Category: Window Treatments

Woman trying green paint color swatches on wall

How to Select the Perfect Paint Color: An Interview with Our Designers

We asked our on-staff design consultants how they help their customers find the perfect paint color. Whether they’re in store or visiting the clients’ home, our designers can get your paint color right every time. We heard from Sue, our senior designer, and she told us all about her favorite Benjamin Moore colors. We also asked Vicki what she does when her customers just can’t make up their mind. And Veronica gave us some questions she asks her customers to get the ball rolling. Continue reading to learn even more from our fantastic design team!

How do you start the color selection process?

Sue: Well, if it’s for myself, I decide on a particular look I am trying to achieve. And depending on the room I am working on, I have to consider furnishings in that room, or a certain style that I want to create. I am going to ask myself the same questions that I would ask the customer, which brings us to question two.

Vicki: I’ll ask the customer which room or rooms they’ll be painting then I’ll ask for inspiration, rooms they like.

Veronica: I always like to learn which room is being painted first, to understand it’s purpose. Then, I like to get to know the customer, their situation, the desired feel of the room or rooms being painted.


Benjamin
Have you seen Benjamin Moore’s new Color Portfolio App and ColorReader? These state-of-the-art tools help you visualize your favorite colors in pictures of your own home! Download for the app for iPhone or Android below.

What questions do you ask your customers?

Sue: After greeting my customer, I will ask them:

  • What project are you working on, what room, etc?
  • Are you doing a complete remodel, such as in a kitchen or bathroom?
  • What colors are in the rooms now? And what would you like to see in place of those?
  • Do you want a completely different look?
  • Are you getting new furnishings, and if not, what things are staying?
  • Do you already have a paint color in mind and want to see shades of that color?
  • Are you getting ready to sell your home?

Vicki: I want to know what is more permanent in the room (flooring, countertops, etc).

Veronica: I like to start by asking if they have any specific paint colors in mind. If not, I’ll ask if there are any colors they don’t like so we can eliminate those. Then I’ll ask how they primarily use the space and how many people use it (read: other opinions that play into the decision). These questions apply to selecting flooring finishes, wallpaper and fabrics, too.

What is your main priority when choosing paint color?

Benjamin moore First Light 2102-70 on walls in Danish style dining room
First Light 2102-70

Sue: The goal is to give the customer the colors they are going to be happy living with.

Vicki: I focus on how light is received in a room. Light has a big affect on how a color will look.

Veronica: For me, the first priority has to be the mood or the feeling the client desires (bright and airy, warm and cozy, lodge style or beachy). The next most important thing is how well this space will flow with the rest of the home. You always want to make sure each room has a natural feel when moving throughout the home.

What do you do when you can’t find that just-right color?

Sue: Sometimes the customer comes in with a definite color in mind. If they have samples they want to match (countertops, cabinets, furnishings, etc), I will pull the colors the customer is thinking they want. If I think the color is not going to work, I will pull other colors that I see will complement what they have and explain to them why they will work. In other words, how that color will enhance the room they are working on. I encourage customers to get samples as lighting makes such a difference. Some colors are totally changed depending on the light in a room.

Vicki: If we can’t find a paint color right off the bat, I’ll ask the customer for a major element like floor tile or bed comforter, something that will be going in the room, and then pick a neutral to go with that. Or I’ll suggest a color consultation.

Veronica: Rarely, we’ll come across a customer who can’t settle on a color. What I like to do is find inspiration pictures of their desired style or mood and see if anything really stands out to them. Usually this helps to give them more direction. If not, I’ll suggest taking several paint color swatches home then trying out samples of their favorites. Or we’ll schedule an in-home color consultation. This gives both of us a better chance to see how certain colors look within their home, with their specific lighting and decor.

What are your go-to Benjamin Moore colors?

Sue: I don’t know if there are any that work everywhere, other than maybe White Dove (OC-17) and Simply White (OC-117)! Standards like Revere Pewter (HC-172), which has been so popular for the last three years anyway. Shaker Beige (HC-4) is still a go-to beige. But the off-whites like Muslin (OC-12) , Clay Beige (OC-11), Ballet White (OC-9), Natural Cream (OC-14), Pale Oak (OC-20), Classic Gray (OC-23), Gray Owl (OC-52), Balboa Mist (OC-27), Collingwood (OC-28), just to name a few, I think are pretty safe colors. Off-whites and pale neutrals are safe bets when other colors don’t work.

Vicki: Revere Pewter (HC-172), if there’s lots of light, Edgecomb Gray (HC-173), Balboa Mist (1549), or most light grays tend to work in every home, especially now.

Veronica: If all else fails, Revere Pewter HC-172 is a great chameleon color. It just works in 99% of homes. I also find that Steam AF-15, Pale Oak OC-20, and Pashmina AF-100 look good in most homes. While I don’t think there is one specific color that “goes” with every home and style, I would say warm gray-beiges are a safe bet because they’re neutral and transitional.

Window Treatments 101 | Roman Shades & Draperies

Did you know curtains have been around since 3rd-century Egypt? Though they were primarily used to separate rooms, these first generation curtains inspired the use of soft window coverings. Becoming popular in 16th-century England, window coverings were commonly made from linen, flax and cotton… just like today’s roman shades and draperies!

Renaissance styled draperies
Renaissance draperies
Source

Roman shades are just as old and date back to- you guessed it- ancient Roman times. But they were originally designed to function horizontally, like an awning. This was to block the hot sun while spectators enjoyed the spectacles at the Colosseum. Now used vertically on our windows and doors, Roman shades still function as they did back then.

We won’t bore you with a full history lesson, but it’s fun to know where our modern fabric window treatments got their start. This month, we’re expanding our Window Treatments 101 series to the most timeless treatments you can put in your home— roman shades and draperies. 

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Beige: The New (and Old) Gray

Believe it or not, beige is back in town. And we have a feeling it’s going to stay for a while…

Now, don’t get this confused with the beige wall color that took over in the late 90’s and early 00’s– this beige has matured and simplified and shifted. Yes, there are loads of different beiges out there, and each one has it’s place. But remember how easy it was decorating with beige, though?

Come along for the ride as we explore this modern classic color in some new light… and trends!

Note the brass accent piece on the credenza juxtaposed next to the black metal drapery rods.
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Cellular shades with decorative panels in living room

Cellular Shades | Window Treatments 101

We’re getting to know cellular shades as one of the most versatile and popular window coverings in design. Hence this month’s installment of Window Treatments 101. Last time, we learned the ins and outs of venetian blinds, a timeless classic. And honestly, we feel that cell shades will be the new venetian blinds. There are so many advantages to putting cellular shades in your home, most importantly being their incredible energy efficiency. Easy to use, customizable, and attractive are just some other great features of this modern classic.

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