Christina Kittelstad is a tutor of QC Design School and an accomplished color consultant, home stager and painter whose work has been featured on HGTV’s show House Hunters. 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.
You know the ones. Clients who say they want to bring more color and design into their homes but just can’t commit. They are so intimidated by color—the idea of bringing more color into their homes brings panic, so they do nothing all. This is where YOU come to the rescue!
As a trained color consultant, you have the amazing ability and awesome opportunity to bring more color confidence and style into your client’s homes. You can do it in a simple yet professional way that doesn’t intimidate or trigger a panic attack in your color clients.
Keep reading to find out how!
Discover Your Client’s Personal Style
As a home designer, you have a unique style and color preferences. But knowing what your client’s preferences are can be key to keeping the color selection process simple and successful.
Ask them about their favorite objects and furnishings at home to gain clues about their favorite colors. You can check their closet and find tons of color inspiration! Do they wear all black or do they love pattern? Discovering specific colors that match their style and pointing those observations out to them is half the battle.
Keep It Simple
Color selection may come easily to you, but for your clients, this can be a more than monumental task. The easier you can make the process, the happier your clients will be. If choosing a color for their entire home is just too much to consider, then start with just one room.
Choose a favorite room where they spend the most time to focus on, such as the kitchen or master bedroom. Choose the main living room to start with. This will become a great foundation to design the rest of the home around. Choosing a small room where you can have more fun with color, like a nursery or powder bathroom, can also build more color confidence.
If an entire room is too daunting for your client, focus on one accent wall. If walls are too intimidating, focus on artwork, accessories, and textiles. Keeping it simple and stress-free will allow your clients to gain more confidence and take bigger color risks in the future. A designer who is willing to take it slow and go at their client’s pace is valuable. Clients will hire you for life!
Presentation Is Key
As professional designers, we tend to pull out all the stops when it comes to presenting our ideas. We are visual people after all! But when you have clients who are scared of color, this can backfire.
Your clients need you to present your ideas in an organized and concise way that isn’t overwhelming. When working with a color fan deck, for example, pull out only a few color options to start with. See where that leads.
Show your client a basic color wheel and determine what colors they like and dislike the most. If your clients are also very visual, incorporating mood boards and Pinterest boards with a few options can be a wonderful tool. Encourage collaboration and bring them into the process!
Encourage Clients To Experiment
Yes, just saying the word “experiment” may cause these clients to panic. BUT encouraging them to take the time to really figure out what they love can be priceless.
Encourage clients to color test with samples on a board or wall. Provide oversize swatches when possible, so clients can move them around their home in various lighting and narrow down their choices privately. Recommend a few color and design apps they can play with just to get comfortable with possible color directions. Then, guide them to more specific color palettes.
Suggest Beautiful But Not Necessarily Bold Colors
If your client loves the idea of more color, but going bright and bold is just too scary, recommend earth tones, neutrals or less saturated colors. Explore color ideas and, based on what they love, pull out a few colors that are lighter and more subdued. This will allow them to jump into color without too much commitment.
Walls can be painted an earth-toned blue, for example. And if your client loves and feels confident enough to go brighter, you can add in a bolder accent wall or more artwork and accessories. Low commitment to lots of colors is the way to go!
Oftentimes, clients get the courage to commit to redesigning their home. After finally picking up the phone to hire us for a specific service, they disappear after they receive our initial recommendations. It’s SO important (and professional) to remind them that you are there for them to discuss colors, review test swatches, adjust any colors as needed. Ultimately, it’s your job to help guide them to the most perfect colors for their home—and they should know it!
Being there from beginning to end is what makes or breaks a project. Letting your clients know you are committed to the process is key.
Clients come with such a variety of taste and styles. Those who are looking for more color confidence can be the best clients of all. If you are willing to take the time, really connect with them. Work through your projects using these tips and you’ll be successful. Not only that, but you will most likely receive rave reviews and repeat clients. Do what you do best and it’s a win-win!
How did you get through to a worried client? Let us know!