Thursday, June 30, 2011

Color Compromise
It happens all the time. Color preferences that are so divergent there seems to be no happy medium. So how does a married couple (or a designer consulting with them) find a harmonious solution? What I have found in many years of color consultations, is that there is more than a little competitiveness between husband and wife on this subject. And both want to get their way on color choices. You would be surprised to learn that husbands are just as adamant about their preferences as wives are. They are looking to the designer to take sides, be a tie breaker, (or in some cases, referee), and that is something a professional can not do. It’s the designer’s job to create a total environment, including the right colors that will reflect the overall ambiance they are trying to achieve.

There are some key clues that couples give during the initial consult, and it’s their words, rather than specific colors, which helps determine the final color palette. For instance: cozy, homey, warm, inviting are words that indicate the predilection for warm colors: red, orange, yellow, warm neutrals and any secondary combinations of those colors. Conversely, relaxing, restful, calming are words that convey the need for cool colors: gray, blue, green, purple, and any secondary combinations of those colors. A third hugely popular category uses descriptives such as timeless, understated, earthy, natural, and that’s where interesting neutrals come into play.

What I have found is that, given the clues any married couple provides me, we can come up with a palette that accomplishes the ultimate goal of their interior design, and incorporates individual color preferences–either in one room of the house, or as an accent color in a main living area. I have yet to work with a couple that feels their preferences were disregarded or that their designer “took sides”. So how do you find this middle road on your own? Exactly the way a professional designer does. Make a list of adjectives (that you both contribute) to define the ultimate look of what you want your new design to achieve. Based on those descriptives, match the feel of what you want to accomplish to the colors that historically can pull that off. I have researched color associations thoroughly (with the help of Color Marketing Group International) and devised a chart that will help you make those color connections (see lead photo).

As long as you remember that color choice isn’t a contest between spouses, you can incorporate the best of both your preferences and (with luck and a bit of compromise) live happily ever after.

Article and photo taken directly from 1a 2a
Americarpet carries all of the color palette mentioned in this article.

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