1 RIED &TRUE ABOVE: Take advantage of an existing chair rail and enliven your dining room with two complementary colors. Contrast lighter and darker colors for drama. If you like a subtle look, choose two shades of the same color. To visually anchor the space, paint the darker color or shade below the chair rail to give the effect of painted wainscoting. Even if you are moving into a new house, its unlikely you’ll start totally from scratch when you choose your color palette and paint colors. DINING FOR LARGE GROUPS Usually, you are working with some givensa favorite painting, upholstered furniture, collections of pottery or platesor, in the recently redecorated older home shown here, a handsome needlepoint rug. Pulling a wall color from a rug is a favorite tried-and-true decorator trick, as wall colors are easy to mix. And, shopping for a rug to match or blend with an existing wall color is notoriously difficult. Here, the homeowner took full advantage of the shades of taupe and black in a living room rug purchased for a previous house. For the color palette, three wall shades emerged that work well with existing furniture and art. The lighter taupe creates a serene background for collected furnishings and regional art in the living room. A darker shade of taupe, paired with slate black, gives instant drama to a previously small, drab dining room. The stylish two-tone effect emulates the look of wainscoting at the cost of a can of paint. Consider accessories and fabrics when you are searching for a mood-creating wall color.