CHALLENGE: Narrowing down the color palette for a client is seemingly difficult when the client is insisting on eight or nine major colors in her home! I know there is a solution to this problem, but I cannot get a handle on it. Could you please offer some guidance on color choice and how to narrow down the array of colors my client is insisting on?
SOLUTION: The power
of color is a very important part of the success of a room’s
interior. You are correct in admitting the difficulty of narrowing
down colors for your client. When clients insist on a particular
group of colors they want to work with, it can be a challenge. Let’s
work on narrowing it down for both you and the client!
When I work with clients who have an array of colors they want to
incorporate into their room designs, I insist they narrow it down
to their three favorites. From there, I ask them to list, in order
of importance, the rest of the colors. This exercise gives clients
a chance to really think about what is important to them and what
is important in relation to the things in the room. It may be a
piece of furniture that is a problem and not the color that is included
on the chair’s fabric, for example. People often will relate
what they think is a color they cannot live without to a piece of
furniture or drapery treatment already in the room.
Once you have narrowed down their color choices to three colors,
explain to the clients they can best use these colors by creating
shades and tints of these colors. Used this way throughout the home,
the colors will create a smooth transition from room to room that
will make the rooms flow and not feel choppy. When a home is smaller
in square footage or has a tight, closed layout the importance of
transition from one room to the other is very important to the success
of the room as a whole.
Neutrals, such as white, black, gray and beige, may be used to tone
down a room or add some Wow! to the space. Also, a focal point—or
Wow Factor—in the room may be created with a strong accent
color. This focal point is of the utmost importance in creating
interest in each room that is designed.
As to the language of color, you may want to consider color choices
in relationship to complementary colors—those that are opposite
on the color wheel; analogous colors—those next to each other
on the color wheel; triad colors—those that form a triangle
on the color wheel; or monochromatic colors—one color in harmonious
These are a few of the most used color schemes. Do not forget the
palette of neutrals, such as black, beige, grey or white, with splashes
of accents! I know the palette your client chooses will be successful
if thought out carefully.
Editor’s note: This is a continuing series of articles
written by Sharon L. Anderson that will answer some of the many
questions we receive at Draperies & Window Coverings as well
as questions Anderson has encountered in her own business. If you
have a question you would like Anderson to address, please send
c/o Draperies & Window Coverings
1724 E. Grand Ave.
Lindenhurst, IL 60046
Fax: (847) 356-9013
Sharon L. Anderson has more than 20 years experience in the residential
and commercial areas of interior design. She is currently a faculty
member at two Southern California colleges. Anderson has been featured
in numerous books and publications.