So about this new project... while I can't give away any of the details just yet - thanks to the homeowner's love for suprise and need to unveil - I can offer some things to keep in mind when dealing with what seem like an overwhelming redecoration project.
Repainting and recommending design choices for an entire downstairs home (kitchen, dining room, family room, living room, half bath and hallway).
An open(ish) floorplan that needs to be modern yet traditional, relaxing yet polished, cozy yet sleek, colorful yet not over-the-top and kid-friendly yet grownup. I know, I know, deep breaths.
Keep it simple. When choosing paint color for an open floorplan, stick with 2-3 colors that compliment and enhance each other. Keep it neutral at the center of the space and have the color branch off depending on how the floorplan is. For rooms you'd like to have a little color but are nervous it may look too over-the-top, choose walls that aren't seen from other rooms and incorporate one of the other colors into the motif to maintain continuity.
Having trouble picking out colors? Check out colour lovers and take note of what palettes your eye tends to gravitate towards.
Color doesn't always have to be on the wall. Even if you are a bright color lover, take a step back before deciding to paint all your walls bright yellow and purple. In my opinion, wall color should be used to either portray a certain tone, define a section of space or complement a function of the room. In other words, think about what you will be doing in the space and then try to illustrate the mood or what you would like to accomplish in a color.
Using a room to hangout, chillax and watch some tube? Opt for more earthy, grounding colors to keep things at a slower pace. Then, use accessories to incorporate the vibrant colors you know and love.
Try to keep one focal point per room. When thinking about space design, pick one piece you love or one task you need to have within the room, use it as inspiration and design around it. It's a lot easier to make choices when they are surrounding something stationary.
Can't seem to narrow the focal points down? See if you can combine or cluster into one area (i.e. couch + kid's artwork). It helps balance the room, allowing the eye to begin browsing at a specific point and roam freely and easily around the space.
Always aim to fix at least one functional issue. When you're at the point of redecorating, chances are something aside from the colors isn't quite working the way you'd like in the space. Think of all of the functionally annoying issues within the space and give yourself a goal of minimizing or (better yet) alleviating at least one. And it doesn't always (or ever) have to be "I need more space" or "I need a bigger TV". Challenge yourself to think of the daily annoyances you've been living with over the years that small tweaks can avoid. For example, "I don't have a place to read" or "there's always a glare on the TV". That way, the solutions are easier and more economical to accomplish.