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Friday, July 30, 2010

Color for Colorphobes and the Commitment Shy

Quite often, I run into a situation where I'm playing referee/marriage counselor and sometimes even parent/child counselor in the arena of color. Everyone has different tolerance and comfort levels for color and this comes to a head when it's time to paint. Strong opinions about color usually arise when one client feels the need for some fun, punched up color, whereas the other partner or family member feels uneasy outside of comforting neutrals.

I hate to draw predictable, clean lines down the sexes and single out the guys for color fear ( I've certainly experienced male clients who push for more adventurous color at the consternation of their partners!) but this is quite often the case, (sorry guys!) I for one, am married to a man who loves vivid, bright, might I even say, loud colors-so I know you're out there, men!

My job as a colorist is to bridge the desires of both and find solutions that they not only can live with, but love. Sometimes, choices can be ruled out based on furnishings, finishes or other elements in the room. Other times, compromises can be made in other ways. The first rooms I turn to for areas of adventurous color are the smaller, less used rooms in a home such as the laundry room (if you're lucky enough to have one!) and powder rooms or guest bathrooms. Tiffany Blue is a fun color I've seen and had requests for in laundry rooms.

Cottage living

Not only are these out the flow with the rest of the home, they are seldom occupied for long periods for time. Also, they don't require a great deal of paint and can easily be repainted if one tires of the color.

Some people are intrigued with the idea of color but have commitment issues when it comes to painting an entire room in an adventurous color. This is when a pop of color in a closet, cabinet or even a drawer may satisfy that need.

Apartment Therapy

Wow! A great way to embrace a little red!
I could see this in my dining room built in cabinets.


Martha Stewart

Color can fit in anywhere. Even a tiny medicine cabinet!
Also a great way to use wallpaper or contact paper.

Design Sponge

I love the concept of recapturing space in a home and using in new ways. A burst of color personalizes it.
Closet office anyone?

Country Living

What creative ways have you used to introduce color or use it in harmony with a color phobe in your home?

If you need a color referee or simply some color consulting done for your home or businesses - interior or exterior, please contact me: Marie@ColorMarie.com


X-Rite_Mark said...

I have the same problem as many of your clients, I would not mind having some bolder, brighter colors in my house, but getting over that mental and physical hurdle of actually opening up a can of bright paint and then rolling it on the walls is tough. I do like your ideas of starting small like painting a closet, laundry room, or medicine cabinet, though. I have been playing around with some of the Virtual Room Painting Software programs (I compiled a list here - http://bit.ly/bAHeQz) that many of the paint companies developed, just to "see" how certain colors would look in my house, which has been quite helpful. So I think I am getting closer to getting over my hurdle, and getting more color in my house. Have you ever used any of the virtual room painting programs? Seems like it would be a useful tool for your clients.

Marie Brady said...

Hi Mark,
Yes, I like the 2.0 Benjamin Moore program they used to have and I still use it sometimes... but I find their web based newer one to be glitchy. Photoshop is always handy as well. In fact, before I even do an exterior consultation. I drive by, take pics and play around with some color options for my client on Photoshop to look at before we start. Visualizing color can be very difficult so having a computer rendering is a great jumping off point for conversation.
Also, there is no substitute for doing a brush out of the color and viewing it in the room you are going to be using it in. Sneaky undertones can make themselves known!
Thanks so much for stopping by!

Cathleen Davidson of Color Forte said...

Great post, and so true. Designers are diplomats, psychologists, magicians, etc. And I simply love the look of painting back of shelves and glass cabinets a bold color. Just read that a designer painted the bottom of a kitchen table bright red so that it reflected a bit of color onto the floor!

Michelle said...

Hi Marie,
I absolutely loved all the examples,; those pictures are great. The red cabinets are spectacular. I'd like read your thoughts on bringing color in furniture too...

Marie Brady said...

Hi Michelle,
I'm so glad you dropped by! Yes, furniture and color is another area of fear. With large, investment pieces such as sofas, I would tend to stay more neutral and add color in with side chairs, accessories, art and side tables. It all depends on your tolerance for color and how often you replace these larger furniture items. They are pricey- making paint a relative bargain in comparison! I've had my deep brown faux Mohair sectional for 8 years now and I still love it, although I change out the throw pillows when I want to bring in different color.