I saw Martha Stewart (of all people I would be featuring - I can't believe it!) on the Today Show doing a segment on how to choose the right paint color. She said something that really rang true to me because it's what I believe and practice whenever I'm doing a scheme.
The idea is that you should always choose a color with a little "dirt" in it. That's to say, a slight bit of beige or grey in the paint formula so that the effect is softer. This is because the light in the room and the four walls reflecting off of each other intensify the color and can come off really garish (i.e. school bus yellow, lollipop orange, bubblegum pink). Maybe those are great for an accessory or pillow for a pop of color...but not the whole room.
There are a lot of pretty rooms that illustrate this on the Martha Stewart Paints website.
Love the soft coral wall, spiced up by brighter orange in blue/gray cabinet.
I'm not a big fan of neutrals, but I find the softness of this room with it's pickled wood walls, natural linen draperies and upholstery, with the punch of turquoise pillows very appealing.
Probably the paint chip for this pink looks more like pinky beige, but the luminosity of the room lights it up to a delicious rosy glow.
Another wonderful combination of soft beiged-down coral (not lollipop orange) with cloudy blue. Although I would definitely eliminate the orange plastic chair even if it is Philippe Starck.
Here again the paint chip probably looks like a muddy gold-beige, but the effect in the room is a wonderful glowy yellow.
This is a perfect example of a bright color giving a great impact, but the orange has definite brown undertones that make it rich and warm without overpowering the small space.
I've heard many funny stories about Pepto Bismol pink walls and the like, but it just goes to show that selecting paint colors off of a tiny square chip can be quite difficult. Here is a great tip to keep in mind when selecting a color.
Have a wonderful weekend! I'm off to High Point tomorrow and will be back next week with pictures and inspiration.