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Using Color in Home Design

Lesson 17 of 33

What to Consider Before Choosing a Color

Tobi Fairley

Using Color in Home Design

Tobi Fairley

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Lesson Info

17. What to Consider Before Choosing a Color

Lesson Info

What to Consider Before Choosing a Color

So let's, talk about why, why are some of the reasons it's important to pick the right color for the right room? So what? What do y'all think, or some of your main reasons that would it would be important for you to pick there very right color for your space, depending on the activity you want there. You don't want to be dragged if you know if you need to be energized, yeah, okay, so, like, is there an example in your own house that you can think of are the are the opposite for you? Well, the opposite I need I need a more serene, space calming space to go to, because I have just too much going on like all the time. So right, which is what most people probably in here and out on the web are nodding their head. Everybody has too much going on all the time that way. Um, what about you, jackie it's like mood? For instance, for me like the kitchen's very important because I don't necessarily like the coke, so I need to be inspired to do it right. And so I need an environment that one is lik...

e a lot of free and then just has the right color and moods and there's a party in your kitchen time I agree. I mean, I like to cook, but still I like a lot of energy and my kitchen we were talking yesterday when you were here with us to about making a laundry room. Fun for all of the husbands and wives and, you know, people out there in the world who spent hours in the laundry room um, how about making that offend space that you want to be into? So, um debra, what about you? I'm the same way mood function, the room I hate is the laundry room. We talked about it yesterday, but through this course, you started me thinking about the entryway and I feel like that's, one of the last spaces that people tend to do something with and yet it's the first place that people walk into and they enter your home. So if you were going to spice up your entryway, what what kind of goal would you have, like an emotion or feeling or thought what what would that be, uh, dramatic I'm probably a dramatic person and it would be that little piece that I could like you pass going up the stairs and enjoy it but not have to be in it constantly right so there's a time and place for drama in our life right sometimes we want to calm the drama especially you have teenagers at home on sometimes you need to add a little drama to your life and I agree and entry would be a great place yes the size as well I think the size of the room huh can yeah like you were talking about yesterday how you can change the color to make sure that you don't even expand a small room are are sort of make a big expanse of space more cozy like the one we looked at earlier because I live in a studio and that you know it's so everything in your entire house has to happen in one space right so multi purpose it's really gets created that's it that'll be interesting to think about what color would work for a studio if everything has to happen in that one spice to it and every wall a different color not exactly but let's think about it there's always a challenge in any of my courses that people bring me so we'll work through that one today so you hit on all of the right thing so it's important because we know what the wrong color conduce for a space like that can add stress to your life it confetti you know, be fatiguing tiring they can add a lot of clutter and visual noise so we did say yesterday that a color by itself can't clutter a room it's it's the clutter that clutters the room but if a room is already full of a lot of things, adding a real strong color might just continue to agitate that space or make you not be able to relax it can cause boredom, which is the lack of energy piece on dh it could just be unattractive sometimes like the wrong color is sally was reminding us earlier that's horrible fleshy bay she was trying to get away from just could be aesthetically unpleased ing right sometimes it's just we personally don't think it's pretty and I don't know about you, but I that's one of the reasons I'm in interior design and I loved to create spaces is because I want to make them beautiful so that I can be inspired by them so let's jump into think I'm actually gonna sit down because we're gonna this is gonna be hopefully we're really conversational this whole session so let's think about what's most important uh to know before we start selecting our color so yesterday we know we got everybody so excited about color they were ready to go out that afternoon to the paint store are to the fabric store and start putting it right into their space but we told them to hold off just a little bit because we had some more things they needed to know to make a color really work for you. So it's obviously we've stated this many times now it's not just simply picking a color, right particularly not just a painkiller, so we also have some homework. Tio andi that's what I was getting you just kind of start thinking about some of your spaces and starting to go kind of start envisioning and mentally go through that checklist of what your homework is and ask yourself some questions so well, including what else is gonna happen in the space, which was a great example right for her studio idea because everything is going to happen in that space reading sleeping party, all of it. S o let's see how we might move through this process of taking our goals to a solution in a color palette. So what do you need to know before you could make your color weren't for you will again