Choosing colors: keep it simple and stress-free!

Choosing colors for your room: it’s fun, trust me!

Many of my clients find this part of the process extremely stressful.

First of all, relax.

I always tell my clients to not look at the “whole picture ” in this case.   It is easy to get overwhelmed and stressed out.  After all, did you ever see a color deck?  Many paint companies have more than one!

Breathe.

There are many ways to figure out a color scheme.  The method I use for a single room is the following:

Find a “source of inspiration.”  I know, you’re probably saying, “What does she mean?”  Basically, this is something you are visually drawn to.  It may be a work of art, a photograph, a rug,  a favorite sweater, a memento from a trip…anything!!!

Now, in that piece, what colors do you  really like?  That’s your starting off point.  Usually, folks pick 3: a main color and two supporting colors.

Yes, there are “color theory 101 rules.”  Primary color scheme, secondary, tertiary, analagous,  complementary, tints, shades, blah blah blah……

Guess what?  I don’t follow rules, at least , not in this case.  If there is one color I like in that inspiration piece, I go with that.  Then, I may look for additional colors in the color deck that go with that color nicely.   Going horizontally across a color deck usually insures success that the colors will go together.  But, you can bump up or go down  one color from the horizontal will also work.  See?  not so hard.

I will also pair up a trim color and a ceiling color.  How to do that?  Well, let’s talk about trim.  Put the color deck colors that you want to use for the trim up to the color you’ve selected for the wall.  You cannot just randomly pick a trim color.  Why?  Simply put: color changes depending on the colors they are next to and what we’re looking for is color compatibility.

Ceiling color.    The ceiling is your fifth wall.  Convention tells us to go lighter.  If you really like that one color that you picked out from your inspiration piece, why not choose a lighter tint of that color?  Or, If there’s another color in that piece but your comfort level  tells you it is too dark, you can use a tint of that color.  For a bolder move, go dark!  Why not?  My rule is that you should be happy in your space!

Lastly, invest in pint samples of the colors.  Paint  some pieces of posterboard but make the pieces a decent size, i.e. 9″ x 12″ Or, if the paint store sells “designer chips” get those.  They don’t cost that much and are the size of a piece of paper.

I always tell my clients to live with the colors for a little while.  Move the larger samples around the room.  See how the lighting affects the colors.  See how the colors will look against your furniture or kitchen cabinetry.

Small investments of time and the purchase of some samples will give you a stress free start to getting the job done right the first time.

Hope this info was helpful to you.  If you have any questions, please leave them in the comments,   If you’d like to schedule a color consult, or discuss a project, please contact me here .    I’m happy to help!

Restaurant reno: quick and easy

A designer friend of mine contacted me a few weeks ago.  She was helping a restaurant owner do a low budget renovation in one area of his restaurant.  The reno didn’t involve tearing down anything or relocating booths.   This was strictly a cosmetic update.  The booths were a red orange in color and they were permanent.  So, how was I going to integrate that color into the new visual overhaul?

Being that this restaurant is Italian, we were going for an Italian appearance in the takeout area.  The designer chose a  Benjamin Moore warm honey wall color for the background in a matte finish.  She was also adding a few decorative hanging pieces that I had to work around.  Plus, I was to pick up the dark red and dark green colors from the dining room  So, I had red -orange booths, a warm honey background, some additional sculptural elements and dark red and dark green to incorporate into the final outcome.

After showing the restaurant owner my portfolio, he liked brick breakaways  (where walls look like they are cracking and revealing bricks) and grapes.  This would be the subject matter of my handpainted art.  The designer showed me where the sculptural elements were going to be installed.  I like when project elements like this create a matrix.  It’s a matter of fitting all the additional pieces into place to make the puzzle complete.

I drew grape vines and grapes on the upper portion  of the walls and had them cascade over strategically placed breakaways.  I measured where the sculptural elements were going to be installed and made sure the design fit accordingly.  I was going to incorporate the reddish orange and dark green  into the grape leaves and make the grapes dark red.  The designer wanted light bricks.  I chose neutral colors from Benjamin Moore that would work with everything else.

The interior of the takeout area of this Italian restaurant was given a new look with paint.
A closeup of the updated look by Artworks by Marcine
another view of the visual update by Artworks by Marcine

Voila!  It all fit into place, just like the pieces of a puzzle.  The result was a warm inviting space on a low budget.