When to Hire a Colour Consultant

Winnipeg Colour Consultant Shares the Best Time to Get Colour Advice

“Help, the painter is coming in an hour, and I can’t decide on a colour!”

brush and chips cropped

Daunted by the vast array of colour options?

If this sounds familiar, you’re not alone. Whether it’s because they are overwhelmed by the thousands of options available, or because they and their spouses are firmly entrenched in opposite colour camps, many people find themselves in need of last-minute help to settle on a paint colours.

The good news: This is a great time to bring in a colour consultant because it could save you from a default decision that you will end up regretting.

A professional will bring both colour knowledge and an unbiased perspective to your space. She (or he) will help you choose the right colour to work with your existing fixed elements and support your colour goals for the room as much as possible.

What you should know: An eleventh-hour approach can limit your options if the only inspiration you have for your new colour scheme is existing fixed elements that you really don’t like. But, you will find that having a colour that actually works with them can actually make even things you don’t like seem much more palatable.

Making a last-minute colour choice also means you don’t have time to fully test the colour in your space. It is ALWAYS wise to paint up a large sample board in your chosen colour and finish, and move it around the room for a few days. This lets you see how the colour responds in different lights, at different angles and at different times of day.

“I’ve ordered my flooring and cabinets, but now I’m having trouble finding a countertop and choosing a paint colour.”

The good news: This is also a great time to bring in a professional to help you pull together a cohesive palette.

What you should know: A colour consultant can help you to choose and co-ordinate all of your finishes, including paint.

If the undertones in your choices don’t co-ordinate or the styles don’t work together, a professional colour consultant can spot the problem right away and help you to minimize the impact before the project is too far along. It may cost to make these corrections, but in the end, you’ll be glad instead of frustrated every time you walk into your finished space.

If your initial selections are mostly on track, your colour consultant can show you which elements will pull them together perfectly.

“I’m thinking about making some changes to my decor, but I want to have a plan in place to help me get a look that really feels right.”

The great news: This is an excellent time to hire a professional colour consultant.

What you should know: This can be both the most collaborative and cost-effective approach. It’s a particularly great choice if you are planning to do more than just re-paint your space.

A professional can help you find opportunities right at the start to avoid costly mistakes or unnecessary changes to fixed elements. This post by my fellow True Colour Expert™, Kristie Barnett on what to change and what not to change when decorating is a great example of how she turned an “ugly” floor into a beautiful one through the skillful use of colour.

Engaging a colour consultant in the planning stages of your project also gives you time to consider colours or ideas that might be a bit outside your comfort zone, without the pressure of the painter breathing down your neck.

When there is time to plan, your consultant can spend more time getting to understand you and your goals and then come back to you with a mood board showing a proposed palette of colours, finishes, furnishings and accessories. From there, she can work with you to tweak it to truly reflect your vision so that on the day you call the painter, you already know exactly what colours are going where — and why!

Hiring a professional to help you choose and co-ordinate colour and finishes for your home can benefit you at any stage in the process, but the earlier you seek advice, the more opportunity you have to make good choices from the beginning, and the less time and money you will spend trying to correct choices that do not support your vision for your finished space.

If you’d like help to fill your home with the perfect-for-you balance of classic elements, current trends and harmonious colour, contact us to book a Colour and Decor Consultation.


Use Green Like Mother Nature Does To Create A Spring-Fresh Look You’ll Love Year-Round

Three Tips For Getting Green Right

Mother Nature knows her stuff when it comes to decorating with green (although, sadly, she’s been hiding her talents from us over the long cold winter). Here’s how to translate some of her best techniques into green you’ll love to live with all year.

How to decorate with green 1

Mood board by Carol Standil Colour & Design

1. Find an inspiration. Creating a colour scheme is not only easier from a jumping off point, it’s also a lot more fun.

Image via Crateandbarrel.com

While you could use a solid item such as the sofa as your jumping off point, it doesn’t offer much by way of clues for where to go next.

The floor runner, the artwork, or the fabric swatch at the far right of the mood board above would all make great starting points for a colour scheme because they each contain several different colours, all inspired by nature, that can help you create the perfect palette.

Image from Duralee.com

2. Clash a little.

Yup. What makes nature so perfect is that it’s not perfect. Mother Nature knows that all greens look good together and she mixes them with confidence.

Use your inspiration piece as a starting point to layer multiple shades of green into your space, but think mix rather than match.

You still want to create a balanced palette, but tossing in one slightly clashing element will help make your space more interesting.

3. Keep the envelope neutral and soft.

Image source: Better Homes and Gardens via Pinterest

Mother Nature uses lots of saturated green in her spaces, but she’s got a lot higher ceilings than you do, and a lot more space.

When bringing green indoors, one secret for creating a perfect balance that you’ll be able to live with for the long term is to keep the walls and larger elements more muted. This can help to create some of the sense of space that’s found in nature.

Try painting the walls in a soft neutral colour with a slight green undertone, rather than with an actual green. And consider a sofa in a greenish beige or khaki.

Limit stronger shades of green to artwork or accessories you can easily change out.

For those of us in Manitoba, decorating the interiors of our homes with green can provide a welcome and healthy visual relief from the white landscape that greets us outside our homes for several months each year.

If you want help to create the perfect green palette for your home, contact us to book a Colour and Decor Consultation.

I Am So Sick of White!

If you have ever chosen to paint your walls white because you’re afraid you’ll tire of colour, this might shift your perspective a bit.


The view outside my front door February 26, 2014 . Photo: Carol Standil

It is officially the coldest winter in Manitoba in 35 years. The snow came in November and the drifts just keep getting higher. With February now grinding toward its end I am sick and tired of looking out my window at unbroken expanses of white and gray.

Although it’s still a long way off, I am living for the day I see those first delicate shoots of green finally nudging their way through the melting snow.

Interestingly enough, at the end of summer, I have never longed for the flowers to die and the leaves to fall off of the trees. I have never wished away a blue sky. Have you? I really don’t know anyone who has.


Photo: Carol Standil

I love white in the right context, but too much white inside our homes can have the same effect on us as too much white outside. Without the right factors to let white’s positive attributes shine, its negative traits dominate. It feels cold, isolating and de-energizing.

It’s not so much that we tire of either white or of colour, but that we tire of bad colour.

According to colour expert Janice Lindsay, most bad colour combinations are:

  • chemical colours that would never be found in nature
  • unbalanced colour with too many competing hues
  • colour that is too high in contrast, or
  • white without natural light (the top photo is proof that even nature can get make that mistake!)

Taken early last spring at the Assiniboine Park Conservatory. Photo: Carol Standil

Just as sunshine, blue skies, and green leaves create positive feelings for us when we’re outside, so can the use of more (and better) colour inside our homes.

I’ve already got quite a bit of nature-inspired colour in my home, but this ridiculously bitter winter has inspired me to add even more. Just as soon as it gets warm enough for me to drive to the paint store, that is.

What about you? Are you the colours in your home doing all they could to make you feel supported, or are ready to start making some changes?

If you’d like help to turn your home into a beautiful and peaceful retreat with the perfect-for-you balance of classic elements, current trends and harmonious colour, contact us to book a Colour and Decor Consultation.