Wednesday, February 12, 2014

The EB Awards

Bearing intelligence, a sense of humor, groundedness, elegance and refinement - this describes my esteemed customer, brimming with wit, creativity and imagination.  I encounter bigness along the way as I go about my work.  Thank you, all, for making my job so enjoyable.  

You already know about the Grammys, the Emmys, the Tonys. Right? But did you know, there are also the resplendent  EB’s? And the award goes to…

Best Sign on the Gate

Most Elegant Tablescape

Coolest Dog in Quilcene, WA

Most Sublime Greenhouse in Washington

Terrific Entrance Advice

Exquisite Sound View Award

Wackiest Kitchen

Most Impressive Clock Collection Ever

Best Autumnal Rainy Day Seattle View

Imaginative Millwork Award

Distinction of Being The Sassiest Parrot in The World 

Most Enchanting Lobby Feature

Ultimate Tacoma View on a Saturday in January     206-353-0454

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Kill Your Television

I'm kidding.  But I did have that bumper sticker back in the day.

As you know I've been preaching the gospel of hiding the television into its background. Seems TVs get bigger and bigger every day and are occupying way more visual space than ever. And often they look like big black hole.

Take this living room for example. The owners had just moved in and called me for help. Everything seemed to be floating, there was nothing to anchor the elements of the room. And, of course, the television was glaring. So I suggested they paint the wall a warm dark grey, taking a cue from their painting of Seattle's Pike Place Market. I chose Benjamin Moore's AF- 655, "Silhouette".

Nice improvement, huh?

In an online color consultation, I was sent a photo of yet another white wall, with yes, you guessed it, the ubiquitous TV. In this instance, I hoped to mitigate the situation with a darker wall color, one that complemented the rest of the color palette, Benjamin Moore, AF- 560 "Flint".

This is what the client said. You are spot on about the gray wall camouflaging the TV - they are such big ugly monsters, but the new wall color really helps, and gives the room a nice feel. I like it a lot.” 

In the next example, C2 371, "Caffe Latte," not only softened the effect of the TV, but also all that brick.

And finally, this TV has it's very own little room. It is awash in Benjamin Moore 2108-40 "Stardust", making it feel right at home.

So please, don't let your TV stick out like a sore thumb! Call a reputable color consultant like EB Color to help you.

Elizabeth Brown    206-353-0454

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Just a Few Colorful Gates in Bangkok

I wanted to upload 100, but Blogger cut me off at 18. Damn. Maybe there'll be a part 2.

As a Seattle based architectural color consultant traveling in Bangkok, I find this all very exciting.

Elizabeth Brown    206-353-0464

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Exposed! New Color for a Strip Mall

“Look at me! Look at me!“ Strip Poker, Strip Tease, Strip Malls.  One is more fun than the other, but each and every one involves exposure. 

Never in my wildest dreams (or nightmares) did I think I would be choosing colors for a strip mall. But lo and behold, as my destiny unfolded, one day I got a call from a super nice lady in California who manages a strip mall in Federal Way, a suburban community between Seattle and Tacoma, Washington.  She liked the projects on my website and asked me to give her a hand with her building that was acutely in need of a face lift.

With my new assignment, my reticular activation system immediately stepped into high gear. All that beige, all that blah, all that American banality that before was just fuzzy visual background noise soon came into sharp focus. I was now staring at, analyzing and even getting excited about strip malls. 

Naturally, I wanted to do something groundbreaking, innovative and colorful.

Image Source

But in reality, as with all color assignments, this wasn't about me. This job was about signage readability, attracting robust businesses and just plain making it look better. So how did I approach it? How did I make it work? Methodically.

Upon my first site visit I saw an outdated building in sore need of a paint job, competing for attention from neighboring buildings and billboards. I took pictures from near and far, not only of this building, but also of those across the street, of the surrounding bill boards and of the erratic signage.

From there I developed four tasteful palettes as potential candidates and sent them off to my client.

She chose this one.  Check. See? I told you I was approaching this methodically.

It is very easy to choose a harmonious color palette, but assigning the colors to the elements of the building creates a challenge. There are many different objectives to consider; balance, rhythm, sign readability and cohesiveness of signage. This particular strip mall did not have consistent signage - green and white for the auto parts store ,

while the loan company advertised in blue and orange. 

The others were in red.

So this was how the colors were assigned and why. The columns, side walls and trim pieces of the building are SW 7026 “Griffin”. Now the white and green sign flanking the highway is now clearly visible against its dark background. 

The band that wraps around the top received SW 6119  "Antique White", a warm off-white that can support the diversity of signage color and styles.

Since Vince’s Restaurant is the backbone of the mall, anchoring the other buildings, it deserved a special treatment. In order to call attention, SW 2802 “Rookwood Red” lines the sign, while SW 6119 “Macadamia” retreats into the background of the sign, as well as on the front walls and ceiling. It is now very warm and welcoming.

As an architectural color consultant, I don’t always work in such a linear fashion. Many of you who have worked with me in the past know how a consultation is often likened to making a painting or writing some music. We try this and we try that.  Often, once a new color is introduced to the mix, something from the previous selection might no longer work. It’s not before the final moments until it’s resolved.

Whether you want some help planning the colors of your home, business, apartment complex or even a strip mall, I am at your service.

Elizabeth Brown   206-353-0454