I’m sure you’ve read all the “rules” of choosing color for your interiors. Two rules I break almost all the time are “Don’t pair too many colors in the room, or you might make it feel cold,” and “Don’t just use tan or beige in your room or it might look boring.”

Here is another concern I hear a lot: “Won’t my house look smaller if I select darker colors for the walls?”

Also “I’m afraid dark colors will make my house look dark.”

If you’ve been trying to select the right color palette for your home and you’re thinking, “I might be breaking all the color rules,” don’t worry. I break them all the time, and I’m a professional.

I encourage you to toss all the rules out the door.

Choosing colors by natural daylight is the only way to choose colors. Yes, it’s very important, but it’s not a rule. The only rule that makes sense is that color selections have to look good in daylight, during gray and rainy afternoons, as well as in artificial evening light. That is a rule I can live with.

Loving your home environment has to work in all conditions.

Always consider painting small sections of individual colors and look at them at different times of the day before you commit to painting an entire room.

Another rule that can be broken is that neutral colors are always safe. I’ve heard, “I can’t seem to find the right colors,” or “I am afraid of too much color, so I’m going with all boring and unadventurous neutrals.”

These people fear that their house will look lifeless, and in some cases, they are correct, but in other instances, it’s just the opposite. There are beautiful neutral colors that don’t have to stem from beige and tan.

Neutrals can be warm gold, rich camel browns, buttery cream colors and grays and soft green colors that tend to put a new twist on boring neutrals.

So, let’s consider some new rules. Trendsetters and designers have conflicting views on design rules, so I give the choice to the person that will be living in the space.

You need to be able to decide for yourself whether the colors you choose make the room feel welcoming and enjoyable to stay in or if they make you feel uncomfortable and frustrated.

If you still feel that you can’t decide, then consider bringing in a color and design specialist to help you find colors and combinations of colors that work well together and speak to your home lifestyle and comfort zone.

Diamond Riegel is an interior design consultant and owner of Designs by Diamond, Bluffton. diamondbydesign@aol.com