Friday, June 21, 2013


Hey Everyone!!  Hope all is well in your world today.  It is 23C here with a light breeze and I couldn't be happier!!!
I was thinking long and hard about colour over the last day or too....and it got me thinking about others that state...."NO FAIL COLOUR SCHEMES", "NO FAIL PAINT COLOUR".  Is there such a thing??  For me the problem is context.  I don't care what colour someone on some show or some blog or some magazine talks about, unless you have context it really is for naught.  Are there some colours that may be more neutral than others?  Yes.  Are there some colours that in the scheme of things  that are less offensive than others. Yes!  But for someone in a magazine to state unequivocally that "this colour is no fail.....".....well that is where they loose me.
Don't get me wrong..... I love looking at what other people are talking about when it comes to colour.  I will be the first to get palpitations when I see a great colour scheme put together, however, it really has to relate to what is in YOUR OWN SPACE.
I myself am NOT an expert, however, I think I have learned enough over the course of the years through experience, learning and trial and error that I consider myself very learned when it comes to colour.
To me when I hear about NO FAIL... well that should be a starting place.  Am I saying that that particular colour won't work in your home- absolutely not.  What I am saying is arm yourself with some common sense when it comes to these claims.  Take that NO FAIL colour and see how it looks in YOUR home.  Does it relate to YOUR space?  UNDERTONE IS EVERYTHING. AND HOW DOES IT RELATE TO WHAT IS IN YOUR SPACE??

I know that I have at length, gone on and on about the 'evils" of Benjamin Moore-Cloud White.  Is it evil??....well no.  In fact in the right circumstances it will work just fine.  However, when I hear a designer say it is their "go to, no fail",  well, that sets my teeth on edge.  One colour will NEVER work in every instance.  Put that Cloud White as a trim next to a colour such as BM Gray Cashmere 2138-60 or Camouflage 2143-40 and well....yikes.  The undertone from the Cloud White is all wrong for such a colour:

Cloud White CC-40 BM

Gray Cashmere 2138-60 BM

Camouflage 2143-40 BM

A much better  trim colour would be:

Simply White 2143-70 BM

I know that I pick on Cloud White but it is a great example of a colour that is so overused and is thought to be "NO FAIL".

I myself would have to say that there is NO colour that is NO FAIL.  However, that being said I feel a better way to perhaps describe such a scenario would be 'A NEUTRAL THAT WILL GET YOU BY".  There are times when someone has to move into a house and it HAS  to be painted and they are desperate to pick a colour.  I would of course say wait.  However, there is such a thing as life and sometimes life doesn't allow for the "ideal".  In that case a very neutral colour is the way to go- again is it NO FAIL?? Absolutely not!

Are there colours that I feel are less offensive than others and MAY work if one has to pick a colour without some context:

If you want a fairly neutral gray then Wickham Gray or Stonington Gray may work as it doesn't have a strong undertone as compared to other grays:

Wickham Gray HC-171 BM

Stonington Gray HC-170 BM

Are these the absolute best grays ever to be created- NO.  However, they are fairly Neutral and don't "scream" a huge undertone like that of Templeton Gray HC-161  or Chelsea Gray HC-168:

Templeton Gray HC161 BM

Chelsea Gray HC-168 BM

If I had to pick a white for a room that did not have a strong undertone to it I would have to pick:

Chantilly Lace OC-65 BM

Decorator's White CC-20 BM

These 2 would be great in a more Contemporary Setting. Whereas Oxford White.........

Oxford White CC-30 BM

would be fabulous for a more beachy setting.

You also have to remember that depending on which direction a room faces or the undertone in your furniture or the predominant colour in a rug....this will determine what colour(s) you should be picking.  Is this earth shatteringly new??  NOPE!!  However, I feel that it is a very important detail that gets swept under the rug in an attempt to look cool, be hip or pick a colour fast and dirty like.

So many times people will get hung up on what colour is used in a particular room and can't let it go.  Well first of all...rooms look different in print or online than in real life.  What colour looks awesome in a room online may look absolutely hideous in your room.  What I am saying is use it as a starting point.  Love that colour from that room or from the mouth of a certain designer....but apply it to YOUR LIFE, YOUR WAY.

As an example.... I love Bird's Egg 2051-60.  It is such a lovely watery blue.  LOVE IT!!  But just say that in a particular room my "stuff" has just a little more green in it.  Well then I may want to look at Antiguan Sky 2040-60.  I love Birds Egg, however, Antiguan Sky would work better.  The colour YOU pick has to relate to YOUR stuff.

Birds Eggs 2051-60 BM

Antiguan Sky 2040-60 BM

It may be hard to tell on a monitor, however, Antiguan Sky has more green in it than Bird's Egg.

So the next time you see "NO FAIL", take it with a grain of salt.  By all means use it as a starting place, but don't take it as an absolute.

Have a great day everyone.

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