Inspiring interior design color schemes are the hallmark of hip hotels, but you don't have to stay in one to pick up a good room color scheme. Just start your 'puter & visit a few travel sites :-)
The interior color combinations on this page are color charts I picked up while traveling (mostly) in Europe.
However, it doesn't make the slightest bit of difference for the quality of a room color scheme where you got it from, as long as you ...
... use it with gusto !
(Check out more great color combinations here!)
↑ French interiors are a mix of refined elegance and don't-mess-with-me panache. Dramatic, saturate red is a fave accent color. And in case you're not into room color combinations that involve any kind of purple, just create a gentle, grey-white-charcoal room color scheme and use lipstick red for details (say, a glorious armchair). It works beautifully.
Best wall colors: Milky white, chalky grey, pale greyed lavender.
Best wood stain: Antique oak.
↑ Provençal interiors are often dominated by warm sandstone walls and cotto floor tiles - even in elegant country houses. Light blue (not purple!) is the most-used color for wooden shutters, and yellow ochre (which used to be quarried in the area) is still used as a color for painting walls, inside and out. (Click here for more French country color schemes.)
Best wall colors: Chalky white, ochre (red or yellow), soft sandstone.
Best wood stain: Antique walnut.
↑ London is brimful of original Victorian housing stock, row upon row built from quasi-identical blueprints. Interior design color schemes, however, vary greatly: many fine houses and hotels look pale and interesting on the inside, whereas others are boldly colorful, experimental and totally-out-there (thus much more interesting).
Best wall colors: Any color you personally like. (No, seriously.)
Best wood stains: Reclaimed pine [floorboards], antique oak [furniture, unless it's painted].
↑ Okay, so this color combination chart is definitely not from Europe. But it's too amazing to leave out!
The ancient hill fort of Jaisalmer in Rajasthan (India) is a place right out of a fairy tale. It is built entirely of yellow-golden sandstone and has incredibly dreamy views over the surrounding Thar Desert.
The traditional houses have mud floors, and walls may be whitewashed - but it's the rugs and textiles that 'explode' the earth tone color scheme into a riot of color.
The left (orange/pink/fuchsia) side of the above color chart has traveled all the way to Europe and the USA to start a career as a wedding color scheme. (Check out more interior color combinations with orange, brown, or blue!)
Best wall colors: White, tan, golden brown.
Best wood stains: Antique mahogany, ebony.
↑ Denmark, one of the centers of mid-century furniture production, remains a design hotspot with hotels full of iconic pieces by famous designers like Hans Wegner, Arne Jacobsen, and Poul Kjærholm. I love how this room color scheme manages to look calm and elegant yet intriguing: You could 'read' it as a slightly muddied, red-green split-complementary color scheme (with a few clean greys thrown in).
Best wall colors: Pale celadon, chalky grey.
Best wood stains: Mahogany, antique cherry.
The Swedes are continuing their love affair with mid-century design as well - here are two interior design color schemes inspired by retro colors:
↑ The cool thing about these two interior color combinations is that you don't need all the colors of either chart for the scheme to look good. Just pick a few hues and they will make a splash - particularly in carefully edited, clean-lined interiors.
Best wall colors: Any of the above (lighter is more liveable; bold is good for an accent wall). Best wood stains: Teak, reddish browns.
↑ For dramatic Italian interiors you need gold, lots of gold! As well as damask, silk, and other shiny things! If you're looking to create a suitably operatic effect but don't want to spend a fortune on giltwood antiques, oils and marble, don't despair - go BIG with color.
Allocate your resources to things where quality matters most: A fabulous rug, amazing wallpaper, a marble tabletop (on reclaimed table legs). Find the most gorgeous wall paint, use 'textile' paint effects (like suede) - you could even create a golden feature wall. Go for a sumptuous, tactile experience.
No one will even notice that you don't own a Tintoretto.
Best wall colors: Any of the above.
Best wood stains: Anything dark & gorgeous.
And here's some more inspiration for interior design color schemes: