Color consultation is one of my favorite tasks as an interior designer because it creates an emotional change as well as a physical change very quickly.

We humans, change our environments to suit our needs and the environment we create in turn, changes us. Color excites or soothes us; it can make a space look bigger or a room actually “feel” warmer. As far as major change, new color in a room is the fastest, least expensive way to create a new and different look.

Most people wear their palettes. Whenever a new client does not know what colors they prefer, I ask to see their closets. Whether one lean towards warm colors or cools, hue (color) is actually less important than value (light-dark ratio). Choosing color is not a mystery but it does take a certain amount of confidence, experience and direction.

When I am called to a color consult, I take into account these aspects:

  • Client color preference
  • Natural light in the room
  • Woodwork-casing color
  • Ceiling heights and color
  • Function of the room
  • Rugs and furnishings
  • Segues in to other areas
  • Vintage of the house

Typically, a color consult for a series of rooms on the main floor of a house might take a couple hours. That assumes the client is decisive and trusting. I choose colors based on the considerations above, and maybe an option or two, then offer a palette up for approval. More often than not customers want to run it by their spouse or housemate and need time to see the chip in various lights. Often, I will get a larger sample from the paint store and drop it by. Once color is approved, I work off of a template I have developed that specifies the area to be painted, the name and # code of paint, the sheen and any special notes for the painter. Typically, I specify high quality, low VOC paint that is washable, scrubbable, easy to retouch and color fast. I pass on my discounts to my clients, which can help ensure that the painter does not mark up the paint or switch it to a lesser brand.

I also often to meet with the painter, and check color after the prep has been done. The entire process takes approximately 4-5 hours and costs about $500.