What I used to do: Go to the paint store, preferably right before closing since I decide at 9:30pm that I have to paint a wall TONIGHT. Go through a few tiny paint chips. Buy a gallon of one color. Try it out on the wall when I get home and since I've already spent $25 on a gallon, I use it whether I like the color or not.
These days, the paint stores have made it easier on us. First of all, the paint chips are often quite large to give consumers a better idea of what the color looks like. Better yet, though, they have made small paint samples inexpensive and easy to acquire. A 7-8 oz jar (around $3) is enough to put several large squares all over the wall so you can test the color. You want to make sure it doesn't clash with the Picasso, right? So instead of jumping in both feet first, you can buy a few jars and try on that apple green or sky blue.
|Near the front door.|
I recommend trying the colors out in multiple locations.
|Next to the lamp. And also on the back wall near dark furniture.|
|On a wall in the dining room.|
I also held up some art pieces I own to make sure the colors go together well. One painting didn't look so good with the gold, so it will have to be in the living room instead.
The Warm Gold will definitely go in the dining room now, and the Cayman Bay was a hit for the living room. While the blue is moodier than I had expected, I wanted something dramatic, and this shade fits the bill. So now we're in the process of covering up holes and taping the windows for primer.
P.S. If you'd like to see the paint chips and examples, see this post.