5 New Ways of Looking at Colour; from the Experts

Every colour expert that I have interviewed on my blog has their own interpretation and unique way of looking at colour.  I loved how their answers caused me to look at colour in a different way.

Here’s the recap of the best from each interview:

1)  Janice Lindsay.  Everyone was fascinated by what she said about Black:

[MK] What is the most under utilized colour?
[JL] Black.  Because when it is doing its work you often don’t see it and that is its magic.  Because we associate it with negative things and forget that is is strong and elegant and quiet – the yin to white’s noisier yang.

Janice Lindsay & Maria Killam

I recently had the privilege of meeting her in person.  She was on tour with PPG and was in their booth at the Design Show in Vancouver a few weeks ago!

2) Kate Smith.  Her answer to ‘What colours do you think are timeless” was so true!
[KS] Our love of these complex neutrals signals a shift in our collective aesthetic. We are being drawn to these colours because our taste has matured and we have a more sophisticated appreciation of colour. Now that we have reached this new level we will never go back. 

Image source

In the 80’s we were new to colour and experimenting with it so everyone painted one wall red (myself included :).  Kate’s point about complex neutrals points to what we are doing now; hiring a consultant to add colour (even if it’s in the form of neutrals) to pull our spaces together! A neutral is still adding colour where there were white walls previously!

3) Joanne Day.  I love her answer to this one!

[MK] What do you think is one of the biggest mistakes homeowners make with colour?

[JD] Following a trend that doesn’t agree with a clients genetically hardwired color bias. When a perfect color outfit makes you feel beautiful, it empowers you. It follows that the colors in your home should be chosen in a similar way.

4)  Lori Sawaya.  She made a great point when asked the same question (biggest mistakes homeowners make);

[LS] Thinking they lack something when it comes to coloring for themselves; that their color inspiration lies with some outward source. Every single person came here perfectly well equipped to self-color at each stage of their life; even if they are colorblind or color limited. Everyone has what’s needed to experience and live a robust color journey.

5) Jane Hall. Her answer to; [MK] Why is the use of colour so important in design? Had everyone commenting!

[JH] Color is critical to design because like sound, it travels on waves and therefore affects our subconscious in a very profound way. It helps clients take emotional possession of their homes, and infuse them with their own personalities, instead of the latest trends in the magazines, or their neighbours’ taste or the previous owners’ style. Many people move in their homes with boxes but never arrive emotionally.

Above 4 images from Amanda Nisbet Design

On my poll about Which colour should be banished from the paint decks? 

4 out of 5 answered the same way; Pinky Beige!  Having said that, there is a place for that colour, just [generally] not in wall to wall carpeting or tile, too hard to work with because it’s so dated.

Hope you enjoyed my recap!  Which one resonated for you?

Related posts:
Interview with Colour Expert; Jane Hall
Interview with Colour Expert; Janice Lindsay (Washington Post Blog Watch, July 9)
Interview with Colour Expert; Joanne Day
Interview with Colour Expert; Kate Smith
Interview with Colour Expert; Lori Sawaya

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  1. Kathy @ Creative Home Expressions

    First I want to tell you that you look lovely in that picture with Janice Lindsay and I love your outfit.

    Two actually resonated with me. Kate Smith's answer of "because our taste has matured and we have a more sophisticated appreciation of color". That is so true for me personally. Also, Joanne Day's response about the perfect color outfit making you feel beautiful and correlating it to the colors you use in your home. I totally agree with that and use that when I am working with clients picking color.

  2. Maria,

    I completely understood JH, "Many people move in their homes with boxes but never arrive emotionally." Moving around in the military all the years I did, I always painted and made each house my own even if we leased instead of owned.

    xo

  3. Tracy @ Comfort and Luxury

    I like what Jane Hall and Joanne Day had to say about color choices being personal. As I get older, I understand better that I should use what makes ME happy and comfortable, not what anyone else says is the newest and trendiest. As a decorator, I've often felt that my home should reflect the latest look, but that would be like dressing in the latest style whether it's flattering to me or not. Neither makes sense!

