Tag Archives: interior design

Behind the Scenes with an Architectural Color Specialist

daisy yellow

I am an Architectural Color Specialist. I do not follow trends.

Color is communication. My first step when meeting clients is an interview. What do you wish to express in terms of style and mood? How do you want to feel? How do you want others to feel? How is this space used and navigated? What flaws are to be hidden and what treasures to be illuminated? Once we establish these, it is my responsibility to create the most beautiful (and I would say, original) iteration of said goal(s) by picking just the right colors that satisfy both you and the space. I want my color work to be beautiful, surprising, innovative, and in complete collaboration with the user.  I attempt to extract the kernel of what is desired and germinate it. I do assert myself: I have strong views about what will be successful yet these are always in service to the design goal, which is yours. Aesthetic beauty is important but this cannot be the only consideration. The effect of colors, or what they communicate, is a function of our humanity (biological and otherwise), culture, and individual subjectivity. Radiant Orchid is not right for everyone everywhere. Nor is Acme Beige.
(more…)

I let you paint your bedroom red.

What we find beautiful and crucially for residential color, liveable, reflects our interior state. Humans (like much else) seek homeostasis: we make constant systemic adjustments in response to external stimuli so that we remain stable. For example, an introvert, someone who gets  stimulation from his or her interior world, will favor subtler and softer colors and color relationships; an extrovert, who gets juice from the external world, the reverse. And every degree along the spectrum (pun intended). Equilibrium between me and my environment creates that perfect balance of both alive and peaceful. This is neurological excitation without enervation.

The other variable in this equation is time. The areas where you spend the most time should best reflect that baseline. Wall color, because it usually covers the most surface area in a space, drives your systemic response. On a recent full interior job, the mother was excited but slightly trepidatious about our choice for her daughter, Lucia’s, room. Lucia is eight years old and loves India: the sights, sounds, and colorful hubbub. She is a very energetic child, willful and artistic. We chose five colors for the room: four pinks of various kinds for the walls and a shocking green for the closet doors. Her mother was concerned that the vivacity of her environment would make Lucia even more energetic (i.e. extroverted). As I explained, because Lucia spends a great deal of time in that room, the more it mirrors her interior world, the calmer she will feel. This exemplifies the tonic effect of color.

My bedroom, on the other hand, where I spend very little time is white with a pale chartreuse ceiling. I enter. My nervous system immediately plunges into quietude. I fall fast asleep.

ticky-tacky

I do not have a “go to” white.

I have an obligation to your building. I want it to be as beautiful as possible and this means that your design goal, what you want to express with your colors, must be tempered by the architectural space itself. This is the key to a successful design that you, the client, will appreciate and adore. Surface material, line, form, and proportion strongly determine the choices I make. Different latitudes reflect different colored light. What is outside your window reflects onto the interior. The color you love on your neighbor’s house will not look the same on yours. The couch in your living room effects your perception of the wall behind it, the pillow upon it, and the trim work around it. This is relative perception. Color is always relative.

If the same colors look different everywhere then why do I rail against “go to” colors? For similar reasons to why I disfavor trends in architectural color: they are two sides of the same coin. Trends serve only aesthetics (and mercantilism) in complete disregard for the effects of color. So do “go to” colors, because they are used without thought. Such stock colors might look different and decent in a lot of places but their effect will also change: does this color achieve what I want in this specific environment? And just as important, is it the most beautiful choice I could make? Creativity by definition cannot be rote. Mimicry of oneself or others is unartistic and mindless repetition is unnatural. Every daisy in the chain is unique, if you look close enough to see.

Learn more about Nan on her blog: http://www.nankornfeld.com/blog.html



How to Get Your Interior Design Project Published

We asked Heather Lobdell, Regional Editor at Better Homes & Gardens and Traditional Home Magazine, the secrets to getting your interior design project featured in shelter publications. Having published hundreds of stories for some of the top interior design magazines in the industry, she gave us a peek inside the world of an editor.

Get your interior design project published - Color Confidential Blog
(more…)

  1. What is a color story? To me, a color story is simply how you use color in a particular space or related spaces, such as rooms open to one another. Sometimes color stories are complex — imagine a color story based on a rainbow-hued Mizzoni zigzag fabric on a sofa, where individual colors are pulled out from that sofa and used boldly and graphically — a cobalt blue table, a yellow chandelier, red accent pillows and apple green accent chairs. Other times, color stories are barely there — serene white on white on white.
  2. How do editors choose which photography they will use? Who knows really? I’ve worked in this business for more than a quarter century and I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been willing to bet the house that a project would be accepted or, conversely, thought a project wouldn’t appeal. I would be homeless many times over. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and the beholder with the most power is typically the editor-in-chief. But selection often also has to do with practicalities such as what we’ve already got in the “bank” (our term for already photographed projects) If the bank is bursting with gorgeous white kitchens, guess what? We won’t be able to take even one more, no matter how spectacular. On the other hand, if we’ve got a deficit of color, we’ll hunt down a kitchen with red lacquer cabinetry, a painted floor, and black countertops. It’s a crapshoot for sure. Keep submitting and don’t take anything personally.
  3. Do they look for certain colors or styles of home? Fashion changes for sure, but good, solid, beautiful interior design is timeless.
  4. Do they usually provide their own photographer or will they accept submissions (as is)? Our magazines almost always assign their own photographers, even when professional photography has been submitted.
  5. Will they style your home? They send a stylist to work with the designer and photographer.
  6. Any tips on how to make the images more “marketable”? The more finished the room and the better the scouting photography, the easier it is for editors to assess the project. When we receive unfinished work, it’s very hard to know whether the end product will merit photography even if the designer has written a detailed summary of what’s still to come. We see so many beautiful finished projects that those that are unfinished usually can’t compete.
  7. Can you submit photos on your own? Scouting shots? Absolutely.
  8. Do the photographs become property of the magazine? If the magazine comes to shoot the project, they own the photography and may use it in the magazine, on their website, etc.
  9. Will I be compensated? Editorial magazines do not pay for locations.
  10. Any other information/advice on getting published? Try and try again. It’s competitive. We only have a certain number of editorial pages each issue, so the competition is fierce.