Now more than ever, you want the color palette in your home to inspire tranquility and a sense of welcome—and perhaps a bit of the mischief, cheerfulness, or downright humor that speaks to your personality.

Designers and decorators suggest these tips for picking a perfect color palette:

Start from a focal point. Whether it's a color in a rug or patterned upholstery that you already have, or color in a large piece of artwork, pluck out the hue you love and use it as a base color choice.

Take a cue from your clothes. Or, since most people buy clothes in colors they love and that flatter them, begin to 'dress' an empty room starting with your favorite color.

Use a color wheel. Whichever method you choose, incorporate the hues on the color wheel closest to your chosen color for walls, floors, furniture pieces, and accents.

Go with grays.
 Today's trendiest shade, a neutral gray works in any style interior. Its chameleon-like quality pairs beautifully with pale pastels or with kicky colors like hot pink, blue or citrus shades.

Use the designer rule of 60-30-10. Decorate a space by dividing the colors into components of 60 percent of a dominant color (walls), 30 percent of a secondary color (upholstery), and 10 percent of an accent color (accessories.)

Think black. Try a small pop of black, say in a lampshade or vase, to clarify the colors in a room.

Think white. When stuck for an accent color, white is a good choice to help bring colors together and open up space.

Showcase your style. Make a room uniquely yours by choosing accent pieces—pillows, artwork, floral arrangements, even a jar of candy—in colors that people will immediately appreciate because it reflects who you are.

Source: Reprinted with permission from RIS Media.

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