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Advice for DesignersAdvice for HomeownersTrue Colour Expert

Is This the Year You’ll Transform Your Dirty Little Secret?

By 01/05/2014August 11th, 201920 Comments

Is this the year you'll Transform your Dirty Little Secret?

{click on images for source}

The following is a comment from one of my readers:

“Our house is almost built but I am not excited. I have listened to the advice of a colour consultant that was provided by our builder so now I have cortina brown kitchen floor tiles with natural finish knotty alder cabinet (mission style) and countertop in beige (santa cecilia granite). The color combination is just blah. The bathrooms are just as uninspiring.

To be frank, I am quite depressed and not looking forward to living in this house. The floors look too dark and muddy for my taste. I am getting a new dining room and living room furniture (I just don’t know what colors to choose). I have medium beige wall color throughout the house. What can I do to make all this color combination much more pleasing to the eye?” 

What if you were the colour consultant? Or this homeowner who didn’t understand enough about design to be able to communicate her preferences to her designer.

I talk to so many design professionals who confess their “dirty little secret” to me.

“Maria.” they say, “I wish I had more confidence in picking paint colours. Yes, I help my clients to pick colours, but sometimes I go home with a knot in my stomach and worry that my client is going to call and tell me they hate the colour I chose. I wish I could feel so good about the paint colours that I could stop all the worry and sleep like a baby.”

Do you have the Answer to Why?

Or they’ll tell me, “I can mostly pick the right colours for my clients but I can’t give them the why. I can’t explain why it’s this colour and not that colour. After I leave I know they’re going to opinion-shop with their husband, their mother, their girlfriends and those conversations might make them change their minds. I want them to have confidence that I know what I’m talking about. I wish I could answer all their, ‘yeah buts,’ and ‘what abouts’ and ‘how comes.’ I wish I had more training so that I could rely on to tell them why.”

And it’s not just about colour for the walls, is it? What about tile, carpeting, countertops and all the other finishes that need to coordinate and flow from one space to another?

In case you think you’re the only professional who has this worry, know this: so many of us worry and stress over picking the right colours. It can just seem hit or miss and we aren’t sure what the colour will actually look like when it goes up on the wall, or we just rely on our “spidey senses” when we look through our fan decks.

Everyone has some level of worry and concern that they’re not doing a good enough job and wish they had a system they could have confidence in.

Have you ever had any of these experiences?

You walk into a consultation to help your new client select paint colours for her main living areas. “Blue is my favourite colour,” she tells you, “I really want my house to feel clean and calm.” Do you have the confidence to assess her space and know whether blue is actually an option for her? Can you immediately see if blue will truly make her happy or not?

Can I paint my house Blue?

You’re in the middle of a consultation with a new client and she meets your suggestions with a list of “no-go colours.” She tells you she hates yellow, or green, or beige, or… Do you avoid those colours and simply offer her choices from the rest of the colour wheel? Or do you have a way to handle her objections?

Your client’s new house needs colour and a plan from top to bottom. She’s trusting you to come up with a brilliant colour palette that she will love and will make her house look like a design magazine. She’s not planning on making changes to her existing furnishings. Can you make her dreams come true? Can you guide her to colour choices that fulfill her every wish? What do you do if you can’t?

Your consultation is going really well and then her best friend (mother, sister, husband, etc, etc) comes in and offers their opinion. “Is that really the colour you’re going to use?” they ask. Your client looks at you to explain why this colour is exactly right for their space. Have you lost control of the consultation and now it’s a conversation between your client and her friend?

NOT the right colour. Nice try though

You’ve finished the initial tour of your client’s house and now you need to start the work. Where do you start? Do you have a tried and true system that gives you the confidence to know exactly what the first question and decision must be?

There really isn’t a good teachable system for how to look at colour that goes beyond understanding the colour wheel, colour psychology or the meaning of colour.

And trust me – those things are never going to be enough to help you be a True Colour Expert™.

The gap between where you are now and where you need to be

There is a huge gap between what’s taught in design school and learning what you absolutely need to know to be a competent and confident colour consultant. Whether you’ve been involved with colour for decades or you’re just considering starting a design career, I have good news for you:

You’ve finally found someone who has discovered a colour SYSTEM that will give you the CONFIDENCE you need! And that’s me!

Inside my program you’ll discover the WHY behind your colour choices so that your clients can have confidence in YOUR advice!

This course is for you if:

  • You want to be in the top 1% in your niche.
  • You’re interested in mastery and being a leader in your field.
  • You are passionate about colour and design and want a comprehensive system that you can learn all in one place.
  • You want to discover the secrets to choosing colours, especially neutrals confidently.
  • You need a step-by-step system to make every colour consultation great.
  • You’re interested in being one of the only True Colour Experts™ in your area.
  • You’d like to radically expand the list of colours you can confidently specify.

This course is NOT for you if:

  • Colour is the easiest part of your job.
  • You have never lost control of a consultation because you always know how to explain why your suggestions are correct for your client.
  • You have never lost sleep worrying that the colours you chose were the right ones.
  • It doesn’t bother you (in fact you prefer it) when a client wants to know what you would do before giving you their ideas.

“THIS COURSE IS ALSO FOR YOU IF YOU’RE A HOMEOWNER OR DESIGN ENTHUSIAST LOOKING TO LEARN MORE ABOUT COLOR”

I get emails all the time from homeowners who ask if they would feel out of place in my training. Here’s what you need to know:

Designers who have been in the industry 20-30 years are actually in the exact same place as you in my seminars because it’s my system everyone is learning at the same time which is not available anywhere else in the world.