we just started saying this, how will the space be used and its most of the time? There's a whole list of things that are gonna happen in any space, so even in the kitchen for a lot of people, the kitchen is where you're going to cook, but it maybe it's also where you're going to eat, or maybe where people are going to gather most homes in the kitchen, always the place where everybody ends up so it's, like a social space, almost like a pseudo living room, are gathering spice in your house. People hang out there, my beer, if you have children, they do their homework there, so there's, all sorts of task, and so even thinking about kind of the primary goal and task, and then sort of some secondary things that are going to be happening there, because we might start with one particular color for sort of our primary reason to be relaxed or to be energized. But then we started thinking through that, as we just talked about in the psychology of color, if homework or our computer worker, other things were happening there, maybe we need to think about I fatigue or stress or some other issues on. So that goes to the point of what kind of attention, like mental focus is required in this space. So is it rest, or is it work, or is it both isat reading versus watching tv? Because those are two totally different things versus being on a computer, and most of us are doing all of those things in our common spaces now. Sometimes we're doing all three of those things at the same time, if you're like me like the computers there and the kindles there are, the book is there and the tv's on, and you're going back and forth from each of those. And how do you make a color support that kind of activity? It's a multi purpose approach to the space and understanding and thinking about what percentage is each they what percentage of your time we use been doing each of those activities? And are there multiple people doing all of those different sorts of things like in my household, my husband, my daughter and I all like to be in the same room together, just sort of to feel like a sense of kind of community and, you know, attachment to one another, but we might all be doing totally different things. Ellison's like making bracelets on a rainbow loom, and I'm reading a book or on the computer of my husband, of course, is lounging on the sofa, watching football. S so how do you make all of those things work? And then you even think about how much natural lighting is coming into the space vs artificial lighting because that's going to really affect the color of a space as well. So anything come to mind already for any of you thinking can't is not in her head about how this is already a little more complicated than just going oh, I'm going to sleep in that space. Yeah, absolutely. I mean, people in the chat rooms are saying pure design interiors manipulating a single color will affect emotion on dh yet and even sent like you talked about yesterday the amount of contrast with color changes the mood, so combining those elements on dh pure design interiors again, you need to think beyond just picking the color also decide will it be a tone, a shade, a tent depending on the emotion, how much saturation? So people are learning she she was already in a designer but that's impressive that's she's actually using that fun and it makes us all feel so smart that we know this stuff. S so how many people are going to use the space, but not just how many people but how often? So you think about in your own home are in spaces that you share with other people there's rooms in your house that you spend the majority of your time in are they spend the majority of their time, and then you might come in there occasionally, right? Because, like in my house, I spent a lot of time in my bedroom even though they say you shouldn't work in the same place that you sleep and I agree it's not the best habit I spent tons of time in my personal bedroom space with the laptop or the computer with my daughter reading on my husband primarily is in our living room so I'm not going to sleep design all of the living room around me and what I needed to do for me because it's really not where I spend most of our time are thinking about selecting a room for an entry that you only passed through but you still pass through it every day maybe several times a day depending on if that is your path to your bedroom or some other space and then what about things like dining room's for people who rarely entertain maybe once or twice a year so what kind of of objective would you have for those it might be totally different it might be the place you wanna have fun and be playful because it's okay you're not going to be in there so much that a bright sunny yellow is going to bother you are fatigued and it might be a place and a way that you could really start showing your personality without putting that maybe in the spaces that you spend all your time right so it's kind of fun and that's another reason to go back to him will say this throughout this section to a plan on paper before you leap into any paint colors, because if you know you want to use yellow or turquoise or some strong color are soft color in your space and maybe it doesn't work in all of your it doesn't support your daily activity that's where, while it's still on paper, you can move things around before you've purchased anything and then let this afternoon we're going to make sure we know how to make those flow from one room to the next s so this is where that whole idea of the inspiration board bringing it from that concept, tio completion helps because you have all the things you love and are inspired by announced when we start kind of assigning them to the different spaces in her house based on a number of reasons. So, yeah, so what else beside who's using