The most important word is because. Really. That is what you are paying for when you hire a designer or a colour consultant to help you with your design decisions. If you hire a colour consultant to help you select colours for your home and all you have at the end is a bunch of colours and that's it? You have paid too much.
I get emails all the time asking for a quick opinion on exterior colours (and it's okay if you keep emailing me, I love getting mail from my readers) but if I just fire a colour or two back, here's what happens. Nothing. You simply add them to your poll–you know the one you are doing with your aunt, your uncle, your friends, your painter, your dog and your cat? And why is it basically meaningless?
Because it still doesn't give you the answer to the question, Why? Why is your colour the one? Why is it better than all the 2,000 colours in the fan deck? That's what you are paying for, the Because. And it's working with a professional that gives you the confidence to move forward. After all, its expensive to paint the exterior of your house. The cost of the right colour is the most inexpensive piece of the entire bill!
How about interiors? When I worked at store level, people would walk in asking for a consultation, certain it would only take about 20 minutes; "How on earth could it possibly take even one hour?" was a question I was asked all the time. And you are right. The colour is the fastest part of the whole thing. You know what takes all that time? Decorating. Yup, that's the second most important word. Going back to the statement I made earlier; if you are left with a pile of colours and no PLAN to pull together the look and feel of your home ? You have paid too much.
Or you are renovating, (that's the third one by the way) and you need to know if you are making the right decisions, especially when you are doing-it-yourself. Very important at this stage, that you have the designer in to validate what you are doing, otherwise you might end up wasting a pile of money.
I was recently in a kitchen with honey maple cabinets from 1995 with black granite countertops and cream and gray 12 x 12 floor tile. The client asked if she should continue the same granite up on to the backsplash. 'Not if you are keeping the cream tile floor. it will look way too heavy to have that much black granite on your backsplash'. Problem solved, and a lot of money saved on granite that was not necessary in the first place.
So, if you are on a budget, you have no budget to waste! This is what we do all day, that's why we know what's current, what's dated, and which finishes or furniture will give you the look and feel that works for your home!
When you have an empty house or you are buying new furniture (and telling me, please ignore this stuff, it's toast) you need to have a colour scheme for your upholstery. Otherwise, without a plan, eeeeek, you might just buy leather, read my opinion on that here. Without a plan, ladies and gentleman, you will just flail around and stare at those colours and second guess them all day and all night. Why? Because (there's that word again) it doesn't relate to anything in the room.
I was at a colour consultation a few weeks ago where the client showed me the chart she had from another designer who had paid them a visit months before. I looked at the chart, and asked why she had chosen a gray green (Clarksville Gray) because that colour was no-where to be seen in her decor. My client said "I don't know, I just assumed she was the professional so I went with it, she didn't even ask me if I liked it."
At the end of our consultation, my client had a plan for her living room (and the rest of her home), she knew exactly what colour her sofa and chairs should be and the wall colour she ended up with? HC-115 (Georgian Green) which made way more sense as she had existing white vertical blinds (that were staying) including 80's white cabinets, which would look way better with a fresh green, then a muddy gray green.
After all of these decision have been confirmed, or validated–together with your designer–the colour choice then becomes so obvious, you will wonder why you spent so much time agonizing on your own.
Can this be done on-line? Yes (in many situations it works well), email me for details of what it looks like.
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