Is your color memory perfect? And, how important is it if it’s not?
Our perception of color is affected by many things, not the least of which is the source, amount, and quality of light available. Surrounding colors, personal preferences, and lack of experience also play a part in the nuances we may, or may not detect, in a specific color.
For these reasons, is it any wonder that trusting our memory to select a color chip to match the blue of a bedroom comforter left at home would be no simple task? Yet, customer’s do this every day.
On occasion, couple’s desiring my expertise arrive with nothing in hand to base color decisions on. Invariably they offer to select a paint chip each believes to match the color of whatever item they left at home. Rarely are the chips the same, let alone similar, to which each spouse rolls their eyes at the other while insisting their selection is correct.
Obviously, if two people living in the same home can’t agree on the color of an item they’ve lived with for years, we should be wary of making the same mistake.
Now that I recognize that most people’s color memory is far from perfect, I insist that customer’s run home and bring back a specific list of items that are required to choose a great paint color.
There are no shortcuts to selecting colors, and trusting your color memory rather than bringing in the necessary components from your room is very risky business.
In my years as a color consultant, I’ve met only two individuals (both children) that I believe may have had perfect color memory. Notice that I say may, because both showed their prowess within a very short window of time. Each saw an object on my desk, walked over to a paint color chip rack without the object, and selected a chip that exactly matched what they’d seen on my desk.
Even though some of us do have very good color memory, and I count myself in this category, my suggestion is to take 10 extra minutes to gather important “decision making” items from the room you’re painting. This will allow you to make an informed paint color choice rather than hoping you are one of the select few that possesses perfect color memory.