it and how often emotional goal so is it need to be, um, relaxing doesn't need to be energizing. We've used those words a lot, but what are some other emotional sort of goals that any of you can think about that you want? Teo, I thought that that point of yours to mental stress is something that you really don't consciously think about I think that if you're cooking and you don't love cooking. Or if you're working and you really wouldn't you know it so you're a kid doing homework you might not be in your most happiest state that that concept of dealing with mental stress it was really interesting thing that you don't necessarily think about but very very emotional right? And sometimes thinking about what state you're in versus what state someone else's in into space and so I think about me a lot of times I go into work mode in the evenings because I've been so busy all day long yes, I was working but I didn't really get to kind of start my work day until nighttime and my husband's just the opposite at that point he wants to shut work down completely I don't have the overhead lights on, you know, very calm and quiet and he's ready to kind of get away from the stresses of the day so we're having completely different energy levels and needs at the same time maybe in the same space we got an interesting one online from mad lizzie medal is he lives in a large studio so her living room and bedroom are really the same room and they're pretty different functions should I pick one or the other as the main usage to decorate the spice? I would think so and so thinking about which one of the percentages of of how often she's sleeping and relaxing there versus may be entertaining and again think about the difference in lifestyle of someone and you just take a room like a living room for example how many different people could use that space differently some people don't like to entertain at all or if they do it once it's a one friend or two friends are really small intimate group and then there's other people who can't wait to get thirty and forty and fifty of their closest friends over on a regular basis and have parties and events and things happening those air completely different s oh so it's yeah just one more question from chase me any tips on imagining how you'll feel in a room she says sheer he says I love that blue room that was on the house beautiful cover but I can't imagine what it's like to actually sit in that room so that's interesting because a lot of times we say we can't imagine it but usually we sort of get a gut reaction to a space if they're drawn to it I would say that really is sort of that intuition telling them that that might be a space that works for them but you could test your you know just your reaction anything different clothing in your in your wardrobe that air those colors if your favorite sweater that you always put on happens to be like a soft blue that's sort of something that you go to for comfort and for you know, it's almost like comfort food to feel cozy and nurtured, so they're accused in our daily life all the time that tell us things about color on that would be one of them. So, um so yeah, so what might need to be supported in the space and thinking about something like arresting a room that you arrest in? Some people want to rest but not fall asleep. Some people want to rest and relax and read, but they don't want to be so relaxed that every single time they sit down on the sofa, they go to sleep, right? I used to call when I was in college called home to talk to my mom and she'd be asleep it like eight o'clock and it would irritate me to death. Now if you call me at eight o'clock, I'm probably asleep also on this sofa, I get it, we're tired, but what thinking even taking that next step and saying resting does not necessarily mean sleeping or maybe you deal with insomnia or other kinds of things so everybody's different when it comes to all of these activities. Yeah, I was thinking of making a zen area after class we had hear about, like, meditation, and I thought to have ah, no car area that I could dedicate to that so it's not sleeping but it's definitely like a place to clear your mind watching part of that course immunization I know I love to meditate and know what you mean yeah so that's fun because each of us havea unique set of those kind of things we want to accomplish in this space so um yes, so we can start thinking about how color support that for sure and then uh understanding not just your personality and I know some of this starts to feel redundant because we've covered it but it's really not because this is the part where we start actually making the list and making the decisions and saying ok, what does that mean? He I heard it in theory yesterday, but now is the time to start making some of those decisions, putting them on paper and here's what happens a lot with designers and design enthusiasts? We just pick stuff because we love them. Oh, I've been dying to use it jade in my room so I'm picking that color whether anybody else in the house likes it or not or even whether I've thought through whether that's going to be something that supports me. So I have been known to even fall into that myself of saying, oh, I can't wait to use that color on dso thinking about that in regard to you and the people in your house and really you haven't obligation and a responsibility teo, particularly if you're doing this, is a profession to your clients. But even so to the other people in your house, if you're the one in charge of picking the killer, you really do have an obligation. Innocence, too, help them have, and don't you want teo, like we left, the people that are in our household, a hope so our spouses and our children and and other people in our household. So, you know, we want them tow, have