How to Choose Colours

Begin at the Beginning
Determine what features or existing finishes in the room you would consider permanent. Consider the cabinets, tile or a brick fireplace. For example, if the wood of your kitchen cabinets has a red undertone, make sure the paint colour you choose works well with that hue.

Create a Focal Point
Emphasize your home's attractive architectural features, such as crown molding or arched window treatments, with contrasting paint — lighter or darker than the wall — or by painting them with a glossy finish. You can also make one wall an accent wall by painting it a different colour, giving it a faux finish, adding wallpaper or a border.

Unify the Colour Flow
You can unify rooms by using a common colour palette. Create distinct spaces by altering the shade and hue within the common palette.

Emphasize or Minimize
Colour can emphasize certain features - and minimize others. A long narrow room will look wider if you use a slightly darker colour on the shorter walls and a lighter colour on the longer walls. You can make a ceiling appear higher by applying a lighter colour, or lower with a darker colour. To give a big room a more intimate feel, paint the walls in colours that advance toward you, such as red, gold, orange and brown. To help a small room seem larger, paint the walls in colours that make them appear to recede, such as blue, green or violet.

Reflect on Light Sources
Remember that the colour you choose may look different at various times of the day and night. The warm tones of incandescent lights will have a different influence on the colour than the natural light of day. Once you're aware of how different light sources can affect your colour choices, you can change your room's "mood" to match the pace of your day.