With the three basic colors—trim, ceiling, and flow—chosen, the next step is to test any other colors you are considering against them. "Maybe you decide to stick to just those three colors," says Clements. "Some people want a really calm scheme." For the public spaces in your house, she suggests a limit of five colors—the three basics plus one or two more, perhaps to highlight kitchen cabinetry or a powder room. In private spaces, you can add more. "In kids' rooms or master bedrooms, the choices become much more personal and expressive."
Shown: The orange tones in the fir moldings and casings in the living room are enhanced by apricot-gold walls.