Does Your Home Need a Colour Consultant?
Engaging a colour consultant could be one of the smartest moves you make, to help your home to look its best
“When people think of a colour consultant, they are usually just thinking paint colours,” says Briggs. “But paint colours interact with many other factors: tiles, timber, floors, sofas, window coverings, and more. I look at all these, plus the style of the property, how it’s affected by light, and other factors that may interfere, as well as the client’s personal style and preferences and their lifestyle needs, before I formulate a colour scheme.”
“The colours on the exterior of our homes greatly affect its real estate value,” adds Briggs. “It’s the first impression people get from the street.”
Create a spot on colour scheme
Our consultants are all diploma graduates of the International School of Colour and Design. Briggs is national president of The Colour Society of Australia. Symond is also an Associate Member of the International Association of Colour Consultants – North America, and is the only accredited member residing in Australia.
“Everything in our homes has a colour,” says Briggs. “Colour is a subconscious language, an integral part of design, although its impact is underestimated – nothing transforms a space like colour. It brings value to our physical and mental wellbeing, as well as aesthetically. We see with our brains as well as our eyes, and colour lifts our mood, energises or relaxes us and it expresses personality.”
Mood-boosting colours for your home
In French’s eyes, we are only comfortable when surrounded by colours we love. “We all respond differently to colours, so finding the right colour that gets the right response is imperative for a comfortable home.”
Briggs says she never just gives her clients some colours. “Every project is unique. I assess a client’s personality, likes and dislikes, lifestyle, as well as all the physical aspects of the home.”
Once she has formulated a colour scheme, Briggs provides samples and a detailed specification report the client can then hand to their painter or builder. Although many projects start as simply paint colour advice, they often extend to a full decorating service, involving sourcing products and shopping excursions with clients.
Symond meets a range of clients, from “ones scared to use anything but white, to those crazy about colour,” she says. Her favourites are the clients who have prepared for the project by offering something – maybe a cushion or a piece of artwork – that they like. “It helps get an insight into their character and what they are looking for.”
Although personality makes every client unique, colour trends sometimes have a bearing on choices, so our consultants keep their fingers on the pulse. Says Briggs, “Over time, we get tired of the same colours and seek change. As colour consultants, we are early adapters of trends and can introduce new ideas for clients to consider. But really, it’s the element of personality that informs the advice, rather than a colour’s current popularity.”
Key colours for 2016
“I’ll use the latest colour trend if requested,” says Symond, “but I focus on the client’s uniqueness and my assessment of their personal style.” When asked by Houzz to bet on the 2016 Pantone Colour of the Year, (which turned out to be two, Rose Quartz and Serenity), Symond says, “I managed to get one right!” Read Symond’s advice on using these shades.
“The earlier the better,” was the general response to this question. In a new build, once the client has already chosen some finishes, Briggs says she has to work around them. “This can restrict what the rest of the colours will be. If we consult early, we don’t find ourselves backed into a corner later in the project.”
French advises early colour consultations to ensure coordination of all components, exterior and interior, and to give clients peace of mind and confidence in the end result. “Some councils require external colours when a Development Application is submitted,” she adds.
As much as she loves her job, Briggs says it’s not as glamorous as people think. “I’m often walking through rubble or up a ladder – I keep a pair of boots in the car!” A happy client is French’s greatest satisfaction. “I love my job,” she says. “It’s so rewarding to have a client run with my suggestions and be thrilled with the result.”
Symond is passionate about her world of colour, “except when a painter used a cheap paint,” she says. “He tried to mix his own colour and painted a client’s house pink!”
Have you used a colour consultant? Share your experience in the Comments.
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