Test a Color! You test drive a car, why not test drive a color?
When you're not certain of the which color you want to paint a room, you can always try a color test by painting small patches on the wall to see if you like the color. I believe using the color from a quart can gives the truest representation of what a color will look like in the environment it is placed.
The trick to selecting the right color is to see through the existing wall color and eliminate the shading and cascading effect of the original wall color. This maybe very difficult to visualize. I have painted over 9100 projects and have had the opportunity to see color selected at least that many times, probably more. What that has given me is the opportunity to see the lighting, variation in the texture, cascade and eventual evolution of the customers reaction many times over. I'm amazed at how few people initially consider my opinion, but after several hours or several attempts at selecting a color for their painting project, they suddenly ask my opinion. It's not that I have the answers, I've just been there before and can explain what is happening in the background and what the elements are that are changing the light and how that will impact the final suggestion.
Here are some things that you can do to eliminate the guess work:
1. Isolate the light to reflect your small sample and the items that will be placed in the room around the wall or trim paint color. These items will reflect the colors you are drawn to and will best give you a compatible color.
2. Prime the room a neutral color! Who says the first coat of paint can't be close to the color you want, or an off white color so you can better see your sample.
3. Paint the Ceiling White. This has a magic way of giving you a reference of what is happening with the light value in the room. A terrific reference point for White Balance.
4. Get another opinion. Maybe you just don't have the time to explore the options, let someone else make the decision. This is a great wine and cheese event!
5. Call a color professional. If it matters call a professional colorist or someone who has a vast amount of experience in selecting colors. Not just someone who sees color well, but someone who has been through the process hundreds of times.
Or if you want some advise in the Desert, give me a call I've worked in Ironwood, Trilogy, Bighorn, and other communities like these in the Palm Springs/ Palm Desert/ La Quinta area