Posts Tagged ‘Testing Color’

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!

When in doubt, call an expert! A colour consultation could be the answer you’re looking for.

As a colour consultant for Benjamin Moore Southpointe I’d be glad to come by your house to help you select the perfect colour for your painting project. It’s more affordable than most expect and includes up to an hour and half of my time. During this time I will help you decide on a colour pallet for your whole home. Furthermore, I often have ample time to answer other decorating concerns you have such as ideas for window treatments, furniture placement or flooring options.
By being in your house I can evaluate your home’s unique lighting, flooring and furnishings. This gives me a personalized perspective on your style and design goals, from which we can work to find the best colour solutions to create your dream space.
As part of the experience I will create a full write up. You will get a portfolio you will be able to use as a reference guide so you can decorate on your own timeline and at your own pace.
Call or email me today to find out more, or to book your appointment.
Stacey Severs

Olympic Design

As we reflect on the accomplishments of our Canadian Athlete and Para-Athletes over the last month, we should also look at the accomplishments of our Canadian Designers who created the 2010 image.  Canadian design begins with Omer Arbel’s architectural design of the Medals, their unique curvature representing the peaks and valleys of the Rocky Mountains. Holding them was like running your fingers over a cool smooth worry stone pulled from the bottom of a mountain stream.  The art work (by First Nation Artists Corinne Hunt) used on the pieces reflects the BC aesthetic, while the uniqueness of each medal (no two are alike) reflects Canada’s unique social fabric.Holding an Olympic Silver Medal.

The colour of the games also reflects today’s trendy colours; sea blue (i.e. Yosemite Blue 2059-40) and spring green (i.e. Rosemary Green 2029-30). We’ve seen these fresh colours used in fashion for the last few years and thus invading home design as well. For more ideas on how to incorporate these colours into your home, pick up Envision Colour 2010, Benjamin Moore’s annual colour forecast brochure from your local Benjamin Moore Store.IA_color_of_the_year_436x199

The other star colour of the games was red (i.e. Rapture CC-66), as our patriotic pride spilled into our wardrobes.  Although I feel that style-wise, Russia’s Athletic Apparel was more on trend than Canada’s 70′s/80′s hybrid track suits. The paisley pattern on the Russian jackets can be seen in the trendiest wallpaper and fabric patterns (for idea’s and examples check out Design by Colour: Red from Blue Mountain Wallcoverings).red

I think the best lesson we can learn from the design of the games is that inspiration for our homes can come from anywhere.

by Stacey Severs

Trendy Gray VS Trusted Beige

The biggest trend in colour is gray.  Gray is replacing beige as the main neutral colour being used in trendy homes. But I don’t think Canada is a gray kind of country. What’s wrong with beige?  We live in gray world throughout the winter; we need colours in our home that are warm and welcoming.  I don’t mind that neutrals are containing more gray-undertones.  A shift from Sandy Brown to Greenbrier Beige is a welcome change, but removing all the yellow-tones from our neutrals will make our homes too cold.  Builders like to use trendy gray colours in their show homes to appeal to the largest number of people (mostly by not offending  people with colour), but are they selling a house, not creating a HOME. Crisp clean minimalistic gray rooms look great on the magazine pages, but these rooms don’t make you feel like curling up on the sofa and getting comfortable.  So I caution you against going too far gray.  I don’t think that this is a colour trend that will last in Canada; we’re too cheerful for that! So don’t rule out beige, it’s warm, its classic, it’s neutral and it keeps our homes feeling bright and welcoming.

by Stacey Severs

A warm welcoming living room painted beige.

A warm welcoming living room painted beige.

Unify a room by painting all the furniture the same colour

furniture (cityline)Furniture can take up a lot of visual colour space in a room, especially large wood pieces such as found in the bedroom or dining room.  When wood tones are miss-matched in a room it can make the space feel unfinished.  One simple solution is to paint all the furniture the same colour, as pointed out in this month’s Style at Home (March 2010, pg 34).

I know painting wood scares some people (especially the male portion of the population), but sometimes it’s the best solution. It’s also cheaper than buying something new.

