A commenter asked about what colors we used and how we decided on them so I thought I would go room by room (and hallway) to talk about where I get inspiration and how I turn it into a color palette.
First up: Living Room
When Conan and I first started dating I was introduced to his massive National Geographic collection and it was such a large part of who he was so we agreed that they should be a big part of the living room. The shelves were designed specifically with them in mind. I kept the wall color very muted because of all of the colorful books but very warm so that it looks cozy by lamp light. I wanted this room to feel like the inside of a little boy's cigar box. Full of treasures and pretty pictures. Basically, I think this is a good rule of thumb for anyone when painting or decorating. Choose something meaningful and go from there. The warm wall color picks up the yellow in the National Geographic collection and little touches of yellow here and there.
Wall Color: Olympic "Crumb Cookie"
The Dining Room
When I found that picture down there I loved how the black looked against the gray so gray it was (I knew already I was painting those doors black). Against the white trim the walls look even more gray. I wanted the colors of this room to be rich but understated and let the accessories like the shiny brass switchplate and the crystal doorknob shine. Another good rule of thumb when choosing paint: If there's something in the room that you are drawn to, highlight it - even if that means painting it black. Also, consider everything in the room-the radiator, the switchplates-as part of the color palette.
Wall Color: Olympic "Ash Mist"
Door Color: Olympic "Black Magic"
This one's pretty straightforward and again, like the dining room, when you put this paint next to white trim it really changes the color. It's almost a minty green and against the dark wood doors in the hall it reminds me of mint chocolate chip ice cream!
Wall Color: Valspar "Luna"
The only thing I knew for certain about this room is that I wanted a black iron bed in it. The color palette was secondary. After what seemed like a million trips to the DAV I finally got ahold of one (without rails) for a cool $20. I found another one like a week later (dang it all) with rails and bought it for $10. And thus, my crazy, cat-lady-like hoarding of iron beds began. In my mind this bed was always covered in quilts and I used those two pictures up there to guide me. Luckily, my mother in law made a lot of quilts so we have a nice sized stack in the closet of this room, just waiting for chilly guests : )
Wall Color: Dutch Boy Berry Float