It Does Not Take a Village To Choose Color, Dammit!

Color is Mutable and Transitional

One mistake that people choosing wall colors make is believing that color is static. Color is mutable and transitional. It literally appears, sometimes only subtly, sometimes dramatically, different on each wall of a room. In a room blessed with natural light, color changes throughout the day and only settles into any one hue for a stretch of time when only artificial light illuminates.

Denise Gianna
Denise Gianna

The type of artificial light you use also affects how color appears. Accent colors and the quantity and density of stuff in a room also have a measurable effect of the way your walls will appear. And “appear” is the right word here, because not everyone will see the color the same way.

So…what? Choosing a color is hard?

One can never be sure? Well, only if you make it that way. Color is about feeling and mood. Choosing a color is “hard” only if the choosing is approached all scientifically (quick! Whip out your color wheel – or crayon box).

Amazing, Local Beacon Artist

Or all sociologically, as illustrated in this interesting story I heard at a gallery opening party for a local Beacon artist who is AMAZING.

The artist, who keeps a charming Victorian in Beacon as a studio and creative space, mostly occupies an apartment building in NY with her family and assorted lovely neighbors. When it came time to repaint the building vestibule, hallways and stairwell, the artist (reasonable and natural choice for spearheading the new color selection, no?) chose several shades of soft, fresh grey and posted samples of them helpfully all around the to-be-painted spaces.

I heard about all this at a party with all of the involved neighbors in attendance, in is several separate conversations that all ended the same: everyone had a (surprise!) visceral and generally immovable response to the rejected colors and a passionate attachment to their particular favorite. It was all quite comical to me, as I am not the interior designer or in any way involved in this choice. If I was – it – would – not – be – funny – at – all. As far as I know, the color contest remains dead in the water.

Every One Responds to Color Differently

Now, it is obvious to most of you how and why this method for choosing a color did not work. Every one responds to color differently. Color is emotional. Different people experience color differently. The interesting thing is that the average person chooses their own paint colors in the exact same way!

Even if you do not live with others, most people will engage as many opinions as they can on color choice and often do so holding only a miserable little color chip, unsupported by the actual space and place the color will eventually live. So all you get is a bunch of unhelpful, unrelated, unsupportable, intimate peeks into your friends-family-coworkers-stranger at the paint counter-psyche regarding random color #1256.

No help at all and worse, confusion and despair.

By Denise Gianna

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Denise Gianna Designs is a full-service, in-house interior design firm committed to working closely with residential and commercial clients to plan,  decorate and design environments that stimulate the ideal life/work/and play balance as defined by YOU.  Call (845)216-4196 or contact us today!

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