Almost every room has a pattern in it. It might be in a picture, a rug, a bedspread or the fabric on a favorite chair. Use the colors in this pattern to come up with the color palette from which you will work. Remember, it's much easier to start with a pattern and determine a color scheme than try to find a pattern to fit into a given color scheme later on.
From within your pattern pick three colors: a light, medium and dark color. These three colors will form the foundation of your palette. Lighter colors should be used as a background. If a color seems too vivid, it can be "knocked down" with a touch of gray or white. The floor color should be a bit darker than the walls and ceiling. This helps "ground" the room. Window coverings and large furniture pieces should have the medium-tone color, especially if it has a tinge of the wall color mixed into it. Darker colors should be used as accents, i.e., accessories and small furniture pieces. Use these for "punch" and distribute them evenly throughout the room. Be sure to take into consideration any existing pieces that will remain in the room as well as the various wood finishes present.
The feeling of a room can be created by using different combinations of color. By rotating the three colors, you can place greater emphasis on the background or furniture. Typically your eye will gravitate towards the darker, deeper colors such as burgundy, red or royal blue.
Always check how the colors you choose look in both natural and incandescent light to be sure you're using the right color for your tastes.
For a calm, quiet room, select a neutral color like brown or gray and apply different shades or values of that color to various elements of the room. This approach is pretty popular because it allows you to vary the look of the room by changing the accents and accessories. You can add interest to the room by using a variety of textures on the floor, walls and furniture.
For a relaxing effect, select a color scheme composed of related colors: greens and blues or rose and peach are two examples. Keep the strength of the colors similar for a pleasing look.
Use colors that strongly contrast one another to create a stimulating, lively environment. You can select similar colors in their dark, vivid hues or select complementary colors.