Cool colour tips for your clients

Reaching out and engaging with your clients requires a dedicated effort. But if you consistently punch ahead of your competitors with an unbeatable service offering, enthusiasm and timeliness, the end results can be well worth it.

If you're an interior decorator, it's a must to be on top of the latest trends, as well as having an appreciation of schools of design that underpin the specific designs currently in vogue.

One of your key areas of focus will of course be colour. While furniture placement and accessory choice are also important elements of a living space or bedroom makeover, you certainly can't undervalue the impact of excellent colour selection. Whether your clients are focussed on obtaining a fresh and neutral vibe or want to break the mould a little, there are plenty of options available to them. Here are some tips you can offer your clients when working on an exciting interior design project.

Find their passion

Get the ball rolling by finding out what your client's passions are. Whether they're beach fans or enjoy hitting the slopes during winter, their everyday interests could help influence the colour schemes in their own home.

Their interests don't have to translate directly – there's no need to paint an entire home ocean blue with sand-coloured accents purely because your client is a beach bunny. However, taking inspiration from shades such as Resene St Kilda, Resene Waterfront and Resene Sandstone in a more measured way could be a good move.

There's no point projecting your idea of the perfect living room hue or bedroom colour scheme if it doesn't match your client's sense of style. Find their passion first and foremost, then start making suggestions based on your expertise. If you're both on common ground from the get-go, you're more likely to complete a project complete with a happy client!

Explain light and dark

It's a fantastic idea to explain how light and dark shades can work – and fail – in a home.

A client might be obsessed with the idea of white paint throughout their home, having heard it's a good way to open up a space. Another client might prefer the intimacy awarded by deep shades such as Resene Red Earth or Resene Double Foundry.

Some clients may have no idea about whether to embrace light or dark hues – or both!

Explain the benefits of opening up a space with light shades, but also mention the importance of creating accent points in such rooms, whether with a contrasting black ceiling, navy crown moulding or dark leather furniture. While opening a space up is desirable for many homeowner clients, it's important to strike the right balance, too.

Likewise, a client who wants to explore richer hues may need some guidance as to the best spaces for this. Some rooms may be better suited to lighter colour schemes, while others will benefit from a deep, dark vibe.

Don't always start with paint

It's easy to think that home decorating starts with paint selection.

However, if a client's got a limited budget, buying new furniture and revamping the flooring might not be realistic. Accordingly, it's easier to work within the bounds of their current pieces and make touch-ups with a few powerful accessories and some carefully selected paint.

Consult with your client about any sentimental pieces of furniture or key accessories they want to incorporate into their new living area or bedroom. Once you've established this, you can move on to paint selection.

Play with texture

There's no single type of paint. Gloss levels vary dramatically between different products and it's important to bear this in mind when choosing paint for your client.

That's because a high-gloss paint and matt (flat) paint will make otherwise identical colours look very different. High-gloss paint tends to reflect, rather than absorb light. Explain the different options to your client and see if they've got a preference.

You can also play with texture when it comes to furniture, rugs, throws and so forth.

Remember – colour can come across very differently depending on the textures you embrace!

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