The wall color, being most in evidence as a background, covering a greater area than either ceiling or floor and serving as the connecting link between these, should be the determining factor in the selection of the color scheme and naturally would be decided first. The color of the wall should be selected after a diagnosis of such considerations as location, size, lighting and use of the room, and the recognized influence of color already discussed (pages 46 and 47). The color of ceiling, floor, and woodwork would then be chosen in relation to it.

If the color of the trim, which is really a part of the wall, has been determined first, the color of the wall should be related to it. Golden oak, cypress, and mahogany furniture limit the choice of the wall color to tones closely related to that of the wood. If a householder is already supplied with furniture of a decided character or color, the choice of color scheme is limited in the same way. The furniture in such a case will determine the color of the walls.

Woodwork painted to match the wall color increases the apparent size of the room; it also renders less conspicuous irregularities and poor design in doors and windows. Usually the woodwork may well be made a tone lighter or a tone darker than the wall. Paint for the woodwork in bedrooms or any room with a light color scheme should be toned; a cream or ivory tone is usually more gracious than a dead white.

If it is necessary to finish the woodwork before the wall color can be known, a neutral color is the only safe choice.