the best quality of life possible. So it takes some time to really delve into and see what's. What works for them, too. Do you find toby with the many clients you've worked with, that the high energy people are drawn towards the warm, energetic colors, and the more laidback clients go for the calm colors, these opposite? A lot of times, the high energy people, a lot of times when they come to their home needed place, tio. Unwind and the people who are more laid back sometimes want a reason to be energized and want something that's more exciting to them so but you know, there's always exceptions to both, but definitely and I could speak to the type a personality high energy, very busy schedule I found that to be true for me too I need that risk, but at the end of the day, so another thing is getting behind why people like or don't like a color sonia earlier were saying don't necessarily just pick your favorite color for your room but also when you get some pushback from someone like someone said, um was I can't remember in our inner group somebody yesterday said, was that you? My husband just hates anything if it's not based, somebody was talking about that I can't remember, but anyway point being, maybe I dreamed that last night, so I dream about color but the point being it's a lot of time some other association like we just learned with the psychology of color like why don't you like brown and a lot of our avocado green or something else? And I've had clients specifically when we show them something if we press farther into the why they don't like something is some association with it a lot of times it reminds me of my mother's house when I was a teenager and I hated that space and and sometimes it's not even the color is like that was a tumultuous time in our life where we weren't getting along, you know, so there's a lot of complex cities that go into it so get to the root of that not only personality trait but some associations with colors because a lot of times you can show people that there's another version of that color that they haven't thought of it's not black and white or just blue, you know it's something there's, there's a a range of blues we can use that will help us with the same result when then don't forget to consider the architecture and of your home and the decor of other rooms and so think about this I have clients all the time who fall in love with your friends or people that read my blog's or in my courses that fall in love with a certain look or trend our style an example is even in ah in the area I live a lot of my clients will decide they won't say a mediterranean estate and they want to put it and I have some clients who have built that it's a little bit tricky to make that exterior and then ultimately the interior phil at home inappropriate in the middle of a pine forest in arkansas next to likes and streams and ponds like it's a departure on so I try to encourage people to think about the setting, and particularly a lot of us are not building our own homes when you were decorating, but we're moving into a space or a rental to really start looking at the bones and the architectural architecture and the historical references of a space because it's going to feel a lot more co he's, and if you just completely ignore that aa lot of your choices, they're going to same contrived, enforced and not really appropriate for the space. So looking and thinking about it, something traditional versus modern and thinking about if if you really want and then on the flip side, you can make a really traditional home lean towards modern but using color to do that thinking about really traditional home that's executed in all shades of why it is going to be a little more moderate than if it's in burgundy may be right so you can play with that that's that power of color piece. But don't forget the architecture, and then I love when people say I have an eclectic house l or an eclectic style because that word became really overused, which to me for most people, I find that that means I just have a whole bunch of stuff, and I throw it all into the gathering up in there together, and I call it a collective and doesn't that work? Well sometimes it doesn't sometimes it doesn't so thinking about what that means for your entire space and from one room to another on its really hard also for people to say, well, I love mid century but I also love greek revival and I'm going to do mick century in one room and I'm going to go to another air it's like a tour through history all in one house and that's a little odd but you can mash those things together and you can use certain colors to support that also think about the age of the people living in the house to the age of the residence and we just talked about a lot of things so not just the age of the architecture but also the age of the people in the home could be interesting to think about so and how that effects from moving from one room to another and people being able to see well um so thinking about all of that when you start placing color and doesn't get to go on the wall or maybe does it become part of the accessories? Yes, toby question from pure design interiors as a designer with clients, what exercises do you take the clients through to pinpoint colors for their space is so again or their particular questions that you asked them exercises you have them do homework like so we use a group of questionnaires that we have created for our business that ask all sorts of questions like I'm asking you right now, who's going to use the space, you know, even though things have how tall are short, is these or if you're talking about a kitchen, this isn't just about color, but how old are young and that's not to be discriminating that's to say, you know, we want to make sure people can see