with lamps or pillows.
For a small dose: Hang turquoise and yellow towels in a neutral bath. Or arrange bright yellow flowers in aqua vases along your mantel.
Why we love it: Taupe and blue are soothing colors, yet they also have enough pop to keep a room from looking bland. They work with all kinds of styles too. Add oranges and off-whites in the form of draperies and pillows. Browns would also look pretty with this scheme.
Where it works: Just about anywhere -- these are classic colors that create nice visual flow.
For big impact: Paint walls and trim the same taupe color. Use semigloss for the trim and an eggshell finish on walls. This makes rooms look larger.
For a small dose: Consider icy blue on the ceiling. Paint the interior backs of bookcases burnt orange. Switch out mats on artwork for ones in this neutral family.
Why we love it: Fresh and pretty describe this salmon pink and spring green combination. Creamy beige and chocolate brown accents will keep the palette sophisticated, not childish.
Where it works: Great for bedrooms and baths. With the addition of brown, this combo will also go in more formal living spaces.
For big impact: These shades are a little strong for the walls, but on a sofa or chair they make quite a statement. You could also use this scheme for window treatments.
For a small dose: Paint a piece of furniture pink to bring spark to a neutral bedroom wall. Add pillows to perk up a dull living room sofa or chair.
• As a general rule, warm wall colors, such as red and yellow, call for a warm trim color, such as a bone white. Cool hues look best with brighter whites.
• To avoid a stark look, use warmer shades of white with hints of yellow or brown for the walls, and then go a little darker on the trimwork.
• The more sunlight there is in a room, the brighter the white will look. In a windowless spot, consider a crisper hue to lighten the area.
• If you want rooms to flow easily from one to another, use the same color on trimwork and similar tones on walls throughout your interiors. But if you want to create separation in a space, vary the hues.
• Add drama by painting the ceiling the same color as the walls or trimwork. Experiment with shades to update a room.