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True Colour Expert

The Gift of a Trained Eye this Christmas

By 12/23/2010January 27th, 201713 Comments

Yesterday I arrived at a consultation. I had been referred by the project manager of a renovation company who would be starting this one right after Christmas (he reads my blog). This company is very organized. They don’t begin construction until their client has signed off on all the finishes. This had been completed one week ago and to my knowledge everything had been ordered. They do it this way so there is no delays waiting for product once construction begins.

Image via Southern Living
So I’m looking at the yellow/gold granite for the kitchen and the backsplash tile that has been chosen which is pinky beige. The laundry room arborite countertop in a brushed charcoal that has no relationship to the travertine tile floor and my heart started racing. But I had a decision to make.  Do I pretend that all is well and risk upsetting the person who referred me in the first place (thank you very much by the way)? Or do I explain to the client what I’m seeing so that she gets a kitchen she loves?  Well you know the answer to that.

When I pointed out the pinky beige in the kitchen backsplash, she saw it right away (most people can see it when I show them) and told me that the day this expensive backsplash was chosen with the designer she felt sick to her stomach because she could see that something was wrong but she couldn’t identify exactly what it was.

And she was grateful.

Image via Southern Living

I don’t have photos (of this consult) to show you because it is not my purpose on this blog to make any designer look bad.  I am on your side, I want you to look good. And I’m also not trying to say that EVERY designer can’t see colour accurately. This is just about getting it right, designers have a huge responsibility. So, if you would like to have even more mastery and confidence in seeing colour accurately, give yourself the gift of a trained eye this Christmas and register to attend my True Colour Expert Workshop . Email Terreeia at [email protected] to register.

Christmas is almost here!  Eeeeeeek! Are you ready?

If you would like to develop more confidence in specifying colour accurately, contact me

Related posts:

How I became a True Expert
5 Steps to a Kitchen you will Love
Which Backsplash Tile goes with Granite?
What Everyone should know About Beige
What Everyone should know About Gray

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  • cathy z says:

    Hi Maria – any chance you'll make it to Chicago for a workshop anytime soon??

  • Margaret Ryall says:

    Working with a client who has had advice from another decorator is always a touchy situation and one I'm often confronted with because I work part time at a decor centre. Unfortunately, not every interior decorator has a good eye for colour or sometimes their recommendations are swayed by the strong opinions of the client. Either way, if you are asked a second opinion it's important to give that opinion in a gracious manner. I usually ask a direct question…e.g., Do you like the pinky undertone of this tile? Then you don't insult the client who just might have had input into the decision. Any other tips in this kind of situation would be helpful.

  • Linda says:

    Is there a way to harmonize a pinky beige floor tile and a yellow beige counter top so that they can co-exist and continually fight/ This lady was lucky to get your advise before making a costly mistake.


  • Donna says:

    Maria, The best advertisement I can imagine for your color workshop is to read the post you wrote about how you got started. I was so inspired! Not that I have ANY interest in being a color expert..but that even the most color blind girl out there CAN learn this..if they are willing to study, practice, read and ..of course, practice.

    As you said, the practice is the most critical element of expertise, but once you have got a bunch of practice under your belt, the study of the principles will make SENSE!

    I have been taking photos all year and ninety percent were, I thought, just plain awful. I have ZERO talent in that area. But practice has had a huge impact on my abilities. Now that I have TONS of experience taking photos due to blogging and even practice with new photo editing software…I'm starting to read books. They make SENSE now.

    If your readers have been getting lots of practice, then I am certain that your workshop is the perfect way to step up their abilities.

    Frankly, I'm still at the 'practice stage'. I read about something on your blog..and then I go attempt to do it. Ha! I've got the yellow fabric for my couch pillows and can't wait to sew them. I saw a photo of our house from two years ago and almost died of embarrassment. Thanks to you, it's dramatically improved.

    Keep up the great work Maria!

    Donna @ Comin' Home

  • Peggy and Fritz says:

    Great point. I think you need to come to LA and do a seminar. I'll come 🙂

  • Donna says:

    PS. To answer your question..Yes I am! It feels very strange…

  • Marcus Design says:

    I think it is so great that you told the client something was wrong, they would have been unhappy with the choice for years and years to come!
    Merry Christmas to you and yours Maria!
    Nancy xo

  • Michelle Donald says:

    Maria, I see this mix of pinky beige and yellow beige all the time in interiors. Clients get me in too late after they themselves unknowingly have already mismatched the colours and then I have to go about finding the right colour solution to try and marry it all together again – it's one of the most difficult aspects of Colour Consulting but I also enjoy challenge!

  • Design Elements says:

    great point, Maria! Thank you for your post this year. May you have a wonderful Christmas full with love and laughter.

  • Donna says:

    Merry Christmas Maria! I do hope to meet you someday too. You have been such an encouragement to me..and an inspiration!

    Donna @ Comin' Home

  • Lazy Gardens says:

    They don’t begin construction until their client has signed off on all the finishes. AMAZING! And they manage to keep them from changing their minds?

    They should keep you on retainer to glance at the selections and flag the ones with undertone clashes. Most people can see that there is something wrong with the colors, but they can't express the problem well enough to fix it.

  • Lynne says:

    ..whew, so good you identified why it wasn't working. I remember you wrote that a colour professional can tell you the why – now the client knows shy her gut reaction was what it was.

    have a lovely Christmas, all 🙂

  • Robyn says:

    Good thing you caught that! I can't imagine living with something that wasn't right to begin with.

    Are you going to have a seminar in Dallas anytime soon? I'd love to attend.

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