Many homeowners/design enthusiasts attend my course because they are in a position where they will be building a new home and choosing everything and they’re looking for a foundation of understanding colour and trends so that their home will look like their vision and they won’t suddenly find themselves in the position of the homeowner at the beginning of this post. This was a comment from one of my recent participants:

“Maria, I’m beginning to re-think some of my ideas about the new house. I’m so glad I attended while still in the planning stages.”  Laura Coleman

I know I talk a lot about my system in my blog posts and through my eBook and I love sharing my knowledge, but it might have left you with a false sense of understanding my system.

My blog may be enough for some of you, but if you’re reading this and it’s making you feel uncomfortable or you have a knot in your stomach, because you’re still not sure you’re fully in control when it comes to understanding colour, that’s the sign that you really need to be in a room with me to learn all my best practices and really take your knowledge of colour to the next level for real mastery.

And then what happens when your clients can hear your confidence? You’ll be able to command higher rates and work with your ideal clients who will not only happily pay your fees, but also listen to your expertise and take your advice.

“Maria, thank you so much for helping me learn (and be able to explain) how to make fixed elements sing, instead of cry~ your course was one of the best investments I have made in my home staging and decorating business.” Ginny Truyens, Feels Like Home 2 Me Home Staging & Decorating

Register here for an upcoming course.

Related posts:

The Three Most Important Words in a Consultation

How I Became a True Expert

Would you Love to Have more Confidence?

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20 Comments

  • Elizabeth Dana says:

    Maria: I purchased a house I could afford. Pinky beige tile with purple veins in bathroom. I embraced the purple and now its beautiful. remember don’t fight it. Also the kitchen has the tiger oak cabinets with pinky beige counters. I painted the backsplash blue and the walls over the top of the crown molding above cabinets blue too to tie the adjoining living/dining area. I looks beautiful. Your advice on your site is the best. I’m happy with my home and the flow is great. I saved me from making costly mistakes. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
    Elizabeth Long Island, NY

  • Elizabeth Dana says:

    Sorry for the spelling. RA problem

  • Michelle says:

    Maria, I absolutely love your blog and have your e-book but I live in Australia!! How can I become a true colour expert ,apart from flying to Canada( which would be lovely by the way!)
    Regards from down under
    Michelle

  • Beth L says:

    Will you be starting the online version this year????? I need this class….yesterday.

    • Maria Killam says:

      No, this course will not be on-line for quite some time and I can’t say when. And nothing replaces the hands-on learning in class with the networking. Maria

  • Nicole says:

    So, going back to the initial scenario, is it possible to save that room? What would you advise for wall color/accesories in order to ‘clean-up’ the color situation?

    • Maria Killam says:

      Hi Nicole,
      I’m not sure what you’re asking, the blue room above is not an example of a bad room. Maria

      • Kathy says:

        Maria, I believe she is asking about the discussion and final question asked in the first 2 paragraphs: “Our house is almost built but I am not excited. I have listened to the advice of a colour consultant that was provided by our builder so now I have cortina brown kitchen floor tiles with natural finish knotty alder cabinet (mission style) and countertop in beige (santa cecilia granite). The color combination is just blah. The bathrooms are just as uninspiring.

        To be frank, I am quite depressed and not looking forward to living in this house. The floors look too dark and muddy for my taste. I am getting a new dining room and living room furniture (I just don’t know what colors to choose). I have medium beige wall color throughout the house. What can I do to make all this color combination much more pleasing to the eye?””

        I’d like to know too….

        • Maria Killam says:

          Without seeing images, it would be very hard to give useful advice. And there’s no ‘one-size-fits-all answer’ that would work across the board which is why images would be necessary. Maria

          • Beccaleena says:

            Hi Marie,
            Of course, no one-size-fits-all answer is expected, but, given the initial scenario from the woman whose home is almost built but she’s not excited … what could she “do to make all this color combination much more pleasing to the eye?” Thank you in advance for some creative inspiration. Beccaleena

  • Linnea says:

    Also, do you have many international readers? I bought your e-book, but the brands/colors you mention are not available in Norway. It would be easier if you could include the NCS-code, so I know which color I can substitute it with.

    • Maria Killam says:

      Thousands, but unfortunately there isn’t one system that would be internationally used. For a small fee, we can mail you the BM chips from the book, email [email protected] if you’re interested. This way you can use them to compare to your system. Maria

  • Cammie says:

    I love the blue room above, do you have the source? I couldn’t find it among your pinterest links.

    • Maria Killam says:

      Just click on any image above and then again when you get to Pinterest and it’ll take you to the source of the image.

  • tara dillard says:

    At least once a month a client does not like/want a plant choice. Focal point choice. Color choice.

    Once explained, Yes I WANT THAT !

    Of course it took decades of experience to get here.

    Am not afraid to mention to any client, My income/reputation is in your garden & I’m only as good as my last garden.

    Would I really make a wrong choice?

    Garden & Be Well, XO Tara

  • Raeleen Tascona says:

    Is there a way to become a true colour expert without your class, I live in winnipeg and flying to another city to take it isn’t an option (at this point anyway) Does your e book cover all of this?

  • Your class was THE best investment I have made in my business! I sometimes leave a client thinking “wow, I really am an expert– a True Color Expert!” Many thanks to you, Maria!

  • Cyndia Montgomery says:

    One of these days I will be taking your class! Must save $$$!

  • Dimi says:

    Maria, you’re killing me with those offers… The only way for me to attend is if you and Terreeia came to Greece for holidays. (hey, a girl can dream… right?). Think about it! Lots of love for the new year! xxx

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