Can your painters be your colour consultants? A consultation can be just a discussion with someone that has a colour fan-deck. During the discussion, the consultant will offer some advice and some actionable suggestions. Are we experts just because there is colour in the paint we apply? Here is a classified ad by a Toronto painter:
“Residential and commercial painting, pressure washing, call 416 (his number) for free colour consultation.”
Are we experts because of our experiences? We can gain some colour knowledge by observing what different colours mean to our customers. Nevertheless, we are painters and we apply coatings for many reasons. Colour is just one of these reasons. Before we start calling ourselves empirical colour scientists, let’s give some credit to where credit is due. To the Certified Colour Consultant.
Colour consultants work with clients to improve the look and feel of their homes and even their place of business. Colour can play different roles in our lives. Colour consultants will work with you to enhance moods and set the tone. They may tell you that warm tones are best for family rooms, where big windows let in the sunset, or that bright cheery colours may be best for a breakfast area. They help pick out colours for paint, accessories, even artwork for the walls, and help create a home that reflects the inhabitants’ taste and level of comfort.
“It’s not a black and white world. Colour is all around us and we love it! It affects our moods… it lifts our spirits… it conveys our personalities. Most people are drawn to colour. That is until the time comes to choose exterior or interior paint colours for our homes or offices” Sylvia O’Brien of Colour Theory.
Ecopainting has worked with local designers and colour consultants in the GTA. The help they provide to homeowners is invaluable.
Choosing colours for residential painting is a process. Most of the time there are questions and the answers are not always found in magazines. The neighbour who is “good with colour” may be helpful for some but not everyone has neighbours like that. Painters are expensive and so are quality paints. If you go through the expense and adventure of redecorating, why not use the right colours. Colour Theory is a Toronto colour consultant we work with. We always suggest their colour consulting services to our clients. Sylvia O’Brien is the creative director and a colour consultant with Colour Theory. Sylvia explains how a colour consultant helps with colour selection: “Picking the right colour depends on many things…the architecture, furnishings, lighting, and most important… the inhabitants’ colour preferences and personal style. All these things are considered before starting the colour selections. We determine the best mix through questions and clues” (You can find more from the interview with Sylvia is at the bottom of this page).
If a Colour Consultant is not an option. Can the Painter Help?
We painted thousands of rooms, and we had the privilege of introducing colour to Toronto homeowners.
Some customer comments:
“Ecopainting helped us make our condo look fantastic! Karon was very thorough and helped to advise on paint finishes. Our lines were crisp, and our vibrant colours pop off the walls. It doesn’t even look like the same place! “ Lenna T. Customer in Mississauga
“I love it. It all comes together now: the yellow gold walls, the fabric and new furniture colour, the wood floors. Thank you, for all of your help, and I hope to see you again when we paint the kitchen – next year!” Susan W. Markham customer.
We are not colour consultants, we just have experience and some knowledge we accumulated over the years. We are happy to share some of that knowledge.
Purpose of a room
You love that Caliente red but it doesn’t mean you can use it anywhere. Using it in a bedroom as an accent may be ok, but it wouldn’t work in the kitchen. What about the colour of the kitchen? Is your kitchen a high traffic area or a gourmet cook’s paradise. The family room should feel warm and the study room relaxed. Take the purpose of the room into consideration and your colour choice will be easier.
Size of the Room
How big or small is the room? with colour you can change the perception of the room dimensions. For example:
- A dark colour will look closer to you. Painting the end wall of a long room with it, will make it look more “square”.
- If the ceiling is very high, paint it with a colour to bring it down.
- If the ceiling is low, painting it white in a darker room will make it look higher.
- In a powder room, a light colour won’t be much help in making it look bigger. As a result people decorate powder rooms in many personal styles.
Room Lighting affects Colour
Both natural and artificial light affect colour. South facing rooms receive the most natural light and north facing rooms the least. A room facing east will look brighter during the day when it gets a lot of sunlight. A west facing room will look dull in the morning.
Homes and rooms that don’t receive much natural light rely more on artificial light. Different types of lighting should be taken into consideration when choosing colour.
Before heading out to the paint store or calling a colour consultant, inspiration may be closer than you think.
- Do you have any favourite pieces of furniture, fabric or artwork you can draw ideas from
- What about colours from nature? Garden flowers, trees, the fall colours, they have all inspired artists and poets. The environmental trend has influenced both paints and colour. There must be some inspiration in there for the homeowner looking for ideas.
