One of the easiest ways to improve the interior of your home is by painting the walls. Please notice that I’m not including painting the outside of a home in my easy-to-do statement. Exterior painting is far from easy and usually requires loads of prep work. While interior painting can require some preparation, usually what gives most people problems are the simple matters like choosing their paint colors.

Here are my top five tips for choosing your color schemes:

Number one – choose colors you like! If you don’t like a particular color, then don’t use it just because it is currently fashionable. Lime green was “the” color for 2008, but what is in today is often out tomorrow, and soon lime green will be “out”. Don’t feel obligated to go with what you think is the current trend, and if what you like is not in fashion, don’t worry, it soon will be.

Second, consider whether the room you’re painting will be easily seen from other rooms. If it is a completely closed off room, no problem, but you need to consider the other rooms if the room you are painting is connected to them. For example, my own home has a very open type of design, and the living room, dining room, and part of the kitchen can been seen the moment you enter. It wouldn’t do, for example, to paint the living room lime green and the dining room red. The rooms need to have some unity.

Third, don’t commit to a faux finish until you’ve practiced and educated yourself on the finishing process. Too many people have been disappointed by jumping into rag rolling or sponge painting thinking that by its nature it is a jumbled kind of mess so they couldn’t do it wrong – ha! Those folks ended up with nothing short of a mess on their hands. A faux finish can look lovely, but only if you’re sure of what you’re doing. Even sponge painting which is relatively simple requires some practice before you commit it to your living room walls.

Fourth, consider the 60-30-10 rule. Here, sixty percent of the chosen color in a room unifies the room’s pallet, thirty percent provides contrast, and ten percent provides that extra “umph!” that makes the room special. Frequently the way to pull this off is through your draperies. You choose a paint color that is in the pattern found in your draperies (assuming your draperies have a pattern) and pick the color you want to bring out most for the walls. You then take one of the lesser used colors found in the draperies and add accents throughout the room.

Using my own home again as an example, our dining room is maroon. We’d like to paint it, but the last people who painted did so on top of wallpaper, and we’re just not up to the work of stripping off that wallpaper, especially since we’re not sure of the quality of the plaster underneath it. Instead, we’ve lightened the room with a Jacobean print which incorporates the maroon on a creamy tan background. Also in the print is blue and green which we’ve sprinkled throughout the room. We have 60% of the room in maroon, 30% of the room in the cream/tan, and 10% of the room in blues and greens.

Fifth, look at the paint colors you like in different lights and against different items in your home. That being said, don’t be afraid to use this opportunity to rearrange the furniture or move some of your wall art to the attic for the time being.

That’s the best part about redecorating – you can freely change things up without necessarily having to get rid of anything, and if you don’t like the change – put it back! For that matter, if you paint the wall and hate the new color, the worse that can happen is that you’ll have to re-paint it. Considering all of the other blunders a person can make in this world, taking a chance that you might have to re-paint doesn’t seem like that big a deal now, does it?