Recently I was a guest on a Color Budz podcast entitled Color Consultant vs. Interior Designer . I got to chime in with three very talented and experienced color consultants, Rachel Perls, of Hue Consulting, Kelly Berg of Arte Styling and host and moderator, Lori Sawaya of Color Strategies. As the title suggests, we discussed what differentiates a color consultant from an interior designer.
Kelly made a great point stating that when we were in design school, and assigned projects we started with no existing elements. We were given carte blanche to choose the colors, fixtures and furnishings just so we complied with building codes and the program and we satisfied the design concept of the space in consideration. Also she so wisely commented that interior designers often have a “signature style” and are sought out by clients who want that same look in their own homes.
Rewind! That’s it! Kelly nailed it. As color consultants, we DO NOT have carte blanche like kids in a candy store to choose the colors for our clients - we must strategically and artfully work around what is already there. Nor do we impose our own personal style and color preferences upon the clients. As we collaborate, we guide them and intuitively draw out of them what they want if they don’t already know it. And then we make it work through our expertise. It is quite a gift actually.
As my clients and I build a palette together, no two ones are ever the same. I am always amazed by the uniqueness and the beauty of each individual scheme. And also, none reflect the colors I have chosen for my own home. Everyone has their own personal “color timbre” as described by Joseph Itten, in one of the all time classics, The Art of Color. Itten instructed his art students to become keenly aware of their own subjective color preferences as they will accompany them throughout their lives.
Here are some assorted palettes from successful jobs in the past with EB Color that illustrate how completely different people’s color preferences can be.
This is a pretty bold expressive palette especially in regard to the size of the house. Yet it reflects the vibrancy of its owner, a young professional bachelor who wants to bathe himself in high chroma. It is successful because it is expressive nature, the hues being of equal brilliance.
I just love this palette created with a psychiatrist. She loved yellow and blue. Believe me, it’s not anything I would have ever come up with on my own. This was a true collaboration and we were indeed both very pleased with the outcome.
As this was new construction, we actually did have carte blanche. It’s such a restful palette for a couple of retirees who planned and built their dream home with tender loving care.
Now what do you do when your clients say “we don’t like blue, yellow, green or peach”? This one was a bit of a challenge. We turned to beautiful grays as dominant colors and then pulled a punch with a red dining room which is smack dab center of the their beautiful home. But we achieved their objective…to create a modern feel for this young couple’s home.
Here’s one more. Isn’t it nice?, It’s not like any of the rest because Joel and Arlene are not like any of the rest.
Finally, here are the colors in my home. For whatever rhyme or reason these are the colors that speak to me in this particular space. And as you can see, they are not like anybody else's.
Let’s see, last checked there were over 6 billion people on the planet… and a personal and unique color palette to go with. My style as an expert architectural color consultant is to make your wish my command.