Christina Kittelstad is a tutor of QC Design School and an accomplished color consultant, home stager and painter. She is the owner and lead color consultant for Spiral Design Color Consulting. She’s best known for creating beautiful, functional spaces through the use of color, and creating a sense of style and personality that’s as unique as each of her clients.
Her work has been featured on HGTV’s show House Hunters. Her favorite colors are fuschia and teal and her current obsessions are abstract painting, doing Facebook LIVE and anything with farmhouse style. Today she’ll discuss how and why she fell into the wonderful world of color consulting!
Color Is A Springboard
Sometimes, you just know. I always knew on some level that I wanted to work with color when I grew up. From an early age, I processed my world through the lens of color. I spent my time crafting, painting, and making a creative mess whenever I had the opportunity.
Some of my happiest childhood memories included color. My red cowgirl boots, my pink glitter bike, and my rainbow xylophone that I played during one Christmas blizzard. Who knew that such colorful images, experiences, and memories could provide a springboard for my future career as a color consultant? I certainly didn’t!
In later years, I made fine art my focus in college and continued my love affair color. While I didn’t especially enjoy the constant and standard classroom criticism that my major entailed, I loved studying a subject that excited me. It motivated me and encouraged me each day to express my creativity and push myself to excel.
As I began my career, I worked as an Arts Program Director for a nonprofit organization for many years. I had the opportunity to partner with professional artists to teach children how to appreciate and express their creative talents through art. This leads me to my next point…
Find Your Niche
While I enjoyed my career, I was missing out on developing my own creativity. Then, it happened.
Friends and family began asking me for painting and design advice on their own home and business projects. I was thrilled! It came naturally to me and color selection was second nature. Color consulting was not a standard practice yet. I saw homeowners struggling to choose paint with colors they loved, and painters who didn’t know how to help.
I decided to take the leap and start my own color consulting business – Spiral Design Color Consulting. I got certified as a color consultant, set up my office, contacted painters, reached out to the local design network and never looked back. I come from a long line of entrepreneurs and small business owners, so it was no surprise that I would end up finding my own niche and going for it.
Always Different + Never Boring
As a color consultant, people ask me why I chose to focus on color as a career over other specializations within interior decorating and design. It’s simple!
Color found me at a very early age. Color is my muse and I can do it all day long. I love the simplicity, the high impact and instant gratification that working with color provides. I am continually amazed at the ability of color to positively impact an environment or entire community. I love the simple process of specifying color for clients.
A typical day may include a few color consultations with clients, researching new color schemes and painting a fantastic piece of furniture. Every day is different and keeps me focused. It’s always stimulating and certainly never boring!
Love What You Do
Being a color consultant has provided me with countless opportunities like the chance to own my own business and do things my way. Working with a variety of business partners such as homeowners, painters, realtors, and custom builders has been stimulating, too.
Being a color consultant has given me the opportunity to work with out-of-the-ordinary clients. I once designed a ship interior for the Columbia River Bar Pilots. Another time, I designed a regional color palette for a national yurt company. It’s always a surprise to see who my next client will be! I have had the opportunity to show my work on HGTV, receive recognitions, and be given awards such as “Best of Houzz”.
Being a color consultant gave me the ability to walk away from a career that was causing burn out and provided the life-changing opportunity to start a family. That, itself, is priceless. While having a work-life balance is always a challenge, being a color consultant has given me the chance to thrive, and isn’t that all we really want? To do what we love and love what we do.
Becoming a color consultant has allowed me the opportunity to live my best life and I can’t ask for more than that!