The biggest general idea I took from my cache of borrowed books is from Sibella Court, stylist extraordinaire, in her second book, Nomad.
The idea? The 10-color palette. I remember watching an HGTV show years ago called Find Your Style, which was organized around the principle that you can create your own interiors using a fool-proof palette of four materials--including color. I always thought this was so limiting--it generally came down to one wood tone, one metal, and two colors--though the designer always pulled off great transformations.
Sibella's 10-color palette feels much more in keeping with my design sensibility, and leaves room to get specific about shade.
Beautiful, right? These palettes are inspired by different locations (from top: Mexico, Greece, and Japan). I went a little more local and pulled the palette from my own home.
14. (And I definitely left out some shades of orange and yellow.) Looks a little crazy, doesn't it? But somehow, with the right repetition through my spaces, it works.
This was a really fun little exercise! How many colors do you think you have in your home? Go count: You might be surprised by the answer.