Tips for transforming a room with color

Peachy orange, mud brown, browned yellow, and faded gray were the sad colors decorating our home when we bought it. I knew they had to go. I poured over paint chips for a month, carrying them around with me, finding matching accessories, and debating about shade variances before I committed to a connected interior paint palette that transformed every room in our home. Trendy colors are fun, but they're like one-night stands or summer flings. When you paint a room you have to find a color you'll love, like a long-term partner.

Stop! Look! Love! - Red is the one color that will add vitality to any room. For the color shy, choose one red wall, a red door, or cheat with a red accessory. The color with only a hint of red I used for my kitchen accents is a dark copper penny hue. I do have a red vase in my kitchen, which although bright, is also comforting.

Keep calm, carry on in blue - Rooms which need tranquility need blue. Blue is a naturally soothing color that can help you wash away stress. Do you feel like your bathroom is a frantic place in the morning? Choose a blue that reminds you of water. Keep it serene with a matching palette of sea glass green and frosted white accessories. Blue walls in a child's rooms or the master bedroom provide a quiet backdrop reminiscent of twilight, starry nights, or cool waters.

My son picked out his own blue wall color, from a palette I pre-selected. He picked his light, but bright blue immediately and never wavered from his choice even when I asked him again. Although he was three at the time, he still loves the blue and isn't ready to change it yet.

Connect with green, naturally -

If you find peace in the outdoors, walking through the woods or picnicking in a green meadow, green paint colors can be comforting. My favorite room in my home has lots of windows and views of tall trees. The walls are a smoky green, a color I did not have in my original choices.

Look up - Painting the ceilings is the best way to transform a room into a fresh, airy space. Don't ignore that large expanse above your head, especially if you're painting the rest of the room.

* If you're feeling bold, use barely tinted whites on the walls and punch up the ceiling with a solid color.

Look down - If you have decent wood floors, paint them. All white will give you a cottage look. Painting floors gray may make them look like concrete, which is great for an industrial, modern look. Grays are versatile, and can be warm or cool, as well as calming.

Show your style - When you want to transform a room from okay to stylish, think in black in white. It looks smart contemporary in any room, in any style living space, from a cozy cottage to a large home or loft apartment.

Traditional, yet fresh - If you're not into black and white, consider another sharp combination: blue and white. Depending the shades of blue and white you choose, you can transform a room into being more formal (navy, indigo, royal, or any darker blue), casual and relaxing (sky blue), playful and energetic (aquamarine, turquoise).

More from this contributor:

Shades of Gray Paint You Could Love Today

2013 Benjamin Moore's InterFlow Color Palette

Colors that Grow with Them: Top Hues for Boys' Bedrooms