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All the pretty colors....

So does anyone have any suggestions on how to figure out color schemes for a house?

I'm officially tired of white walls and the new house has a few.... ummm... interesting wall colors aside from white that I'd like to get rid of (a pink room is tops of that list ;). I'm going for a look along the lines of classical and refined meets spooky and quirky. I want it to look normal-ish (but stylish) at first glance but with lots of potentially odd/unsettling details thrown into the mix.

Unfortunately most of the home improvement places have fairly generic "pastel", "country", "french", etc... type colors and decors and none of them really do anything for me. Modern sometimes looks interesting, but it's often lacking in a style that I like. I've got a few color ideas, but I was hoping to find someplace(s) that had interesting color schemes etc... that I could crib off of. I'm not so sure that I'm ready to dive into the wonderful world of paint chips just yet :).

Suggestions and comments will be quite welcome...


I got hold of the Benjamin Moore color deck (good paint- not random shit, and NOT martha or ralph lauren).

I like dark, bold colors, but 1) we couldn't go so dark everywhere, and 2) we have a chair rail.

I ended up picking all the best really awesome jewel tones from the bottom (dark) row of the color deck, and finding a nice cream color strong enough to stand up to them two down from the top in the yellows/oranges section. I'm using the cream above the chair rail throughout the house, and putting the jewel tones on the bottom. So far it looks positively tasteful, and yet really Victorian. The chair rail is currently getting painted one color lighter than the cream from the same chip, meaning that it looks white, but isn't really. I'm really pleased with this approach, and would highly recommend it if you're having to think too hard.
And the nice cream color above the rail is great for showing off the Aht I've been collecting, and would make a kick-ass background for a good mural. When I'm done painting over the nasty white walls (should take a year or two) I may get on to making them more interesting...

That's actually one of the things I'm wondering about. What color(s) are useful as replacements for white and how do I coordinate them with darker colors? Right now, I'm leaning towards doing some fairly dark colors in the bedrooms and the basement but leaving most of the first floor and the upstairs hall area lighter so that I can hang "aht" on it (someday when I actually have "aht"). I'm definitely going to do a mural or two, but I'm not sure where yet.