Wednesday, March 23, 2011

We-Design-Day: The Colour Consultation (part one)

Don't forget to cast your vote for your favourite colour!

Last week, I had the opportunity to meet with the We-Design-Day Fun with Colour winner, Paul and his wife, Michelle. First, I’d like to thank them for inviting me into their home to discuss colour and second, thank them for giving me permission to share with all of you the results of that evening.

I like doing colour consultations with people – I think it probably is one of my favourite things to do for residential work. The broad spectrum of colours, the endless combinations and everyone’s personal take on colour always fascinates me. Personally, I am generally fairly reserved with colour. I often opt for dark clothing and my home is generally neutral in paint and d├ęcor. I admitted to Paul that I have commitment issues with colour – although I love vibrant and bright colours and I can spend hours pouring over the paint chip collections at Home Depot, selecting colour for my home gives me anxiety and causes me to continually second guess myself. However, recommending and guiding others is something I love because being bold is part of my personality (even if being bold in my own home scares me just a little…)!

Meeting with Paul and Michelle, I knew my experience would be a little bit different. Paul is a graphic designer and artist. He has a fantastic grasp of colour and design and is probably the only man I know who is ‘in charge’ of painting and selecting the colour choices for their home. He is creative genius and his artwork is amazing – as is, of course, his ability to challenge me and everything I know. I am not used to being grilled and put on the spot for my choices. Generally, clients ooohhhh and ahhhh at the suggestions I make and always ask “how do you know what to pick?”. But not Paul.

When I got there, Michelle was still out at a meeting so Paul and I set to work. I opened my paint kit and starting flipping through a fan deck. I started with my usual conversation and started working towards sussing out what he was looking for. Quickly I learned the plan was to do a couple of feature walls in their home. One in the dining room, one on the TV room and perhaps one in his office. When I asked what walls he thought they should highlight, his reply startled me.

“What walls do you think we should do?” he paused briefly, “I want your professional opinion.”

I stared at him for a moment, not sure what to say next. The wall in the dining room was an obvious choice because there are only two walls. But the TV room had three – two of which continued up to the second floor.

“Well, I’d like to see you try and paint one of those walls.” I said indicating the two tallest walls.

“Why?” he asked.

It became evident that he was not going to give me a break nor did he immediately catch on to my failed attempt at a joke. I giggled nervously and decided he wasn’t open to banter or small talk. He wanted to do business.

“It would probably be best and easiest to do the wall where the TV is as it’s broken above by the railing around the loft. That way you don’t have to try and paint all that vertical space. I’d also leave the bulkhead the existing colour so the wall will really pop but still relate to the rest of the space.” I answered.

“Oh.” He replied, seemingly satisfied with my answer. “Now what colour?”

“Well, what were you thinking of?” I asked, as I always do – trying to get some feedback from the client.

“What colour would you pick?”

It was quickly becoming apparent Paul was not going to give me an inch. I picked up the fan deck and started thumbing through it.

“Well, I would go lighter. Even though a feature wall is traditionally darker, because your existing paint is so dark, I think a lighter complimenting colour would give a nice punch to the space.” I turned to some golden wheat colours and another swatch with warm browns and held them up to the wall in the dining room.

He made a disapproving sound. I flipped a bit more through the deck and selected some warm gray tones that I thought worked well.

Another ‘ehhh’ sound. I flipped again and stopped at a deep burgundy.

“Too muddy.” he replied.

“I think something more like this.” He showed me a brilliant red from the companion fan deck.

“Don’t you also meet with your clients at this table? I think they might find that a bit intimidating.” I said.

We chatted a bit more about colour and when Michelle arrived home, I briefed her on the discussions we had before she arrived. She and I went through the top four colour choices – she also thought the bright red was intimidating too.

What do you think? Below are the four top colour choices. Paul worked his magic and painted the wall with the colours we agreed on. On the right sidebar, I've opened a poll. Your opinion counts! I'd love your feedback and what colour you think the feature wall should be painted! Voting will remain open until next Wednesday at midnight. I'll be following up with the winners again next week to get their decision! Check back for the results and an interview with Paul about how he
approaches design! Thanks for stopping by!

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Abington Putty
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Rapture
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Confederate Red
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New London Burgundy

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