Last week I flew to Houston to help a client (in the middle of her renovation) with a colour dilemma. Before she called me, she had interviewed 3 designers and the local paint store consultant had also been to her house to talk about colour.
Photo by Maria Killam (We tweaked the exterior colour too, more on that soon)
All but one confirmed that pinky beige (specifically Sherwin Williams Kilim Beige 6106-on the left with the molding attached to the bottom) was the best colour to go with the porcelain travertine that she had chosen (below).
Travertine with 3 paint colours
This caused her great concern because she was clear that ‘pinky beige’ was not going to work with her furniture. Prior to my arrival, she had shown the tile to three different people. One said, “I see gray”, one said “I see red” and another said, “I see beige”. And the scariest part was that all three were correct, but which colour would be right for the walls, and also work with her furniture? Should her cabinets be French walnut or painted, what colour should the countertop be? How would we create flow
throughout the rest of the house?
Travertine generally has a lot of pink in it (above photo from a magazine) and when she took me to another house in Tanglewood (Joni, I was this close to you) that her builder was finishing, every room had been painted a lighter or darker version of pinky beige (probably the same strip right next to Kilim Beige). This is not the way to create flow
in your house by the way—taking one colour and going from light to dark.
She had also tested this colour (which was also Sherwin Williams but I can’t remember the name of it now) it was very close to BM HC-35 Powell Buff. You can see that this colour also works with the tile and I confirmed that it was perfect for the main areas of her house! When she took me to the showroom to see what it looked like installed, I held up my paint chip of HC-35 to the walls in the store and it was an exact match. This was a total coincidence but it was great for her to see that it was the perfect shade to go with the travertine in her home. It also proves that our instincts are many times accurate but when it’s not our area of expertise it’s too easy to second guess ourselves.
Joni from Cote de Texas just posted this Chateau in Charlotte, North Carolina on her blog and she wrote that she loves stone floors because of the sense of permanence they add to a home and I agree! I now understand her obsession with French design because that’s Houston. Everything there is French inspired and many of the homes are like a French chateau! The woodwork and detail is extraordinary (we don’t have anything like this in Vancouver). Look at that staircase (above)!! So beautiful!
Photo by Maria Killam
I snapped this photo (above) when I was in Paris 3 years ago. I remember the clerk giving me the hairy eyeball because I so obviously looked like a tourist—instead of a real shopper– in my comfortable shoes and backpack. The one in the previous image is way more beautiful in my opinion!
Here’s another image from Joni’s post! Look at the ceiling, isn’t that colour gorgeous? It’s not the ‘real french blue’ (apparently there’s a real name for ‘french blue’ if anyone knows what it is please post a comment) but I found out exactly which colour it is on my trip. Stayed tuned for that in my next post!
And what happened with my client? Well I miss her already, we immediately became friends! It was a whirlwind—almost 2 days—we picked out fabrics for drapery and bedding, tile for the bathrooms, and it was all wrapped up in the colours we had chosen for her 5,000 square foot home! We are also using the green in the chairs below and some other blues and golds.
Travertine is so huge in European influenced design, I have come to the conclusion (especially after this trip) that travertine is like jeans, it goes with a lot of different colours but I’m guessing the French aren’t that fussed that it’s got a lot of pink in it. Just like in Europe they don’t care that the area rugs match the decor, it’s the same with travertine!
What do you think? Do you agree with my theory?
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