Use different shades of one neutral color. Take a paint chip from the beige family and use all the colors on it. This will give you a wide range of neutrals.
I am a sucker for a warm color. My living room has beige walls with a red accent wall and red and brown pillows. Warm colors against a neutral backdrop create a "pop" that will make it look as if a professional has been to your house.
You can make yourself forget where you live and feel as if you are at the beach instantly by creating a beachy cottage look. Use white and light blues or greens with sandy-colored accents. (I have to tell you this is probably my favorite look!)
Jewel Toned Romance
Jewel tones are deep, saturated colors such as emerald green, ruby red, amethyst purple, and sapphire blue. I think of Indian-inspired rooms when I think of jewel tones. These are very romantic colors, but beware of using too much of them! Because they are so saturated, it's very easy to overwhelm your eyes with them.
Fun and Playful
Using bright colors is a fun way to liven up a room. I like the orange, teal, green, pink, and white used in this playroom. Your kids would never want to leave if you used these colors in their playroom (and you might not either)!
Do you like these color schemes? Do you have other favorites? Let me know about them!