I was at Home Depot several weeks ago, picking up a quart of paint for the trim in my bathroom, and was astounded by a horrified scene. Several women, looking very overwhelmed and frustrated, were waiting for paint to get mixed. Being the naturally curious person I am, I spied over my shoulder, intrigued by their choices. One woman was obviously painting a good chunk of her house, judging by the gallons of paint filling her cart. I looked at the drying spots of color on each can, and prayed she was painting a daycare or playschool. Now , I realize color is very subjective, and contrary to the name of my store, I LOVE color. There was tweety bird yellow, a nasty blue, and a bright green. My mind raced as I imagined where these colors would go, and if she would be pleased with the result, or be so frustrated she would just live with it.
Another woman was waving an old paint stick, that looked like it had been unearthed from a crypt, trying desperately to match her paint from her old house from 10 years ago. I wanted to clutch her and scream "The color had aged! It won't match!" but my voice caught in my throat. I wanted to give her a business card, but feared I would get kicked out, leaving paintless.
Choosing paint colors is one of the most difficult feats, but can result in an inexpensive upgrade. Given the cost of paint, a 1 hour consultation with a professional can eliminate any guesswork. For instance, you want grey, but do you want a warm or cool grey? Green undertones or blue? It's not uncommon after a bad experience to just default to white, which is actually one of the trickiest colors to get right.
A professional will get a feel for what tones you gravitate to, keeping in mind light, furnishings, and lifestyle. Are your walls uneven and in bad shape? Maybe matte is a better option.
It's a small investment... unless you really just want white.