Color, Glorious Color

We’ve all been there.  Standing in the paint section at the big hardware store trying to choose a paint color.  It’s agonizing, but exciting. 

But when building your new home or office building, it is paint color selection on steroids.  You have to select the colors of the exterior finishes, the floor types and colors, the wall finishes, the ceiling, the light fixtures – and even the color of the light in the light fixture.

It all seems overwhelming.  If you are going through a homebuilder, you probably will go to their showroom office (if they have one) and look to book after book of color charts and material samples.  To “help” you, they narrow the choices to a few of their favorites so you’re not too overwhelmed.  

Regardless, it’s not an easy process.  Sometimes, wouldn’t be nice to have someone who could help?  

When you talk to an architect, they should be able to help you come up with a material finish design.  In my own design practice, I love it when a client is willing to engage with me on the question of selecting materials with them.  Ideally, I would help them select from myriads of product lines and color and style choices to narrow it down to the best. Then, at a client meeting, I can present to them the results through a material board and a 3D rendering with the materials applied to the 3D computer model of the project.  

While this level of service is not always included because not everybody wants this added service, it is a service that is available.  It is something that can help ensure that the end result is a happy one.

If you are not using an architect or interior designer to help in the selection of materials, however, may I make some suggestions:

  • Collect the various color selection charts for the products to be used. It’s important to see how they compliment each other.
  • Take them outside if they are the exterior building materials.  This way you can see the colors in the light they will be seen in.
  • Same as above applies to interior materials.  View them under different kinds of light sources: incandescent, fluorescent, LED.  Each light source affects the appearance of the colors you choose.  You may think it is a good choice under one light, but once the building is completed, you may be disappointed.

Regardless of what you do, have fun with the process. This is your world you are making. Enjoy!

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