Your existing furniture that just doesn’t fit with your new decorating plan can be incorporated into the plan with a new colour.  Also second hand furniture can live a new life with a fresh coat of paint. 

Choosing the right colour can transform the wrong style into the perfect piece. Imagine painting an ornate Baroque-style* hutch in a hot colour like Tangelo 2017-30, Tequila Lime 2028-30 or Hot Lips 2077-30.  The hutch would be transformed into a modern hip piece! 

If the same hutch was painted a cream such as Hepplewhite Ivory HC-36, it would fit in with a country style decor.

To coordinate an older piece with newer espresso stained furniture try painting it Bittersweet Chocolate 2114-10.  For a trendy colour choose Ranchwood CC-500; this colour furniture would look great in a monochromatic grey room. The classic choice for painting furniture white is Cloud White CC-40.

The steps to painting your piece are easy.  First clean the surface with TSP.  Next gently sand. Priming is the most important step; use a highly adhesive primer such as Fresh Start from Benjamin Moore.  Next apply two coats of paint in your chosen colour.  Be sure to use a higher sheen such as Pearl, Satin or Semi Gloss, to ensure the finish stands up to impact and abrasion from everyday use. Lastly, enjoy you’re now put-together space!

 *The value of a genuine antique should ALWAYS be considered before painting it.  However, if it’s gathering dust in the basement it’s of no value to you anyway, and painting it could bring it back into use in your home, adding true value to the piece. 

-by Stacey Severs

Why is getting the right colour so important?

Because colour affects us: emotionally, physically and psychologically. This means that the colours we use in our homes affect our lives. Using a pleasing colour can put you in a good mood, and start your day off right. Feeling good in your home allows you to go out into the world with confidence, and when you come home from a challenging day you can recharge in a comfortable environment.

Colour is a personal expression of yourself.  What do you want your home to say about you? How do you want your home to inspire you?  By choosing the right colour, you can control how colour is affecting you.

So how do you choose the right colour? Using a professional colour consultant can take a lot of the guess work out of choosing colour.  A colour consultant can help you use colour to create the desired mood for your home.  Words like welcoming, warm, relaxing and comfortable can be translated into colours like Great Plains, Greenfield Pumpkin, Mount Saint Anne and Herbes De Provence.  Colour consultants will also assess the other colours existing in your home to help you create flow and continuity in your space. Contact your local Benjamin Moore Store to book a consultation.

If choosing a colour yourself then the best method is trial and error. Start with LOTS of chips from your local Benjamin Moore Store. Remember to look at the colour in isolation, if the colour is on a strip with other samples use scissors to remove it. Narrow your selection to your top 3 or 4 colours. Now it’s time to try the colour on the wall.  (You try on jeans before you buy them, it’s just as important to try on colour.) Benjamin Moore has testers of paint in every colour available for you to take home and paint on your wall. Look at the painted samples throughout the day to see the colour in different lights (i.e. day light vs. night time artificial light).  Then make you final decision. Try not to over think it and go with your gut instinct.

-by Stacey Severs


Can I try that colour on my wall first before committing?

Paper swatches are the perfect place to start and begin the process of narrowing down your choice; however nothing will show you exactly how it’s going to look accept the actual paint itself. Where the problem starts is how the paint chips are manufactured, they are made using printers ink to show an approximate rendition of the colour. Than of course lighting factors in. Lighting from the paint store versus lighting from your home will always vary so it is important to see the colour at different times throughout the day under varying conditions.
With over 2000 samples in stock and two sizes to choose from, SouthPointe Paint & Decor and Calgary South Decorating have the testers and tools you need to make the most informed decision!

2 Ounce Liquid Color Samples

Benjamin Moore 2 Ounce Paint Samples

SouthPointe Paint and Decor & Calgary South Decorating

Need a paper swatch? Absolutely, we have those available for you, but with our tester program, you can now explore all your colour choice ideas like never before.
Avoid the “not quite right” colour syndrome and find the perfect Benjamin Moore colour at SouthPointe Paint & Decor and Calgary South Decorating today!