Working in the yarn industry, I constantly learn from the experts that I meet on the job. One of my favorite tips is from designer Sally Melville. (I've interviewed her twice for our podcast, YarnCraft—check out the first and second episodes featuring Sally).
How often have you looked at a pattern and thought, "That's definitely not my color"? Sally pointed out that sometimes the color choice deters us from a project that we would otherwise like!
However, she said, it's easier to picture the garment in other colors when it's in black and white. Therefore, she recommended that you copy the photo in black and white (if you have access to a photo-copier) or, if you're more high tech, you desaturate/grayscale the photo on your computer.
It's great for solid designs, as well as multicolor designs (you can better picture them in a solid or in different color combinations). Use colored pencils or markers (or paint tools on your computer) to start shading in with colors that appeal to you!
What a great and easy tip!
[Pattern pictured: Knit Lush Collared Blue Cardi]