In my True Colour Expert Workshops I always ask, "Who here thinks I have some kind of magical ability to see colour?" Everyone always looks at me like they're thinking, "Really? Is she that arrogant?" Two or three might raise their hand.
But here's the thing...
The single most important magical tool I have, which has trained my eye over the past 10 years is my collection of 11x14 large painted colour boards. When I don't have my large samples with me, I'm basically visually impaired in terms of specifying colour accurately. And without them, so are you.
Remember the post I wrote called, The 80/20 Rule also Applies to the Most Popular Paint Colours? Well, if you are a designer/decorator/stager/do-it-yourself homeowner or painter, and you have the most often-used paint colours (ie neutrals) in large colour boards, it becomes really obvious to YOU as well as your CLIENT, which colour is correct.
And to be clear, colours (reds, yellows, blues, greens, etc) have undertones just like neutrals but it's in the realm of complex neutrals where most colour mistakes are made. All you have to do is look in any magazine and, if you have a trained eye, you can see these mistakes over and over again. That's why you need my hand-picked collection of neutrals and whites to get it right.
Bottom line, if your client can't see that the colour you are showing him/her is right, then neither can you.
Next time you are in a living room and you want to see if the colour you have just chosen is pulling the room together, prop up your sample (or two or three samples) by the carpet, behind the sofa or on the mantle, stand back and look. Easy.
Or you are in a bathroom or kitchen (where the undertones of tiles and granite are the most confusing) just go through your colour boards until you find the one that works. Simple.
This set includes 40 neutrals and 10 whites for $297 including delivery (in the US or Canada):
- The best beiges divided into pink, yellow and green undertones.
- The best grays divided into green, blue and violet undertones.
- The 10 best whites.
There have been so many times when I have found the colour in my Benjamin Moore (right) architectural fan deck with 2x6 inch samples — that I was SURE was the right colour. I then pulled out my colour board, held it up and found the 2x6 inch sample was totally wrong.
When I had this conversation with one of the Benjamin Moore store owners locally he said, "That's because the architectural sample is printed ink on paper and your samples are actual paint on paper." That's the first reason why the colour boards are more accurate, but of course the second reason is that now the sample is actually large enough to see in context with all the other colours and complex neutrals in the room.
How could anyone possibly make a decision on a colour for your walls (which take up the largest amount of space in a room) with a tiny, baby colour chip?
Years ago I was at a consultation and the couple showed me a brochure with 1x1 inch stain samples and asked which one they should choose to re-stain their hardwood floors. I looked at them like a deer in headlights and said, "I'll get back to you." The minute I left the consult I called a design mentor of mine and said, "OMG, what should I have told them – I should know that right?" She replied, "There's no way you can know unless you get some larger samples tested on the sanded floor right before you are ready to go. Every type of wood takes stain differently and testing is always required."
When she said that I immediately thought, "Duh, I am the same person who just finished specifying that house full of colours with my LARGE samples. Why would stain samples be any different?"
Most designers think they should have a magical ability to predict what a tiny 2x2 inch paint chip will look like on four walls and make a decision. Well I have news for you – it’s almost impossible to be accurate trying to successfully pick paint colours that way.
Along with the 50 colour boards you will also receive a list of all the colours, divided by undertones. I’ve also included a bonus list with 25 extra neutrals, the best greens and the best blues. Now, the next time you go shopping for tile, carpet, fabrics or anything else for your home, you will never again mistakenly end up with a pinky-beige tile, when your space needed a yellow-beige or green-beige tile. Because now your colour boards will make it clear which tile is pink. Or green. Or yellow. Or gray.
And the next time you need to know which countertop sample is right with the paint colour, just lay it down on the colour board and it becomes obvious. Or hold the colour board up vertically against your cabinets, underneath your existing countertop or lay several colour boards in a row on your tile floor leaning against the wall or counters. Now you can see which colour is right.
Totally painless. So, if you want to look and feel confident when specifying colour for your clients and/or for yourself, I have a limited number of sets of 50 samples that I'm selling for $297 (including delivery) anywhere in Canada or the US (Tax applicable for Canadian Residents).
They are all Benjamin Moore colours. At $297, the cost of each board works out to $6.00 per board. The last time I made my own colour boards, buying a paint sample cost at least $6.99 - $10.00. That doesn’t include the cost of poster boards and paint rollers, never mind the valuable time it takes to do the actual painting. It took me two hours to paint eight colour boards — that’s a lot of time!
When you order these custom-made samples you will have the most critical and important tool in your design or do-it-yourself world.