Colour apps allow people who are paralysed at the paint shop to make good colour choices.
Back in the old days paint shops had a limited range of colours and only the wealthiest Kiwis could afford interior design advice.
These days there are thousands of different colours for as little as $5 a litre and many Kiwis readily pay for advice.
So how do you colour co-ordinate your home from walls to floor to furniture in an appealing way? Start from the floor up, says Amanda Neill of Designworx.
"It's much easier to change a wall colour by half a shade than it is a carpet," says Amanda.
But make sure you keep it simple. And don't forget that the overall look isn't just about the colours. Design and form are also really important.
The X-factor look comes from really knowing your colour trends as well as tying the paint, carpet, furniture and accessories all together masterfully.
If you cannot start from scratch for financial or other reasons there are ways to colour co-ordinate what you have without too much difficulty, she says.
If you're moving into a home with existing furniture then connectors such as cushions, vases and other items can be chosen that make two otherwise non-matching elements work together.
If the curtains you inherited from the old owner are purple, for instance, and the sofa dark green, there is bound to be a soft furnishing fabric that combines both elements, says Amanda.
Even if you can't afford to do everything you'd like it's a good idea to plan an overall colour scheme.
"Put all the samples together and make sure it works," says Amanda.
The single most important piece of advice Amanda has when it comes to colour co-ordinating a home is to think about how you want the space to feel.
Do you want your home to feel open and airy, intimate, have warmth, or be formal, elegant or funky? You can also combine two to three of those elements, says Amanda. You might want a space that is a mix of elegant and modern, or traditional and airy.
"Start with how you want to feel and make all your decisions from that response," she says.
Once you know what you want, it's a matter of looking at a colour wheel (tinyurl.com/thecolourwheel) and choosing colours that reflect that feel.
Don't get stuck in the past. Colour trends change over time. For example, says Amanda, colour palettes shifted as a result of 9/11. It was a scary time and we wanted to be cocooned in grey-greens, which we found reassuring. Next, we moved into a sustainability phase, with earthy colours. In the recession, colours were sombre and now, in an economic growth phase, bright colours are all the rage. If you're stuck in the 9/11 era with grey-greens your house will look dated to buyers.
On the other hand, if you're decorating to sell, says Amanda, you probably want to keep the palette fairly neutral so buyers can add their own touch. Those hot pinks, mustards and lime greens are better to apply when you've first bought the home and will get the enjoyment out of them.
The idea of DIY colour co-ordination will give those in the interior design industry kittens. But there is clearly demand for online paint and colour apps. Colour apps allow people who are paralysed at the paint shop to make decisions about colour choices.
Paint manufacturers such as Resene and Dulux have desktop and smartphone apps that let you upload a picture of your room and test colours. Resene's EzyPaint app is one of the top five such apps in the world, say reviewers at About.com
It's not just about paint. Perhaps you need to also colour co-ordinate furnishings and carpet. Better Homes and Gardens Color-a-Home app allows you to view different colour combinations on a variety of house styles.
Other places to seek help for DIY colour co-ordination include specialist paint shops. They can usually give advice on trends and most popular colours. They will often have lists of local interior designers or colour consultants who can, for a one-off fee, advise on the best colours for your home.
Interior designers typically charge from $120 to $150 an hour for this service.
Some DIY-ers will hit the nail on the head but it often pays to hire a professional. If you walk into an open home and there's something wrong it may be because of the colours. A slight slip of the wheel when choosing colours can be very costly indeed.
Sometimes, says Amanda, money is well spent to get professional help with decision-making. Usually, interior designers can get a better price than you could. Fabric warehouses are huge places and traipsing back and forth between carpet and furniture shops is time consuming.