I am delighted to introduce my latest colour expert interview with Jane Hall. Jane has a wonderful store in Toronto full of colourful fabrics, furniture and accessories, she is The Voice of Style and her website is filled with the most fabulous colour to drench your home with personality! And her talent extends to art as well (all images below from Jane Hall Design):
[JH] I adore spring green. The arrival of spring seems like a miracle, as almost overnight the landscape changes like a moth into a butterfly….. from a grey environment to one filled with life and growth. The new leaves are the perfect shade of yellow green, the tulips are in bloom, the blossoms on flowering trees are bursting, but this stage is fleeting. It is only this fresh for a few short weeks and I love it. Spring green, the colour of nature really is the “neutral”. Green goes with everything…. look at a garden in bloom does it clash? Is it too much? Has mother nature made a mistake? How can these colours not make you feel good?
Think for a moment about how you feel on a grey, cold November day and how you feel on the first day that spring firmly takes hold. That is what painting your rooms the right colour can do for your sense of well being. It transforms your sprit from the way you feel during those long days in February to how you feel during the first weeks of May.
If I could banish a colour from a paint deck, it would be any “beige” that has a pink undertone to it. It just says blah!
[MK] What was your biggest colour/design mistake?
[JH] This is a tough question to answer! I sat all day trying to remember jobs where the client was unhappy with the end results. I have made mistakes in execution with a wrong measurement, or an incorrect order of fabric but not with my design choices. I believe this is because I have worked in the field for over 30 years, and experience is everything!
As an artist who mixes colour, I actually started dyeing cloth 40 years ago and then moved to using paint on canvas fabric, jewellery and furniture. This gives me an understanding of colour undertones, what is warm, what is cool, what is value and what colours look good together. My art is available to view on my website.
[MK] What is the most important colour lesson you’ve learned?
[JH] Colour has the ability to transform people’s lives. I have been able to make people’s lives better by surrounding them with colours that feed them emotionally. It is not just about how your house looks; it is also about how it feels. In my store, I have people come in every day and say that all of the colours that they see in here make them feel better, put a smile on their face, take them to some other place in the world that is exotic, or back to their childhoods when life wasn’t so restrained.
So it touches them in some way that is very profound.
[MK] When it comes to colour, what’s hot? Which one do you think it timeless and which colour trend would you love to see disappear?
[JH] I am not a big believer in what’s hot and what’s not. I do understand that it makes it easier for manufacturers to produce product for the upcoming season but I don’t think these rules should apply to choosing the colour of your walls. This is a much more personal statement which will be with you for a long time, much longer than the newest colours in towels, vases, linens and accessories. If you like the colour lavender, then it is in! I am personally very tired of neutral interiors and believe that people really do want colour but they just don’t know how to get it.
During public speaking engagements at home shows, I used to poll the audience about how many of them liked colour. Eighty percent of the hands would go up. When I asked how many of them had colour, only 20% would raise their hands. Neutrals are the colours people choose because often they don’t know how to select the right colour.
[MK] What do you think is one of the biggest mistakes homeowners make with colour?
[JH] I believe the number one mistake people make when choosing paint is picking a colour that is too light from a colour strip that shows a colour from the lightest to darkest value. Most of the time the consumer will choose the lighter colour believing that the others will be too dark. When they get it on the wall they say, “That’s not the colour I picked.” Unfortunately, it is the colour they picked; it’s just not the colour they wanted. On a small paint chip the colour is saturated and surrounded by white, and every time a paint chip gets bigger, it gets lighter.
As an expert I do not pick colour this way. When I go to clients’ homes I take a paint chip that’s 8 x12 inches, which allows them to see what the colour will actually look like. I highly recommend using a large paint chip (many companies do have them) or buying a tester or a quart and putting it on the walls. A colour will look different on every wall, different at various times of the day, and different as the seasons change.
[MK] What are the 5 things in life you cannot live without?
[JH] Of course the absolute given would be my children and my wonderful granddaughter who at 5 years knew the difference between a pastel yellow green and blue green!
1) My work, which is really my play….. I feel blessed to be able to get up every day and do something I am totally passionate about.
2) My SLR Camera
3) Anything that sparkles and shines… antique crystal chandeliers, beaded trim and fabric, cut glass, disco balls.
4) Music. It feed my soul and fires my neutrons, keeping my mind ever active and forever curious…
5) FABRIC, FABRIC, FABRIC and more fabric. Fabric is perfect as it has COLOUR and TEXTURE. It adds to a decor like nothing else can. Fabric over the windows, at the doors, across the bed, on the furniture. Glorious silks, luscious velvets, complex woven’s; I love them all.
[MK] Why is the use of colour so important in design?
[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.