If you’re at a loss as to what a color consultant is, you’re not alone. Yet I guarantee once you’ve experienced their expertise, you’ll never want to make another color selection on your own again.
A Color Consultant Does What?
Color is a common thread throughout all human life. We wear it, eat it, create, and live with it. So, why wouldn’t we want to be absolutely sure that the best colors are selected for our living and work environments?
As a color consultant it is my job to help home and business owners select paint, textile, flooring, cabinetry, and counter top colors that are harmonious with one another. I consider all of the subtle color nuances to create a palette of colors that will be loved for years to come. But, doing this requires more than just choosing a pretty color or finish.
One of the more exciting, and challenging, aspects of consulting with people on color is the personal perspective of it all. Not only is it important that I learn your color likes, and dislikes, but also how you want your space to feel and what colors make you feel that way.
Magic is created in the way a color consultant combines their client’s preferences with their own knowledge and understanding of color.
So, what sets color consultants apart from a lay person that enjoys, and happens to be good at, choosing colors? Quite a few things, actually.
Color Consultant Commonalities
Every successful color consultant I know has at least four things in common.
- A natural eye for color.
- Ample experience working the colors of paint, flooring, cabinetry and tops, textiles, wood (flooring, cabinetry, or doors and trim), window coverings, and art work.
- Hands on color training.
- An assortment of color tools to help the homeowner make a color decision based on visual evidence rather than a whim.
My Colorful History
I was born to artistic parents; my father is a musician and mother an artist. From an early age I knew that my mother was very special in her ability to make anything beautiful. While I didn’t particularly appreciate it at the time, living in my mother’s home was the precursor to my eventually becoming a color consultant. She helped nurture my eye for beauty, and then my eye’s color sensitive cones took over from there.
The last 19 years of my life have been filled with choosing interior and exterior finishes, and more recently paint colors. I spent ten of the most busy, yet fun, years of my life working in residential construction. There, I chose all of the finishes for our spec homes and advised each custom client with theirs. The last nine years I’ve specialized in paint color. When the economy started its downturn in 2007, I made the leap to a local Benjamin Moore store, which was one of the smartest decisions I’ve ever made. Not only am I able to serve many more people than I could in construction, it shown a bright light on the gift I have for all things color.
One of the perks of working in a paint store is learning how to make decisive color decisions quickly, while continually refining my craft. Every customer that walks through the door presents me with a new and different set of parameters that I get to apply my hands on knowledge to. In addition to this, I traveled from Bloomington, Indiana to Vancouver Canada in 2011 to further train my eye to see and understand color in an entirely new way. There I learned the secrets of North America’s Top Color Expert, Maria Killam. Under her tutelage I expanded my understanding of, and, more importantly, my way of seeing color in an entirely new light.
Lucky for me, and you, Benjamin Moore has provided me with their fine color tools to conduct my color consultations with. These tools, along with my private collection of painted color sample boards allow me to make great selections that are a breeze to back up. My ability to show each client what their paint color will look like in relation to their home’s fixed elements, with something larger than a 2″ x 2″ color swatch, is a game changer.
If you’re considering whether to work with a color consultant, or not, let me leave you with these final thoughts. A professional color consultant (as defined by the four qualifications above) WILL save you time and money. Their trained eye will weed out colors that won’t work immediately, while introducing you to colors you may never have thought of. In whittling down the list of samples to consider and purchase, you will also save money. And in today’s world, who doesn’t wish to save time and money?