  4. If a house could talk and to be perfectly honest it does talk. Some of the neglect comes from not purging before you move in. Not purging seasonally either really creates a feeling of uncomfort in ones own skin. Think of your home as a living body that needs nurturing and care to keep it feeling youthful and alive like it's occupaints!

    All the questions and answers were great the more we know the better we can do in our homes for us and as designers for our clients.

    Bette

  5. Linda aka Heartfire At Home

    I love, love, loved the Jane Hall interview when I read it…. what she says about 'emotional possesion' really resonates with me.

    The comment about colours being 'hard wired' within us really makes sense to me too. No matter where I live or what room I'm in, there's always some red in it somewhere… I HAVE to have it!

    Thank you for such a wonderful blog Maria.

    Linda. 🙂

  6. Developing Designs

    Great post, and might I add you look fab in that photo BTW!

    The question should be what didn’t resonate with you? These were the thoughts/repsponses that made me go….WOW, right on.
    (Jane Hall) It helps clients take emotional possession of their homes, and infuse them with their own personalities
    (Kate S) Drawn to these colours because our taste has matured and we have a more sophisticated appreciation of colour. Now that we have reached this new level we will never go back.
    (Lori S) Everyone has what’s needed to experience and live a robust color journey.
    (JoAnne Day) When a perfect color outfit makes you feel beautiful, it empowers you.

  7. Ruthies Renewed Treasured

    Thanks Maria, loved this post. I also tell my client's that when they paint a room a color they love they will "claim" that space as their own. Similar to becoming emotionally attached. When we spend time making our homes beautiful, we personalize them and that's when we start to settle down and enjoy it even more. We'll be more likely to share our home with other's too!

  8. love all of these but have to say that reminding us about black is great to hear!!! it really does just make some spaces perfect when laced throughout…

    bookmarking this one!!

    xoxoxoox

  9. very interesting post..love the comment about black… I feel I need to really think about what I did in my kitchen….

  10. Great post, I deal with clients weird colour choices everyday and always create a beautiful room…takes a little hair pulling somedays(yesterday… client for todays presentation) but I get there. Very glad you got to meet Janice…she is fab and I love using black properly in a room when my clients will let me(last nights presentation)Next week I am dealing with a pinky peach paint and drapery that has to stay… but I think I have it under control…found a few great fabrics to pull it all together with dark brown leather for the sofa…wish me luck, in the same room there is lots of oak dining furniture that has to stay…colour is very hard most days…Loved your blog today, hope your weekend is tea and a great book.. Regards, Carol Ann

  11. Oh color my world! I feel for those who are not able to see the gorgeous colors of rainbow and the plethora of shades. Great post and I agree with colors you like rather than what is trendy. That is so silly to surround yourself with something you don't like based on someone elses whims. Great and interesting post.
    Happy Twirls
    PS I have a French Home glass wine set give away if your're interested

  12. Between you, me and the Fencepost

    "Every single person came here perfectly well equipped to self-color at each stage of their life; even if they are colorblind or color limited. Everyone has what’s needed to experience and live a robust color journey."
    That is my official favorite answer! What a comforting thing to say. Expecially to the colour impaired, like me.

  13. Jane Hall The Voice of Style

    Hi Maria,

    Loved all the comments! This experience has inspired me to get cracking and get my own blog going. I have been working on the writing and the photos for a year so content shouldn't be a problem. Lets all join hands and start a colour revolution! spread the word and let everyone know how colour can help you FEEL better about your life and can resonate with your soul!!!!

  14. I have to say the first one. I LOVE black. I have a lot of black furniture and it is just beautiful. If I didn't have black furniture in the dining room, I would paint it black. I love a black dining room.

  15. Brillante Home Decor

    Yyppeee…I was able to open and read this post. Enjoyed every word.
    Miss you and see you soon. Ciao.

  16. Yet another great post, Maria. I have to agree with Janice Lindsay's comment about black. In the very same way that black mascara defines the colours in our eyes, it helps add definition to a room and used in the right places and quantity, it can be so utterly chic.
    I can't tell you how great it is, to read about and discuss colour in this way. It's like being able to pop into a virtual Colour & Coffee shop whenever I feel the need to chat/muse/pick ideas. Wonderful stuff.