Archive for April, 2012

Helping from a distance.

My Mom lives in Ontario, and has been asking me for help on her bedroom makeover. Obviously I have spent a lot of time at my Mom’s house, and yet I still found it difficult to remember the exact colours she used throughout her home. Why? Shouldn’t a colour consultant have perfect colour memory? Well although I feel that I do have a heightened colour experience the fact is “colour-memory” is short! That means it’s almost impossible for someone (even an expert) to look at a colour chip display and pick the exact match for a colour in their memory.

This is why it’s important to take your colours with you when you are out shopping. And a photo isn’t good enough; there are too many factors that affect the colours in a picture (e.g. the room’s lighting, the camera’s flash, the ink used to print the picture or the display screen’s settings, etc). So, when you’re browsing paint chips for your master bedroom bring your bedding (or at least the pillow shams) with you.

So once my Mom decided on her bedding, I needed to see it so that I could make suggestions for wall colours. Fortunately, big box stores allow Mom and I to look at many of the same products in our own respective cities.

I selected Cement Gray 2112-60 for my Mom’s walls. It’s a soft grey with subtle mauve undertones that harmonize with the purple embroidery on the bedding. Mom tested the colour on her walls and it looked too purple. My Dad was horrified, how could his only daughter suggest he should sleep in a purple room?!?

In the room’s unique lighting the subtle mauve was not so subtle. This is why it is so important to test a paint colour on your walls! And why I offer colour consultations in-home. Every space has its own unique lighting finger print that cannot be predicted 2000 km away, and can’t be predicted in a store either.

My Mom then tried a second choice, Stonington Gray HC-170, and was able to achieve the soft gray tone she was expecting from the first option.

Defining colour can sometime be like trying to catch a cloud and pin it down. Because lighting conditions are unique to your location, so is the way you perceive colour. This challenge is what I love about being a colour consultant, and it’s also what causes such frustration for my clients (and my Mom). Bringing a sample of the colour with you can help predict the colour’s shift, but you have to see the colour, on your wall, in your space, to pin the cloud!