This morning as I was re-loading my car with samples from a consultation I realized that a blog post outlining what every colour consultant should have in their car would be very helpful. So here is my list:
1. Measuring Tape
It’s rare that I conduct a consultation without pulling it out at least once.
And everyone has this measurement with you at all times. Open your hand and measure the distance between your thumb and pinkie finger (below). My hand is 7 1/2 inches so if a light fixture is 15 inches, I can hold up both hands to immediately guess if it’s right. If you are in a furniture store and want to know what the measurement of a small table is (for example), you can get an approximation by just using your hands.
2. Architectural Fan Deck from Your Local Paint Store
It shocks me how many designers who specify colour for walls don’t realize you can get bigger samples than just a little fan deck. Although you should know that paint stores don’t have architectural kits at the store level – you’ll need to contact your local representative who will usually drop one off at your home.
3. 50 Must-Have Colour Samples from Colour Me Happy
It took me 10 years to develop a system for understanding undertones and there was a core group of colours that I kept coming back to over and over again. If you are someone in the business of specifying colour, without these you are visually impaired. Period.
If your colour consultant shows up without a good selection of large samples (they don’t have to be mine by the way). Be afraid.
Click here to buy.
4. Stack of White Subway Tiles
White subway tiles basically come in white and off-white. But each one comes shiny or flat which gives you four different whites. And I love beveled subway tile too, so I carry those as well. I also have two boards, one with all the rest of the colours and the other with glass tile. As you know, I think subway tile is classic and timeless so it’s all I carry in my car.
Whichever tile is your “signature style” have them in your car. Every decision that you can help your clients make that moves their project forward adds huge value to the consultation.
5. Ring of Laminate/Formica Countertop Samples.
Hey, not everyone is installing stone countertops everywhere, so having a set of samples to choose from works really well if your client did not collect enough on their own for the consultation. It should come as no surprise to you that I don’t specify ones that look like this as I am not a fan of granite countertops.
6. Quartz Samples
And that brings me to quartz countertops. I carry Cambria, Silestone and Caesarstone samples in my office but it’s the Caesarstone samples that end up in my car because it’s a small little box (approx. 4″ x 12″) and the samples look like this:
When I have a slew of fabrics books, carpet samples, etc, that I need to load the car with in the morning, it’s the small box of stone that makes the cut (unless a client has requested another set of course).
7. Blind Samples
You never know when someone needs a new set of blinds. Great if you have them with you, even just to specify the right colour.
8. Fabric Book(s)
My clients often ask me for direction on which colour sofa they should buy. So I always have a few basic upholstery books in my car for this very reason. It’s way easier than just pulling colours from the sky.
9. Carpet Samples
Carpet is a huge colour decision to make because the darker you go (for kids and pets) the more obvious the colour or undertone becomes. In the above bedroom you can see that the carpet has a pink undertone. Which of course works well with blue as I wrote in this post.
There is no such thing as “neutral” carpet unless it’s basically white or cream.
10. Wood Flooring Stain Samples
Which colour hardwood flooring to choose is a huge question many of my clients have. I have a small deck in my car especially for this reason.
11. ipad or iphone.
Many of my designer friends have saved photos of lighting, architectural elements to show like molding and panelling, fireplaces styles, etc. It’s so easy to scroll along and show your clients exactly what you are specifying.
Another really useful way to organize samples in the car is to buy a trunk organizer. For years I used boxes you’d find from an office supply store but they break down in the heat so I was so happy when I discovered them (sorry I could not find what I actually have).
So there’s my list and I’m sure you have a list of your own. What do you carry in your car?
Download my eBook, It’s All in the Undertones. If you have a computer, you can download my book!
To make sure the undertones in your home are right, get some large samples!
If you would like to learn to how choose the right colours for your home or for your clients, become a True Colour Expert.