When you build your new modular home, your dealer will be back in one year to check on your home, and because of the house settling, they will fill in any cracks in the walls or ceiling. They will ask you to wait that year before you paint, so that you don't have to re-paint where the cracks have been filled. Houses settle, and new houses settle a lot.
I was sitting in our living room one day, about a month after living in our home I noticed a big line across the ceiling. Of course being all house proud and surrounded with the comfort and bliss of my new home, I was shocked and horrified! But no need to worry, the builders will fill that. However, this exactly why they suggest you don't paint. You're gonna have to paint over the filled in cracks.
We couldn't live without any color on the walls for a year, so we decided it would be worth it to paint before we moved in, and just touch up after the inevitable settling. It's really no big deal - we've had to touch up the paint around the house all of our lives. Paint gets dingy and scratched and cracks appear all the time. All it takes is a little fresh paint and about 15 minutes of your time to touch up. Just remember to save your left over paint, and save the paint chips, and label which room they belong to so that you can always get a (nearly) perfect match for patching up. I have a kitchen drawer that has all of my paintchips, labeled, and neatly stored.
Okay so I exaggerated when I said "neatly stored", but I know where they are if I need them! See them there on the left? I just write on them which room they belong to, and keep them there in a pile, next to the binoculars and Christmas ribbon!
Personally, I want, need, loooove color on my walls. If you want all white or monochrome, I think that looks awesome too, but it's not for me.
I specifically have a thing for yellows, golds, and brown, with hints of maroon. I love sunsets. Think about the colors you wear, think about a favorite curtain pattern or throw pillow. What are the colors you gravitate towards? Of course, you need to go light if you don't have a lot of natural light, and you want it bright. Go warm if you have tons of light and want your home to seem more cozy.
Sunset picture inspires my color choices.
And here are two pillows - I'm not particularly fond of the patterns, but the colors are my colors. I wanted my wall colors to match these pillows. It sounds goofy, but it's true - go for colors that you love having around you.
Next, armed with your favorite color pillow, shirt, painting, etc... go to your home store of choice. When it comes to picking paint, you'll no doubt be advised to look at the color wheel. Is it me, or is that thing totally overwhelming? Doesn't it seem too much like hard work? Well, it does to me. So rather than tangle with the color wheel, just grab the paint chips that tickle your fancy (those little pieces of cardboard with all the examples of color on them) and stuff 'em in your purse. They're free! I like to choose the larger square pieces with one color, rather than the strips with 5 colors per strip.
I usually choose chips that match my colors, then grab lots of the same color, although in slightly different shades. Take them home and carry them around to each room, because those small variances in shade and hue, look different in all rooms, and at different times of the day. I once chose a beautiful medium gray for my old dining room and painted the whole room before I waited for the light to change or really let the color grow on me. It was a lovely gray, until the light changed in that room, and then the paint (and my whole dining room) was no longer grey, it was purple! Not quite ugly, but definitely NOT what I'd had in mind!
So once you've looked at all the colors in each room, you'll definitely have narrowed it down.
If I'm selecting different colors for each room, I want my colors to flow from one room to the next. You want the color in the kitchen to go with the color in the dining room, and with the color in the halls... Think about this: take the colors you like for your various rooms and put them all together on a white piece of paper, would they make a nice color combination for a curtain or a throw pillow? If they all go together nicely, your rooms will flow.
(In the above picture, you can see I have two gold/yellow tones. That white strip of ceiling where you can see a recessed light, will be a reddish/maroon color eventually.)
* Note: kids bedrooms are different. I believe in letting them have their own space and choosing their own colors, no matter how awful you think those colors are. As I mentioned my affinity for sunset colors, my kids have completely different tastes. Our kids have bedrooms in electric blue, frog green, denim blue... Our only rule was the flooring had to be our choice (a neutral gray carpet), and they could choose any paint they wanted. After all, it's their space, and walls are easy enough to change. While their rooms are now electric hews, with Eminem and David Beckham posters, I just close their bedroom doors and go to my happy place.
This is a happy place...