Sunday, 6 May 2012

Would you just pick a BLOOMIN Colour!!!!

Why is it so hard? Why do so many people struggle with choosing colour? Why do I hear the phrase "how many shades of cream do they need! No wonder it takes the Mrs that long to choose a colour for the walls..."
It's because most people cannot imagine how the room will look when it is done and because it is a big commitment. Paint is cheap (per sq metre/ft it is still the cheapest thing you will put in your home) but labour is expensive. Whether you are having a professional do the work or whether you are spending your hard earned holiday time doing it yourself, if you get it wrong it is either way a costly mistake. It is also always the largest area in a single material....which seems like a big thing to get wrong.

Dulux's latest advert shows us how the wrong colour can make you want to leave home ...

At Carte Blanche we offer a colour consultancy service and  the service is there to help people through the mire of colours and finishes and to save them from a million sample pots and when we first arrive a wall like this is often what we are greeted by

Thank you to FiELDy for this photo
This invariably doesn't help...and actually if you read the great blog post that I took this photo from you will see that the owner of the room found the colour a totally different being in a space painted in it.

So why get a professional to help from Carte Blanche. Well first of all we paint out all your splodges and we ban you from sample pots and then we help you define what you want. We find a starting point - some people start with a totally blank canvas but this is rare most people have chosen some items already that they have decided will go into or will remain in the room. It is then a matter of getting inside the client's head and discovering what their taste is.

Here is an example of our work. This couple came to us with the kitchen that needed updating. The kitchen was a really good quality one and it was well designed but the doors were very dated. We enlisted Andrew Fitzpatrick, our favourite cabinet maker to design, make and fit new doors and update a few of the more outdated elements like the cooker hood.

Here are the befores -

The client had Italian tiles on countertops and backsplash and really good quality terracotta tiles on the floor that they wanted to keep but it is a little dated that look...and we really needed to think of a good colour combo to make this look contemporary. Crisp off-white cabinets and ceiling and a surprising soft heathery, slightly pinky grey helps tie the warm wooden knobs and the terracotta floor looks sharp and new. It also picks up on the terracotta background that the Italian tiles have - they are glazed but you can just see the terracotta hue shining through..

I think we achieved a clean and contemporary look and the client is delighted.

If you would like us to help then give us a call 01738 587600 - we charge between £50 and £150 per room for colours, depending on how complex the scheme elements are. Some rooms might need many colours to make the best of architectural features. We produce large painted samples of the colours and suggested accent colours and guide you through choice of paint too to suit your lifestyle.

If you don't want professional help here are a few tips:
  • Start with things that are known facts...what will be in the room? Try to make sure that you have the lighting as it will be when the room is complete - lighting can totally change a colour
  • Cut your choices down to 3 colours. More than 3 colours becomes a mish-mash...and confuses the eye.
  • Paint 3 large (A2 paper size if possible, definitely no smaller than A4) samples of each colour. Apply 2 coats to each sample and paint to the very edge. 
  • One colour at a time, place one sample in a dark part of the room and one in a light and one in area where artificial light plays a large part.
  • Keep them up there so you can see them in different lights, day time, day time with artificial light and evening
  • Immediately discard one colour...this is an imperative. Choosing between 2 colours is a lot simpler
  • Put two samples of the same colour either side of the darkest corner of the room and you will see how the internal reflection will give you the colour at its most intense.
 Here are a few toys to help you understand how colour works and how it might affect your room.

Color Scheme Designer is a great toy - it's actually meant to be used for designing websites but it really helps to understand how colour works together. Here you can see a complementary colour scheme - where opposites are used together to great effect

go and  try the colour scheme designer

Another fun toy is from Crown - not that I am endorsing their paint or otherwise, but this wee tool is great for getting ideas

Crown's Colour Tools
This tool takes a photo of a fairly standard room.....there are a number covering the whole house and lets you change the colours of each of the elements of the room. . Be careful though - the colours you see on the computer screen are potentially very far from the actual paint colours. Tester pots are probably essential for most people to make a final comparison (just as the printed catalogues aren't 100% accurate to the paints)

This is my final's a biggy

Q.What happens if I get it wrong....what if after all that I don't like the colour?
A. Change your lighting before you start changing the will be amazed how a different coloured bulb can dramatically change a room.

Best of luck!! And have fun.


  1. I couldn't agree more about choosing a colour. Thanks for the good advice.

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