A fresh coat of paint is the easiest way to add colour to a dull drab room. But finding the perfect paint isn't as simple as picking a swatch. Canada AM home and décor expert Karl Lohnes answers four viewers' questions and shows them how to choose the right paint for their home.

From Tracey Fulham, Markham, Ontario: I'd like to add some colour to my bedroom but I'm afraid to commit. I was thinking about painting just one wall. Are focal walls out of fashion?

A focal wall of colour was a popular way to add colour to a room in the 1980's. The look of one burgundy or hunter green wall might look a bit outdated these days.

Today, the trend with focal walls is not to add colour to a room. Instead, add some drama by using dark or bright colours like painting a dark grey colour behind the big screen TV or painting a deeper colour behind the bed than what is in the bedding. They tend to act as a background to a headboard, television, china cabinet or other furnishings in a room.

What wall do you make the focal wall?

  • Bedroom -- behind the headboard.
  • Bathroom -- the wall with the mirror/lights.
  • Living room -- the wall with the fireplace or television wall.

From K. MacDonald, Fredericton, New Brunswick: I like to decorate with neutral colours and have heard that grey is the "new" neutral. I am not fond of grey and was wondering if there was another option for an updated neutral for rugs, furniture and walls?

There are many neutral colours and everyone tends to gravitate towards their own personal preference. Grey is considered a trendy neutral right now. But taupe, sand, beige, cream, white, olive and browns are all neutral colours too.

  • Look around your house to see what neutral colour you have in your home and stick with it.
  • If you want to be on-trend, then grey is the colour to choose and grey can be warm or cool.
  • You can also find some grey accessories to add to your favourite neutral.

From Andrea in Winnipeg, Manitoba: I'd like to add some colour to my living room by investing in an area rug. Should I choose the colour of the area rug from the accessories in the room, wall colour or furnishings?

An area rug should look like you have had it for years. It is one of the investment pieces in a room that will be with you for a very long time.

Since accessories trends and colours change every three to five years, you might want to look towards any artwork that you have invested in or have gravitated towards.

  • For instance, if you like soft-coloured water colour paintings then a rug with soft tones will work well in the room.
  • If you like strong Van Gogh-style oil paintings then deeper colours (like in a Persian-style rug) would work best.
  • If you like modern, black-and-white art then simple, graphic rugs will look great.

From Susan in Halifax, Nova Scotia: What is the trick to finding the perfect colour for the walls?

Look at the colour of your sofa or drapes -- the largest colour and pattern choice in the room. The third colour that you see in your fabric is the colour to paint the walls! The resin is the first two colours -- they're the fashionable ones. The third colour always ties the first two together.