For the second installment of my three-part colour series, I’m going to focus on the ways in which colour should be viewed. Colour is hugely effected by the light and various hues surrounding it. It is for this reason that I encourage my clients to study any colour they are considering using in their interiors extremely carefully before they commit to any one tone.
As I mentioned in my last blog post, our favourite colours can very quickly become our most disliked colours when we introduce them into our homes. For some people this is simply because they feel overwhelmed by their colour choice (unfortunately many people realise that their favourite colour is only their favourite in small doses after they’ve had their walls painted), but in most cases colour dissatisfaction stems from the fact that colours can and do look completely different depending on the environment.
To ensure my clients do not end up with a serious case of colour-regret, I like to teach them how to view colour. It is not enough to look at a colour and decide you love it. Instead, an individual colour should be considered on its own, before adding a large dose of another colour to see how they influence each other. I can guarantee that the colour you chose initially will not look the same as it did when a neighbour is introduced. A simple way to test this theory is to dress in a strong colour, and then go and stand beside a white wall: Does the wall still appear as white as it did? I doubt it!
When it comes to considering paint colours, I always make sure I view them truly. Both Resene and Dulux provide an isolator with their colour samples, which allows me to do just that. The isolator is a neutral grey that makes it impossible to compare the colour you are contemplating to all the other colours on the same sheet. This means that you only see the exact colour you are considering. My other colour viewing technique involves holding an A4 card of the colour at arm’s length in the right plane (i.e. vertically for walls – looking down on the colour will alter its appearance) and squint my eyes. This helps block out any other colours and I am able to see the colour truly.
The main issue when it comes to truly viewing colour, however, is that people can see colour differently. It is my understanding that we all have rods and cones in our eyes that are responsible for discerning colour. Unfortunately, it is not overly common that these rods and cones intersect diagonally, and this is exactly what needs to happen in order to have a perfect eye for colour. As colour detection is carried on an X chromosome, females have a much better chance of being able to see a pure colour. That is not to say that it’s impossible for males to see colour accurately, of course, but I would argue that most couples would benefit from the assistance of an experienced interior designer. A designer with a great eye for colour, will offer unbiased suggestions and guidance to help couples end up on the same colour page.
Interior Designer, Tauranga