guest bedroom with saffron yellow orange walls and built in bed
Photo: Alex Hayden
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Draw Your Own Maps

Clements says that homeowners can do their own color mapping with digital photos, tracing paper, and markers. Take a digital photo of a room and print it out as an 8-by-10 photo (or larger). Tape the photo to a window, place a piece of tracing paper over the photo, and outline the room's structural elements and architectural features only—walls, ceiling, floor, cabinetry.

Next, take the paint chips of the palette you are considering and go to an art-supply store and match markers or pencils to the chips as closely as possible. Fill in the colors and see what you think. She also suggests investing $5 per chip for the oversize 18-by-24-inch paint chips offered by some paint manufacturers. "Tape the big chips to the wall, bend them around corners, and you'll get a sense of how the color looks in various light conditions," says Clements.

Shown: A saffron yellow-orange covers the walls of the guest bedroom, where the built-in bed is finished in the golden olive trim color; both enhance the orange tones of the wood floor. Off-white covers the ceiling.
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