- Is there a colour you saw at a neighbour’s or friend’s home? How would that look in your home?
- Magazines, blogs and social media are an infinite source of inspiration and colour trends.
Use Monochromatic Colour Schemes
Sometimes a safer way to go, is painting with different variations of one colour. A page from a fan deck should have enough colours to decorate a home. Use the lighter colour for the main area and slightly darker colour for the rooms. In some of the rooms, you can use the darkest colour of the page for an accent wall.
This may seem like a boring way to decorate but it can look sophisticated. For example, an accent wall will create depth and a focal point. Different shades of the same colour can change the size perception of certain rooms. For an easier transition between rooms, use very lightly contrasting colours. this can make the flow between rooms more harmonious.
Test the Colours Before you Decide
The colour swatches you get at the paint store are not always helpful. They are small and the lighting at the store is different than the lighting in your home. It is difficult to visualize what certain colours will look like in different room and settings. Why not get some sample paint and test some of the colours before making the big commitment? Paint stores have most colours in sample size containers. If they don’t, just purchase a quart of paint for testing. Paint a few test patches on different areas on your walls. Paint in areas that get a lot of lighting and areas that don’t. Try a colour in a small room first, before painting it with too dark a colour. You can also hire Ecopainting to do that for you. Colour testing is one of the services we provide. We can paint test patches of different colours in different areas of your home. Many customers have used this service as it eases the fear of choosing the wrong colour.
Try colour on the ceiling? You don’t have to keep your colours on your walls only. Ceilings are increasingly painted with a colour other than white. The possibilities here are endless. We can suggest a ceiling colour to compliment your walls. Sometimes this can be as simple as choosing a light version of the wall colour.
Exterior Colour Choices
What about the exterior of our home? The exterior is our “face to the world”. It’s the statement we make to our neighbours and the first impression we make to our guests. If we are selling our home, it’s curb appeal will make it sell faster. The exterior gets painted often for maintenance reasons, why not consider the benefits of using the right colours.
Commercial Colour Consulting
Most colour discussion focuses on residential problems and solutions. There is after all a big market for the home decorating industry. It seems homeowners can’t get enough information about house colour. What about colours for the commercial sector. What about colours choices where we work, shop and entertain ourselves.
Business owners know the importance of paint colour. Some colours improve productivity and others enhance creative thinking. When a business paints their facility, it would be wise to think a about colour. The correct colour will make the paint job good ROI.
Interview with Sylvia O’Brien, Creative Director of Colour Theory.
ECOPAINTING: Sylvia, how do you help clients in choosing home colours?
SYLVIA O’BRIEN: Picking the right colour depends on many things…the architecture, furnishings, lighting, and most important… the inhabitants’ colour preferences and personal style. All these things are considered before starting the colour selections. We determine the best mix through questions and “clues”. The ideal results come from on-site consultation.
ECOPAINTING: Does the homeowner have a say in the colour choices?
SYLVIA O’BRIEN: Absolutely. We never go into a home and dictate paint colour! We don’t have enough information until we have talked (and listened) to the homeowner. We need to know how they want the space to feel… what works for them and what doesn’t. Above all, we have to know their colour preferences to find a palette that works for them. As I always tell my clients: ” You live here, I don’t. The paint colours must work for you…”
ECOPAINTING: What happens if you have a couple that don’t agree on colour?
SYLVIA O’BRIEN: Colour isn’t just visual, it’s emotional. Preferences come from many influences… positive or negative associations, exposure to trends, cultural influences. These differences can cause some conflict. We work with both clients to determine their individual preferences within about five minutes. This gives each “voice” a chance to be heard. We focus on colours that they both like that they have in common and build a palette around those colours. It’s a democratic process and it increases the comfort level with the paint colour choices. By the way, sometimes we have more than two clients in a home… the same process applies.
ECOPAINTING: How would someone contact you to book a colour consultation?
SYLVIA O’BRIEN: Anyone in the Toronto area can learn more by visiting our website http://www.colourtheory.net/
Colour science has a role to play when decorating your home. Colour psychology, function and of course, style are important factors. Popular culture, ethnic colour associations and social influences, all affect your style. A qualified colour consultant will help you express it, even discover it.
At the end of the day, after your colour consultation is done, it should all get easier. You will have your very own colour schedule. This is like a map that your painters can follow.
Ecopainting has access to local, fully qualified and trained Toronto area colour consultants like Sylvia.
For colour consulting services Call 416 733-7767 and colour help is on the way.