Maria’s master bedroom
If you would like your confidence in specifying colour to go from 0-60 in one minute, you need your own private collection of large sample boards.
You know how there seem to be a million collections of colours and paint company brochures that are curated by celebrity designers?
Scrolling through pinterest images, you can’t help but see paint colours with captions like “This is XX favourite grey” “Here’s XX collection of whites”.
Why are none of these truly helpful?
Because they are not curated by UNDERTONE.
Why are they not curated by undertone? Because they don’t know what the undertone is either.
Not because there’s anything wrong with that. It’s because The System for Specifying Colour just wasn’t invented until now. This is why this system should be in design school. Because if you open up any shelter magazine or online article in 2019 and this is how neutrals are currently being described by designers:
“This white has a lot more depth than some of the brighter whites.”
“A timeless grey that that is not too warm or too cool.”
“This white is the perfect hue, not too beige or too white.”
“The best neutral because it has hints of both beige and grey to match anything”
When you read all these quotes without the context of the colour sitting beside it, or the important headline, or all the supporting copy to go with it, it sounds almost comical.
Because you have just read an article where everyone is basically talking about their go-to grey, or go-to white or go-to beige or go-to taupe.
So you walk out of the paint store clutching your new paint chips or make sure you pin them carefully to your Pinterest boards, and now what?
How does that help you?
I’m here to tell you, it doesn’t.
A frequently asked question in our eDesign department is “Do we only specify Benjamin Moore, or can we specify other paint companies colours?”
And the answer is YES. We have lots of other fan decks because my system is completely TRANSFERRABLE to any other paint company.
I discovered and created my System for Specifying Colour® while working at Benjamin Moore, however this is about Understanding Undertones®.
Once you understand my system, everywhere you go in the world, you’ll see the same 9 primary Undertones over and over.
And, they aren’t proprietary to any paint system.
And I have good news! My set of 50 core neutrals is now available in Sherwin Williams!
Okay so here’s how it works:
If you don’t have ANY of my large colour boards, you’ll need either the Core Collection with Benjamin Moore or the NEW Foundation Collection with Sherwin Williams.
Either of these will give you the most current and popular neutrals from light to dark in the 9 Undertones in my system.
This means 95% of the time you need a neutral, you’ll find it in either of these collections. And that’s because choosing a colour for a powder room or dining room to create flow from another room is one thing. But haven’t you noticed that 80% of the time you’re specifying a neutral?
It goes back to the 80/20 rule I talked about in this post.
If you are someone who specifies both Benjamin Moore AND Sherwin Williams, you might want BOTH collections because it’s nice to specify a colour you don’t have to get colour matched.
Currently we sell a Sherwin Williams set of 25 (The Essential Collection) which includes the most popular whites and greys, taupes including the most popular pale pink beige. We have a few of these sets left but they will be discontinued. You can get this collection here.
However, over the years, we have had so many requests to carry the FULL collection of 50 samples of my Understanding Undertones system in Sherwin Williams, but the reason I didn’t, is because historically the set of 25 colours have been my lowest sellers.
Not anymore. Sherwin Williams paint colours are becoming equally as popular as Benjamin Moore. We constantly specify both in our eDesign department.
Please note there are 21 colours that overlap from the Essential collection to the Foundation collection (they were that good).
This means, if you need to choose the perfect white to coordinate with a new countertop you are installing, you will find it in the Core or Foundation collection:
Colours and Styling by Maria Killam
If you need the perfect grey, to repeat the green and blue greys in your area rug (below)? You’ll find it in the Core or Foundations Collection:
Interior Design by Maria Killam
If you’ve been following me for a while, you would have read the countless testimonials from my Live colour workshops. And most people often mention the large colour samples, because even if you were using them BEFORE you attended my workshop, they become an even more valuable tool afterwards.
Learning the answer to the question ‘Why’ the colour YOU specified is right, is taught by comparing colour.
Once you understand how to compare colour to explain why the colour you are specifying is correct, your world will change.
Suddenly, you’ll be amazed at the words that are coming out of your mouth.
It’s simply impossible to be consistently accurate specifying the minutia of one neutral vs. another without using large colour samples.
When I review the in-class exercises at the front of each live workshop, my students see for themselves how perfect the ‘right colour’ looks, vs. the one that just looks ‘meh’. Or worse, not right at all.
If you need to choose a ‘colour’ over a neutral. That is much easier to see, even in the fan deck size (below).
(Who really knows what I had just said here, haha) Maria in Charleston | Fall 2018
The cost to paint ONE sample board
And you can totally paint your own boards. If you are a homeowner, you probably don’t need a large collection of sample boards, and the instructions are right here. I’m just saying you can’t choose neutrals accurately without them.
Here’s what it actually costs:
Or you can buy the NEW Sherwin Williams Collection here for $329. Stock is limited, when we are sold out, they will be backordered for approximately 2-3 months.
The undertone of the colour is printed on the top of the boards to make them easy to find and specify.
Please note this new collection overlaps with 21 colours from the Essential Collection – limited stock still available but this collection has now been discontinued.
If you have any of my boards, let us know what you think below!
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