Christina Kittelstad is a tutor of QC Design School. She’s also an accomplished color consultant, home stager, and painter. Her work has even been featured on HGTV’s show, “House Hunters”. She’s the owner and lead color consultant for Spiral Design Color Consulting. Christina is best known for creating beautiful, functional spaces through the use of color, as well as establishing a sense of style and personality that’s as unique as each of her clients!
If you live and work in the world of color consulting and home design, then you know how much misinformation can be out there. Often, people don’t really know what a color consultant does, let alone what services we offer and all of the benefits a color consultation can bring to a project.
As an industry professional, I’m here to set the facts straight. So, let’s debunk 6 of the most popular color consulting myths, and reveal exactly why they aren’t true!
Myth #1: Working with A Color Consultant is Expensive!
Here’s the deal! Every color consultant charges different fees, based on their:
- Services offered
Most color consultants offer reasonable fees and packages, based on their client’s needs and the scope of the overall project. For instance, exterior color consulting may cost more than interior color consulting. Similarly, a multi-family project will cost more than a single-family home.
As with any service provider, the fee will reasonably be higher if the professional has more to offer, possesses more experience in the field, and if the project is of a larger scale. Personally, I would argue that NOT working with a professional color consultant, and choosing NOT to pay a reasonable fee for excellent services, could end up being a very expensive prospect in the long run.
If you get in over your head with paint colors, can’t see straight, and your painters are on a deadline, it can become all too easy for a project to go off the rails, without the aid of a trained expert.
Myth #2: A Color Consultant Will Handle Everything!
Here’s the thing: we’re absolutely here to get into your world and discover unique design styles, decor, colors, finishes, decor, and architectural elements that’ll make you fall in love with your home! But we cannot read your mind.
The color consulting process is not a one-way process. Rather, I always tell my clients that it’s a shared process where communication is key. The more you can tell your color consultant, the better! I’ll certainly share my professional recommendations with you after all things are considered, but this requires full disclosure from both parties.
In order to properly do my job, I need to know:
- What my clients like
- What they don’t like
- What makes them feel at home
- What the space will be used for
- What their ultimate color goals are
Often times, my clients like to play “Devil’s advocate”. This is where they don’t tell me what they’re thinking, just so they can see what I come up with. While that’s a fun game for them, it’s a huge time-waster.
It doesn’t actually get us any closer to the ultimate goal, which is to create a beautiful space through the perfect color scheme. Not to mention, it’s frustrating as the color consultant, who just wants the project to be a success and for the clients to be happy.
Myth #3: I Don’t Have Time To Work With a Color Consultant!
This is a BIG misconception! Many people assume that they don’t have the necessary time to work with a professional color consultant on their project. They might think this this for a variety of reasons, such as:
- The contractor is on a hard deadline for a new construction build
- House painters are scheduled a week out
- The client works in an office away from home, and they don’t have time to meet in-person during normal business hours, etc.
The thing is, color consultants are experts in multi-tasking! We know how to get a project done by the deadline – if not sooner. Yes, each color consultant will have a different turn-around time, depending on the time of year, their schedule, and how busy they are. But most color consultants are able to provide color solutions within a week on residential projects.
Many times, I have rescued stressed out clients who only had a few days, or a single weekend, to narrow down paint colors and find the perfect color before painting started.
Not to mention that these days, our consultations don’t even need to be done in-person anymore, if that option isn’t ideal. Instead, we can work with clients virtually, so they never have to leave work. We aim to be flexible; capable of meeting our client’s needs by providing multiple types of services.
We do this because we love our craft, and we want our clients to be thrilled with the results!
Myth #4: My Project is Too Small!
This is not true! Some color consultants may specialize in larger projects only, but I have always said that no project is too big or too small for me to work with a client!
Some clients may have a new construction home that needs a full color consultation for interior and exterior. Other clients just need some assistance with one project, such as a fence, cabinetry stain, a single interior bedroom, or an accent area.
No project is too small to receive professional help! We’ll always be here to get your home just the way you like it!
Myth #5: Color Consultants Live in Perfect Homes!
While some color consultants and home designers do live in grand homes, most do not. We love to make our homes beautiful, too, because this is our space to live, create, rest and reset.
But we’re usually so busy working with all of our amazing clients, that we don’t actually have much time left-over for our own homes! At the end of the day, it’s no different than any other profession. It’s all about making the time to create your dream home!
That said, we do try to sneak in time when we can. After all, we love what we do and we never stop designing!
Myth #6: I Can Do It Myself!
While I would agree that some clients are very capable of designing and creating beautifully balanced color schemes for their homes, many are not as qualified or confident. These are the people who often end up digging themselves into a frustrating hole. They’ll fall into the rabbit hole of starting with too many trips to the paint counter, and too many swatches later.
This ultimately leads them to working with a color consultant who comes in, sorts through the mess, and brings functional solutions back into view. Yes, you can go to the paint store and pick a color (or 50) and hope it works out. But this can be a very expensive mistake, especially on the exterior of a home.
Here is the simpler – and far less stressful – path: take the extra time and small expense to work with a professionally-trained color consultant. You can trust that this is someone who has reputable experience in the field of color, works daily with clients, and offers excellent customer service.
Coming from a color consulting, I can tell you that I have seen it all! I know what will and won’t work. I know what the trends are, and what colors will remain timeless. I know who the best painters are. I know what sheen you need to use for what surface. I know all this because it’s my job to know it, so that I can provide the very best service to my clients.
It’s important to know when to work with a specialist, so you can stick to what you do best. Clients pay me to save them A LOT of time, and I never fail to provide that for them. On top of this, I give them the assurance that not only will a project look good; it’ll look amazing!
They can choose colors that will work, but I can choose colors they might not ever consider. A color consultant will make a person’s house feel like a home, and that is the best part of my job!
As you can see, there are many myths when it comes to color consulting. So, the next time you feel unsure about the process, remember that working with a color consultant can be affordable, stress free, and time-saving.
Most importantly, it can also be fun!