If there’s anything that can make or break a room, it’s the paint color — everything from narrowing down the perfect hue from hundreds of shades to, you know, the actual painting is a process. To help make the whole thing a little less overwhelming, we enlisted the help of Sarah Cole, the marketing director at Farrow + Ball for some much-needed guidance. The English paint and wallpaper manufacturer is one of the most trusted names in the biz, so you know these tips are legit. Before heading to Lowe’s, read her need-to-know advice.

Where to Start

“The key to choosing the perfect color for your home is to choose a color you love, and test it in the room where it will be used,” Cole tells us. “Think about the shape of the room, the architecture and the style you are trying to create. We always advise testing your color by painting a sample spot onto a piece of paper and putting it in different places in the room and at different times of the day so you can see how the changing light affects the color.”

Colors Affect Mood

“Cool grays with a blue undertone will create a very urban look while yellow-based neutrals create a pretty, country feel,” Cole says. “Calm blues and greens can create a relaxed environment, while rich darks will create a much more dramatic space.” Think about what you want the room to project before narrowing down the shades.

Tips for Living Rooms

Since the living room is where families spend most of their time, the color should be one that everyone truly loves. Forget the trends or bold color you see people using in magazines and think about what reflects your family. “Choose one that really fits your decorating style and makes the room one you will happily spend time in,” Cole advises. In other words, stop overthinking it.

Tips for the Bedroom

To give your boudoir a relaxing vibe, Cole recommends choosing a soothing color like watery blues and greens. Some of her favorite shades from Farrow + Ball are Teresa’s Green, Pavilion Blue and Pale Powder.

Tips for the Bathroom

Since bathrooms tend to be a smaller space, they’re great places to experiment with bolder colors. “Create a real impact and turn the bathroom into a cocooning space,” she says. Some colors she recommends are Brinjal, Hague Blue or Mole’s Breath.

Experiment Without Painting the Whole Room

Small touches of color can have big effects. Cole says a fun way to play with color is to paint a piece of furniture, like a dresser, in a rich color for a room that has mostly neutrals. If you’re an expert DIYer, you can even try using masking tape to paint stripes or patterns on furniture. Get inspired with these 16 dresser projects!

Got any of your own tips on picking the right color for the right room? Tell ’em to us in the comments below!