well and function well, or if they're really young, we might not want to put a bright, strong red in the space that might be irritating your agitating and, you know, so there's a number of reasons that we need to know all of this specific information about people, and we will even ask people what colors they love and what colors they don't love. But what's more telling is then we have our clients go on and we create private secret pinterest boards for them, and they can start on their own pinterest pages, pinning things they love because it's so funny that someone will say absolutely to test a certain color, and then they will select fifty images that have that color in it, you know? So sometimes we don't even know ourselves very well we're not very self aware now, sometimes. Coincidentally like I said yesterday they'll pin a bunch of images say that air green if they hate green but green wasn't what they liked about the image they liked the floor or the sofa or something else so we have to make sure that they're very specifics that we have them in the description say love this room love the doors hate the floor like all the sun natural light or whatever so you could really start understanding and it's easier for that to happen and it's going to get really clear picture of what people love through something like pinterest or one of the other side's maybe house or some other things because they can do that at their leisure when they're in a relaxed state not when we're grilling them what do you like what do you want what you know because that's that could be really intimidating to people they don't know if they knew they wouldn't be sitting there with me trying to have me you know do their space so yeah so it's a siri's of questions and then once we get questionnaires back we go through piece by piece and see what does this mean and why do you like that? Um it's very in depth but we try to do that because color again is a big leap for a lot of people and you want to be able to turn around one of the things I love to do most is turn around in the presentation and use people's own words back to them because they don't even realize what they're saying sometimes so we can say to you when we start presenting something. So you said you wanted to be relaxed in this space and you said thes three things needed to happen in here, and it was also going to be used by your husband and periodically, your mom's going to stay for the weekend, and this is the room you let her stay, and when when she's there that, like, you move out and she stays here because you sleep on the couch because you have a flat or, you know, whatever, and we get all of that information and use it back to them so that they could make it connection from what they really wanted and what we're giving them and see if it if it works that's awesome in any kind of service led business where you remind the client of what they said they wanted. Well, we've had situations where, you know, we say we show up before we did that, a lot of this we learned by trial and error to an experience, as they call it, and we've had a situation where we say, you know, we show our entire presentation to a client. And say it's great a lot of green or a lot of color but let's use green and then and they go oh, I absolutely hate that I do not like green at all and we're thinking well, this is the first we've heard of this cause we've asked a lot of questions and we turn around and go you're you're you have on a green shirt like right now you are wearing that color and so we try to then find the disconnected then they're like, oh oh well that's one thing for me to put it on for a couple of hours a day but for me to live in a space and look at that all the time that doesn't work for me because on we try to avoid that that's not very much fun have done all the work and had a miss so we try to get all of that information before they start making decisions that on that type e have you found I found that this in my practice that actually you know, even though people felt strongly about what they thought their light if you've got them to pull out magazine pages of what they like and a huge page like a whole selection of what they didn't like, you get so much more often from what they didn't like things out of a magazine and then sit down with you and say, I can't stand that that that yeah, it's, pretty interesting, isn't it? But I think sometimes people's reaction to something, the negative reaction to something can be really useful, very, very happy that you have, anyway, great. A lot of people say, I don't know what I want, but I'll know it when I see it, and so sort of chipping away at that's, not it that's, not it that's, not. It can really give you a lot of information and let you move you closer to what we've ruled all of these things out. So, you know, and zoning in on what works for them.

Class Description

Brought to you by House Beautiful Magazine, award-winning interior designer Tobi Fairley comes to CreativeLive for a special course.


Are you afraid of picking the wrong color for your living room? Selecting the right hues for your home can be a daunting experience. Tobi is internationally-renowned for her signature bold style and fresh approach to interior design.

Using examples from her extensive portfolio, Tobi will give you no-fail tips and techniques to help you turn your home into a space that reflects your unique style. You’ll learn about the psychology of color, how to pick the right color for the right room, and find out all about the latest trends. You’ll also learn how to pair colors and textures and help freshen any room in your home.

By the end of this class, you’ll be equipped with the tools you need to embrace color in a big way.

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