Jean Molesworth Kee's architectural color consulting business, the Painted Room, has been around for 10 years. Kee, who blogs about color at www.paintedroom.com, works primarily with homeowners. She charges $125 per hour for initial consultations.
Here are a few of her color and painting recommendations.
1. Go online for color inspiration. Kee is using Pinterest (www.pinterest.com/paintedroom) to organize ideas. She keeps boards on the major colors she uses in her jobs. Tools such as Flickr and Google Images, as well as design blogs, help people visualize what colors look like in homes.
2. Test several trim and ceiling colors. There is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all white. Kee has a go-to list of white paints she finds versatile. A few of her favorites: C2 Cotton, Sherwin-Williams Alabaster and these by Benjamin Moore: Acadia White, Simply White, Cloud White, White Down, White Dove.
3. Consider painting the ceiling the same color as the walls. Using the same paint on both surfaces gives a contemporary feel.
4. In tiny spaces, think about a shot of bright color instead of an entire room. For condominiums and apartments, consider using blocks of color to define space. She suggests painting interior doors and, on occasion, accent walls.
5. Factor in wood-floor color. Wood-floor stains have different undertones. When selecting a room's color scheme, put paint samples and fabric swatches next to the floor, and check them in various lights.
6. Use high-quality paint chips. C2's poster-size Ultimate Paint Chips (18 by 24 inches, $8.99) can help you visualize what a color will look like in a room. Because the chips are painted rather than printed, Kee says, they show the true color as you look at them in various lighting conditions.