It is often the case that when I meet a client for the first time they inevitably have a gazillion color chips tacked to the walls throughout their home and have been ‘living’ with them for quite some time. They apologetically tell me how they just can’t decide what’s ‘correct’ and are stilted at making a choice that will create upheaval in their home only to look different from what they had envisioned. I try to ease their minds that paint color IS huge, for the simple fact that it isn’t a single room to consider, but the color palette flow that needs to be considered. When I describe this concept of color flow to my clients, I have them visualize a soothing painting. Whether traditional or modern, a brilliantly executed painting is one that carries the eye from one place to another, resting, and moving on in a single continuous sweep without dropping the viewer’s gaze from the edge.
For example, in the image below, the adjoining room could easily support a celadon hued dining table with antiqued gold-leaf Louis dining chairs upholstered in a vibrant rose hue – a subconscious connection can be made between the spaces, and thus considered one.
This concept, while simple, can be nerve-wracking for some of my clients. Each of us intuitively knows a home that ‘works’ – it envelopes the senses and lends a comfortable predictability. Now, I don’t mean predictable in the yaaawn sense, but a non-jarring, subconscious knowing that makes us feel secure – and this principle goes for both visitors and inhabitants.
Often, when I am working on a newly built home, client family members chime in excited unison with their staggeringly different color choices for ‘their’ room. I attempt to alleviate the potential for non-flow by taking each member’s choices into consideration and presenting a base of tonality, intensity and compliment that works for everyone – AND looks and feels great.
Super important point – I do not suggest ever using multiple colored flooring choices throughout the house (even in a finished out attic), particularly carpet and tile. Other colors can be introduced through pillows, artwork and window treatments, without making a major investment that will inevitably be regretted later.