I struggled briefly when titling this post… one simple word can evoke so many different thoughts and feelings.
I guess you could say that about “chocolate” too, but that’s another discussion. Most folks have a color or colors they love, some have a color or colors they highly dislike (dare I say “hate”!) … color affects mood, taste, memory and color is affected by everything around it – light, texture, other colors and more.
I recently attended a color class with Kate Smith of Sensational Color (and a lovely group of colorful ladies) and earned a Color Consultant Certification. Much of what we discussed in class I had learned in classes at design school, but it was great to revisit the basics and gather new insight on color in context and color psychology. For example certain colors tend to translate into certain moods such as:
Peaceful, calm – cool colors such as blues and greens with little contrast
Traditional, historic – darker colors and jewel tones with classic patterns and design elements
Energetic – bold colors used in conjunction with black, white and/or grey
These are just a few commonly-requested “moods” which translate into general color palettes. Colors are not exclusive to certain moods and color can (and should) be used to create one’s own ideal palette.
A few other gems of wisdom worth noting…
1. Rarely does anyone (yacht owner, home owner, designer) start with a completely blank canvas. We must take into consideration existing items – whether it’s flooring, cabinetry, stone counter tops, etc. – and create a color scheme that works with what’s already in place. Unless, of course, you are doing a gut re-fit/renovation… then you truly can start from scratch!
2. We must view, study, discuss color and material selections in the space where they will be used. Lighting in a showroom and lighting on your yacht or in your home are drastically different. Lighting in the actual space can be different depending on time of day, season of year and how much natural light vs. artificial light is being used. I once FedExed a piece of 32″ x 32″ tile to a project in Maui for the client to see how it looked in the space. Yes, it’s THAT important!
3. Don’t match colors too closely. A range of harmonious colors will have more depth and interest.
There are several other tenets, but they are probably common sense. The last thing I have to add… trust the process. When asked what my favorite saying or phrase is, I usually answer “it’s a process” because I believe that to be true. I may now add “and trust the process” as this element is critical when working with a decorator, color consultant or any professional who participates in this sort of collaborative effort.
If you have any burning color questions I can answer, please feel free to comment on the post or send me a note at firstname.lastname@example.org.