1. Start by picking out the color on the bottom of the paint card.
The room I'm using as an example has these red curtains. A little red goes a long way, so I don't want to paint the whole room red. I'm just going to use that as my guide. It looks like Exotic Red matches it pretty well. So I start there, at Exotic Red. What do I do next?
2. Go all the way to the top. Don't stop at that pretty third one, keep going, keep going. Ok, that one. The very lightest color. That's the color you want. On my paint card that is 50's Pink.
Seem strange? This gives you the best chance at getting the "right color" for your space. If you don't like that bottom color, then move on to the next one. The bottom color is essentially the hue while the ones going up are that same color with white added to it. If you don't like the bottom color, then you won't like the one at the top.
Another good rule of thumb is to never allow a room to be dominated by the paint color. Dark, heavy colors can work in small rooms or as accent colors, but in large doses all these saturated colors do is to create a feeling that you are in a "fill in the blank color" room. I always like to think of the fact that people and furniture, art and accessories are color too, and all of those things are going in that space together. It can really get crowded!
3. Go and get actual samples of at least two colors. Paint a large rectangle of each color on multiple walls in the room. This is one of the most important steps in painting. First of all, a color on a paint deck is an ink printed color. A color mixed in your paint store is a resin. Two very different mediums. Second, the color in your room changes according to the light present in the room. Daylight from sun or filtered from cloud cover can easily change how it looks. A room with a large window will make the color appear one way and another way in a dark hallway. So I highly suggest living with it. Make sure that it makes you happy, that your comfortable with it in all lights.
4. Use only Benjamin Moore paints. I can't say this enough. You are getting a high quality paint and the truest color for a little bit more money. Sherwin William's can't even do this for you. I know, HGTV recommends them, that is just clever marketing. Benjamin Moore produces their very own resins, they don't buy them from other people. They have complete control over the quality of their paint. Therefore the color you are getting is true and will actually last longer.
What if I can only afford the paint at Home Depot or Lowes? I've been there, but what happens is that you end up having to buy two gallons of the cheap stuff when one gallon of Benjamin Moore would have done the job. Don't waste your time or money.
So happy painting! And if you still can't decide, then it's time to call on an expert, like me!