Many design clients call for a decorator because they’re overwhelmed about color choices. Pick the right color scheme for a room and you’ll transform the space into an oasis. Pick the wrong colors and you’re stuck with a stuffy or just-plain-ugly room no one wants to use.
As a well-trained color consultant, you will bring your expertise to the client in a unique way. You won’t just lay out a bunch of paint samples and swatches and ask them which one they prefer; but rather you’ll get a feeling from the client on which colors speak to them on a personal level, and work with them to develop a personalized color palette that meets their goal for a particular space.
Getting an education in color consultation can open many doors to you as a designer. Here are some of the services you could offer as a color consultant.
Home Interior Color Selection
Say you have a client who wants to decorate a bedroom. She wants the space to be a calm and relaxing getaway that she can use to decompress after a long day’s work. As a qualified color consultant, you sit down with her and talk about what she thinks of as “relaxing”. You might find out that she’s an avid beach-goer, or that she loves curling up in her grandpa’s study with a good book. Both those scenes evoke very different color schemes! For one, you might look at a blue-and-sand type of color palette. For the second, you’ll likely look into richer tones like the dark woods and leathers you might typically see in an old man’s study. You’ll spend some time picking colors that might speak to her on that deeply personal level, and then you’ll sit down with her and pick the final color palette together.
Occasionally you’ll be lucky enough to be hired by either a homeowner or a builder to develop the color palette for multiple rooms in a single house (maybe even the whole house, including the exterior!) In these cases, you’ll be responsible for giving each room its own personality and style, while creating a cohesive feel throughout the house and property. What an exciting challenge for a designer!
Corporate Color Consultation Services
The corporate world has a bad rep when it comes to colors. Boring beiges, dull greys, ugly carpets and tacky art are the norm in most corporate spaces. But attitudes in the corporate environment are changing. Millennials are making their mark on the working world, bringing in fresh new ideas and expecting more from their employers than your typical cube farm.
Changing colors in a corporate setting can be an easy and cost-effective way for businesses to breathe new life into an old stale environment. Odds are the company won’t want to invest huge amounts of money into this type of project, so your goal will be to find the most inexpensive solutions possible. Which means, you’ll likely be focusing on painting and maybe changing some art. When picking the color palette for this type of job, you’ll want to focus on the company’s mission statement and core values, and then figure out a way to turn those elements into colorful statements that the whole company will enjoy and feel good about.
Large-Scale vs. Small-Scale Projects
In most home design scenarios, you’d be hired to consult AND to do the actual decorating work. These tend to be larger scale projects, just due to the fact that you’re involved from start-to-finish. As a color consultant, however, you can be involved in small-scale projects, where consultation is the only objective. In these cases, you’d work with your client to recommend the best colors for their project, and that would be your full involvement in the project. You get paid for your consultation/recommendations only, and the client is responsible for implementing your suggestions. This is a great way to increase your salary as a home designer, because they’re fast and inexpensive projects. You can usually conduct a small-scale consultation project like this within a few hours, meaning you can serve a number of clients every day!
Larger scale color projects would involve you completing some of the design work yourself beyond simply offering your recommendations. In this case, it would resemble the type of design project you’re probably already used to: you’d consult for your client and recommend appropriate colors, then you’d move forward with decorating the space for those clients yourself. You can charge much more for these services, of course, because you’re offering a one-stop solution for clients. On the flip side, these projects are going to take up a lot more of your time so you’ll have to take on fewer clients.
Expanding Beyond Design
Color consultant don’t have to limit themselves to just the interior design world. Colors are an integral part of so many different industries, and your expertise as a color consultant (even though you may have started in the design niche) can be transferred to many different areas.
In the corporate world, for example, companies spend millions of dollars each year on branding. As a color consultant, you understand what effect color has on people’s emotions. You can totally turn that into a new revenue stream! Expand your color consultation services into brand consulting: helping businesses choose the right colors for their logos, websites, advertising pieces, and much more.
Creative professionals like makeup artists, event planners, or photographers could also use your expertise to select appropriate colors for events, or for photo shoots that they’ll use in their portfolios. These professionals are experts in their field, but might not have much more than a basic working knowledge in color theory. They likely have a vision for, say, the photo shoot, but they’re not 100% convinced that their choice of color is the best.
Working with small business owners in these scenarios allows you to help others achieve their business goals, and can also produce great work for your own portfolio! A well-thought out professional photo shoot with bold and solid color palettes can mean the path to success in many of these small businesses.