I was looking to create a masculine, intellectual, artistic space for reading and playing music. Charcoal gray on the walls was the right color to help lay that character foundation. To keep the space from getting too moody, however, I came back in and painted the bookshelves in a bright red.
Colors used in my room:
Walls: Sherwin-Williams Sealskin Bookshelves: Sherwin-Williams Real Red
Tips for using color successfully:
Think about what characteristics you want your space to have, then guide yourself towards colors that support those characteristics. Every color, and color combination, has a personality. Use color to help you create the feel you want. And when you think you've gone too far in one direction with your primary color, come back in with a second and third color to help tweak the mood to exactly what you want. In this space, the charcoal walls could have been too moody on their own without the addition of the reds, greens and cream.