So, you've decided to freshen up a room, or your whole house, with some new paint. Let the search begin! There are so many options out there: brands, colors, finishes, etc. Do you want something with Low or No VOC's? Do you want something mildew resistant? Stain resistant? Easy to wash? Environmentally friendly? Eggshell, satin, or semi-gloss? Dark, light, or somewhere in the middle? Should you get something with the primer built in? So many decisions, so little sanity left!!
First of all, SLOW DOWN. Take a deep breath....exhale slowly...repeat until calm. Now, you want to start off thinking about the space you're painting. The kitchen: you'll probably want a semi-gloss or satin, something easy to wash, possibly stain resistant (depending on your cooking habits). Bathrooms are a good place to use something mildew resistant, and probably satin finish.
As for the environmental factor, that's completely up to you. Personally, I love green products because they make me feel like I'm doing something good for the environment by supporting companies that are smart and Earth friendly. The kitchen would definitely be a good place to use low or no VOC paint, so you won't have to deal with those terrible paint fumes; of course, it's also great for bedrooms, bathrooms, and any other room (in case you couldn't tell, I'm a fan of no VOC's).
Now, colors are a completely personal choice. Some people want light colors that are bright and cheerful, some want darker colors that are more dramatic. What's most important is choosing something you and your family will be able to live with for a long time (unless you really want to repaint again in 4 or 5 years when you realize you're sick of the color). Don't go by what's trendy, go by what you like.
Some things to keep in mind when picking colors: dark colors make a space look smaller, light colors make a space look bigger. Always remember to look at the paint you want in the space it will be used! Paint doesn't look the same in every light, so make sure you know how it will look where you'll be putting it.
When you paint a room, don't forget about the ceiling. Changing the ceiling color can do incredible things to a space. If you have a large room and want it to feel more cozy and intimate, a darker color on the ceiling can help create that. Or if you have a small space, but want something other than the boring white ceiling so many people have, go for a lighter tint of the color you're using on the walls.
Remember, when it comes to paint, pick something that makes sense for the space, something you like, and something that will last for years. Need any more paint color suggestions, just ask!