Archives for posts with tag: Tints and shades

purple trees and boat

Whole books have been written on the psychology of color. Some colors sooth us while

others excite us and having a basic knowledge of this prevents one from painting his

bedroom fire engine red or the baby’s playroom grey. But the picture is so much bigger.

Proportion, scale, traffic patterns, arrangement, use, mood… all of these and more MUST

be considered before decisions are made on how to construct and furnish a house.

 No one element stands alone… each decision builds on and impacts the others.

I am often asked, “What is your first step?”

For me it is usually a fabric, a rug, or a piece of art.

This becomes the starting point for the color palette for the rest of the house.

I usually work in threes where color is concerned whether dealing with a monochromatic scheme or a more… well… colorful one.

One color becomes the primary focus of the room with the other two serving a backup role. The roles change from room to room as do the values, tints and shades but the hues (colors) remain the same for a unified feel to the house.

For instance, in this room I see black, white and sepia.

gallery wall and rug

This one is pink, beige and orange

pink ceiling :)

But it’s not just any pink, beige and orange. The vital element in choosing colors that work is understanding their undertones. When I was in school we used to have to paint our own color charts to help us understand this.

If you study colors long enough you will soon be able to see that they all fit in families. One family will have a yellow undertone, one a blue, one a grey etc.

Then within these families each color moves progressively along a line toward black or toward white.  I call them muddy or clear.

You can see this illustrated on the three color wheels.

Three color wheels - Harris, Today, Goethe

For colors to work together they need to chosen from the same position  along the wheel or from the same “band” or “ring”. If you get this positioning right the color combinations will be pleasing.

Maria Killam of Color Me Happy refers to this as clean color vs dirty color and that’s a good way to think of it.

She recently used a great picture that illustrates this concept.

 Do you cringe when you see this space?  Examine it. The floor  is a muddy/dirty color with a pink undertone while the wall is a clear/clean color.

They will NEVER work together.

How, then, does one get it right!

When selecting a paint color you have to first compare it to white to make sure you are in the family you want to be in but then you always have to cross compare it  to colors within its own family to see where you fall along the spectrum. Meaning, if you are choosing a green compare it to a half dozen other greens to make sure you are seeing what you think you are seeing.  Then after you narrow that down pair it with the other hues you plan to use and if you still like it you are good to go!!

In the following example you will see how one hue ( the lavender) looks totally different depending on what it is paired with.

When placed on the blue it takes on a  red undertone .

When used with purple it becomes blue.

Which do you want?

I am beginning to feel you glazing over so I will stop here.

If you have specific color questions please feel free to ask them in the comment area and we will go into as much detail as you want.

If you would like to say, “That was fun!” at the end of your project contact me at

www.cindybarganier.com. 

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I just completed my site inspection at the beach which centered on paint and stain colors.

One of the most interesting things that has occurred with my work in Florida is the extreme effect the light has on hue.

Their light is much brighter and seems to have a bluer tint than ours therefore colors selected in my light,whether natural or artificial, do not translate when they hit the walls down there. This is the second time I have encountered it and am curious to know how other designers have handled it.

The colors originally selected were Benjamin Moore Seattle Mist (center) and Northern Cliffs (right) the chip on left is Puritan Gray and it was the accent color for the kitchen island.

This is what the chips look like.

 

 

On all jobs I have the painters test the colors before they begin so that we can see what happens in the client’s light.

Often if a room is filled with windows overlooking  foliage the paint will take on a green cast.

In areas that don’t get a lot of sunlight the paint may look gray so site testing is very important.

When I arrived this is the first thing that I saw. This was supposed to be the wall color but in this light and in the shadows cast by the staircase it looked olive green. Not good.

I suspected this was going to happen so I came armed with several other neutrals all in poster board size samples.

Hopefully you can see the different undertones represented by these boards.

It was absolutely crazy what happened when we pulled them out.  A color that looked like a soft, pastel blue lying on the work table went wedgewood as I started to lift it at a 45 degree angle and by the time it was vertical we had a dark blue-gray.

No one present could believe it. Scary.

The paint chemist in me came out and I began to experiment with 1/2 formula, 3/4 formula, etc. but none of it worked.

You can see what I’m talking about in this photo. Every wall is the exact same color but if you look at the stair wall on the second floor compared to the first the second looks blue ( it has a window with natural light coming in).

The wall to the right in what will be the kitchen looks orangey- yellow- it is picking up on the color of the raw pine which thankfully will be stained to reflect the proper hue.

Color selection is not for the faint of heart.

Boyd was as bum-fuzzled as I.

LOL  (My Daddy always says that. Is it a word?)

In the midst of all that, we had to take a break from paint to solve a tile problem.

A vanity shown as 5’11” on the plan had been field changed to over 10′ and we weren’t sure that there was enough tile to complete the backsplash.

Here we are counting every tiny piece of 2×2 tile we could find.

 Fortunately, we had enough- by about 6 tiles. Whew!

In the end…. I used the original trim color as the wall color. (shown on the bottom of the right board)

I chose another white altogether for the trim. ( shown on top of the right board)

The original wall color went from flat to semi-gloss and became the cabinet color. (shown on top of left board)

And I chose a blue, tinted almost 50% lighter than the original selection to use on the kitchen island. ( bottom left)

What do you think?

By the way do you know the difference between tint and shade?

You start with a hue (what we know as color i.e. red) Imagine that it is in the middle of a long horizontal line.

If you begin to add white, one drop at a time, moving to the left of hue you get pink ( a tint of red).

If you begin to add black, one drop at a time, moving to the right of hue you get maroon ( a shade of red).

Now, go impress your children.

What color stories do you have to tell? I would love to hear your experience with color selection.

And if you would like to say, “That was fun!” at the end of your project contact me at

http://www.cindybarganier.com.

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