Ever hear of color anxiety?
Many people believe they haven’t an “eye” for color, which makes them leery about specifying unique and varying shades of paint. After all, a painting project is a significant investment. So it’s tempting to “play it safe.”
Unfortunately, that’s how people oftentimes end up with four pale walls that fail to emphasize the unique dimensions, features, or furniture within an interior space. It’s also how they end up with exterior colors that don’t compliment or improve the outdoor appeal of their property.
Meet the Artist
When you sign a contract with Genesis Painting, you’ll be automatically entitled to a FREE onsite color consultation with Laurie Lundgren, a professional artist, muralist, and color consultant. Laurie will show you how an attractive interior or exterior can be transformed into an eye-popping one by the intelligent application of color. And did we mention it’s for free? Laurie’s stylish, practical, cost-conscious approach to decorating has earned her accolades from hundreds of home-and business owners. Learn more about Laurie
No. But some caution is called for. “Playing it safe” with color can actually be a poor investment. This is because you aren’t realizing the full value from your painting project. Interesting color schemes enhance visual appeal, adding both aesthetic and financial value to your property. And since paint prices don’t vary by color, doing so costs you no more.1
Remember: you’re in control!
People often worry that a professional color consultant might suggest some outrÃ© color scheme that they won’t like—and maybe should like—but don’t know how to assess. So they avoid the whole enterprise and put beige everywhere. But professional color consultants—at least the good ones—are expert at executing your tastes, not theirs or anyone else’s. It’s all about you.
A professional color consultant will be logically interested in the colors you like—but will be equally concerned about the shades you tend to avoid. If you hate yellow because you think it makes you look pasty, then you’ll feel equally pasty in a room predominantly painted that color.
Do you know more about color than you think?
Definitely. You deftly dress yourself every day. You mix and match colors for yourself—and oftentimes for your kids or spouse. You have strong intuitions about what colors compliment your complexion and which don’t. You like specific colors for certain cars but not for others. In sum, you intuitively know about color. You just don’t think about it!
So how does a professional color consultant make recommendations?
A professional color consultant will interview you about some decorating variables that are typically overlooked by do-it-yourself decorators. For example:
- What furniture, carpeting, and window treatments are staying?
- Are any being replaced?
- Will there be anything new in the space that isn’t there now?
- Are your winter bedspread and accents different from your
With such information in hand, a professional color consultant will note the dominant shades that you tend to choose for your furniture, upholstery, and window treatments. If you own patterned upholstery, an oriental rug, or a large piece of artwork, she might select the colors that excite you most from inside them. Likewise, where neutrals are called for, a professional color consultant might recommend the specific whites and tans she finds inside your upholstery, rugs, or artwork—not some off-the-shelf beige from the Big Box home improvement center.
What about the great outdoors?
The same holds true for exterior spaces. A professional color consultant will notice the dominant colors in your neighborhood: trees and nearby houses for instance. She’ll consider your landscape: trees, shrubs, and flowers. And she’ll be particularly interested in the color of your roof, which most people couldn’t tell you without peeking!
Is there a science to this art?
There sure is. Consider:
- In general, painting schemes should contain colors that are close to each other on the “color circle,” developed by Sir Isaac Newton in 1666, and intensely studied by scientists and artists since that time. Such “analogous” painting schemes are more casual, relaxing, and work best in informal or private spaces. You wouldn’t put orange next to purple, for instance, unless you were seeking shock value—maybe in a teen’s room.
- Colors should “flow” from room to room. For example, a professional color consultant might take note of a predominant hue in your foyer rug and suggest it as the major color for the adjacent living room. Then, he or she might pick a color from the living room as the major color for the room next to it, and so on throughout your home so that each room is visually “linked” to the other.
- Our exterior world is generally darkest below our feet, lighter as you look straight ahead, and lightest when you peer skyward. So we’re most comfortable when interior spaces stick to nature’s plan. Floor coverings should be darkest, walls lighter, and ceilings lightest in color. Otherwise we feel something isn’t quite right. So if you want ceilings the same color as your walls, then the ceilings should be in a lighter shade, as they’re always viewed “in shadow” and will appear darker than actual.
- Your eye seeks proportionality. An enormous wall in a “great room” might benefit from a faux finish or mural to bring it into visual scale with the rest of the room. Otherwise, it tends to dominate the space and deemphasize other important features within the room.
Want to learn more?
1Multiple colors might nominally increase some labor costs relative to painting the whole place beige. Think: masking Return