The Secret Sauce to Becoming an Extraordinary Color Consultant

Just the other day, I had three separate conference calls scheduled with consultants that had graduated from the ColorIQ course and were at various stages in their businesses. Wanting to discuss project designs and get my feedback before presenting them to their clients, I realized that each of them had taken the skills they learned in ColorIQ and  actually implemented them in their projects. Not one color plan was ordinary or expected! They each executed their designs with clarity of design goals, sophistication and amazing placement strategies. All I could think of was how lucky their clients were to have hired them!

This got me thinking. What makes one Color Consultant or Color Designer better or different than others? Sure, there are many out there, from the untrained hobbyist armed with a color deck to the highly trained and experienced and of course everything left in the middle of the pendulum.

So, here’s what I think is the difference. Soul. It’s that spark of something you can’t quite put your finger on. It has nothing to do with the amount or quality of training or experience, but everything to do with that gift of being able to see what others can’t and using it to create extraordinary environments.

Taking abstract ideas and translating them to a living, working environment is the #1 skill of an extraordinary color designer. It’s NOT trying to “match” paint color to, materials and producing contrived color schemes. It’s not applying trend colors because clients request it. Exciting color is layered in a way that excites the eye with perfect balance and contrast, not overtly but with the subtlety of a skilled master artisan. This is the “soul” of color and too often consultants shy away from it, producing vanilla color schemes just to be “safe”.

So what is the “soul” of the color experience? When a gifted, talented color designer completes a project, you find yourself in a room that sings! It has life, personality, energy. This is the highest goal for anyone specializing in color! When I hear people preach that color is easy and mathematical or all you have to do is follow numbers, I feel sorry for their clients. Architectural Color should never be reduced to a place on a chart. That’s just color specification, not design. Color should be joyful and personal it should speak different things to different people, it should sing in 3 part harmony. Color should be the result of personal experience and skill, not a number!

I read a lot about artists and their work and recently came across a collection of work by a notorious historical figure, Adolph Hitler. I was genuinely surprised about the amount of work he produced and his background as an artist. As I went through the images I couldn’t help but notice that while all were technically masterful, they were devoid of any emotion or soul. Picture after picture, No life.

Is it possible that color consultants fall victim to this thinking? I think it is! We can specify generic color all day long every day and be “technically” correct but when it lacks artistry and soul we are doing our clients a giant disservice.

Do you want to be the best at what you do? Do you want to create environments that sing? Look for the soul!

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Following My Bliss

my entire life I dreamed of a place where I can create art, share my passion of color and creativity with others and live my bliss…Bliss

So here I am mid-life and I feel pretty good about what I have accomplished. Two gorgeous daughters and 5 beautiful grandchildren, a successful business and a wonderful husband. But, there has always been that nagging vision of something undone. Something left to complete. Sort of the icing on the cake if you will. Continue reading

Will the Real Revere Pewter Please Stand Up?

 revere pewter 5 revere pewter 6 revere pewter 3 revere pewter 2

Have you ever looked at a beautiful room in a design magazine and immediately wanted that color? Or, your friend painted their master bedroom and you just had to have that color in your home? We’ve all done it, but as you can see above color can be quite deceiving. Yes, each of these rooms is painted the same color! Benjamin Moore Revere Pewter. What looks one way in your friends space can look totally different in your house. Continue reading

Color Constancy?

Color Constancy or Subjective Constancy is the term we use to describe that part of the our color perception that ensures the perceived color of objects remains relatively constant under different lighting conditions

In our world, the appearance of color provides us enough information to reliably identify an object. For example, we know instinctively that bananas are yellow. But, are they still yellow in the evening where there is no natural light? Continue reading

Livable Color? Paint Colors for Real People

Sure, we love to browse the beautiful and most colorful homes in the design magazines. And, yes, they are an inspiration but what about color for real people?

From neon to blah, there is no shortage of colors to choose from in the typical paint deck. But how many actually belong on a wall? Keeping in mind that only 10% of the 2000+ colors are ever actually mixed that means that there are really only 200 colors that even make the grade. Now of these 200 colors which ones are truly “livable”?  Here are my non negotiable rules for livable color… Continue reading

Natural Blues Go Bold

marble caves-01

Aqua and blues have long since been used to create calm and tranquil environments, but  I find these colors can also go bold and make quite a statement. Pairing them with other shades of blue and turquoise give them a bold and dynamic appeal. Which ever way you use it, it will always soothe the soul.

As I often use images from nature to inspire entire color palettes, the above image from the marble caves in South America inspired this color palette from Benjamin Moore.

Here are some other beautiful examples using the same colors for interiors. Continue reading

Trust Me!

In all the years I have been consulting, the phrase that was repeated over and over is “Trust me I’m a Color Consultant“. If I had a nickel for every time I said that, I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t be here blogging!

trust meIf you’re looking for professional assistance with selecting colors for your home or business, you need a color consultant! Please contact me HERE.  There is no project to large or too small and I will save you time, money and lots of frustration AND get it done right the first time!