One Word: Color
If you’re longing for color on your walls but stymied by the rainbow of options, we’re here to help. Paint pro Eve Ashcraft, author of the book The Right Color (Artisan, due out in October 2011), says the key to success is approaching a room with a complete paint palette, rather than slapping up a single shade. “You don’t listen to music one note at a time, and you don’t see colors one at a time,” Ashcraft explains. “It’s all about relationships, combinations, and context.” Need examples? Here are four—in blue, yellow, green, and red—devised especially for Real Simple readers. Copy these palettes for walls, ceilings, and trim, or get inspired to create your own.