I love flipping through color books and paint swatches, it totally brightens my mood and gives me energy. Sometimes I bring some of my color books to a client’s home to help them figure out what look and mood they’re drawn to before I recommend paint colors for their home.
That is, if I’m doing a color consultation as part of an interior redesign discussion.
When I’m choosing colors for home staging, I don’t really care too much about what the client likes or will feel comfortable living with, because in a staging situation it’s all about decorating for home buyers.
Over the past week, I’ve done two color consultations and this book by Leatrice Eiseman came in handy. It’s called Colors For Your Every Mood: Discover Your True Decorating Colors and has sumptuous photos of different rooms in a variety of decorating styles.
My first appointment was at a luxury home in Forest Hill that had been totally gutted top to bottom. It was really a challenge because the place was still a construction site, with none of the furniture or final lighting installed! The owner had her iPad with photos of things she liked, and we went from there.
In this case, I had to stay fairly neutral because I had no idea what precise colors her furniture and art actually were.
And in some cases, I didn’t even have floor color as a reference because the hardwood hadn’t been installed yet! For this home I relied exclusively on the colors I recommend in the Staging Diva Ultimate Color Guide: The Easy Way to Pick Color for Home Staging Projects. I know they work in a wide variety of homes and with different lighting and furniture styles.
Standing there with the wife (at a workbench in what will soon be the family room off the yet-to-be-built kitchen, shown in the photo above), wearing my coat because there was no heat, I somehow managed to choose a color palette for this 5 bedroom, 3-story home in only two hours!
Since her husband had written out my check in advance before driving off to keep their son amused during our meeting, there was no way I wanted to go over-time. I believe in being paid for my advice, so I kept it short and sweet so we could finish within the deadline!
Naturally, her visual memory of the actual colors may not be accurate, but I needed something to go by! When evaluating wall color options, I’d put them up against the “red” of the couch, or the “blue” of the dining room chairs, for example.
For my second color consulting client, I did a home in the Beaches area that was built in 1919. It had lots of dark wood trim (which they didn’t want to paint) and leaded glass windows.
The couple was very nice and the husband really warmed up to the whole process about 30 minutes into my visit.
When I arrived he had his arms crossed over his chest, but once we hit the kitchen and he got to show off his new restaurant-style 6 burner gas stove, and tell me about the chef certificate courses he’s taking for fun, he became much more open. It turns out he’s a very talented (amateur) photographer and we had fun hanging many of his works in various rooms of the home.
His wife served tea, and together we finalized which glass tile to use for their newly renovated kitchen, selected drapery for the living and dining rooms (from the many options she’d bought ahead of time), and selected paint colors for the entire house. In this client’s case we could have more courage with color because I could see what they liked and all the furniture and lighting were in place.
We came up with a fabulous color palette that really pulls the rooms together and works with the dark wood trim.
It was a lovely afternoon for all of us (I know because she hugged me at the end and said all her questions were answered) and I left with a check equal to what many people make in an entire week after only 2.5 hours work. I don’t say this to brag, but to emphasize that it’s possible to be REALLY well paid for your creative talent when you understand the business of home staging and color consulting!
It really is a joy to do work that you love, help people and be well-paid for it at the same time. If you’re struggling to get paid what you’re worth, I encourage you to listen to Course 2 of the Staging Diva Home Staging Business Training Program.
I hope you enjoyed this behind-the-scenes look at two of my color consultations for clients who aren’t selling their homes and I’d love for you to share some of your own experiences by commenting below.
Also, I’m taking a poll and you can vote by commenting below. The question is: Do you have trouble choosing colors for your own home even if it’s “easy” to do it for a client? It’s really hard for me, how about you?
Debra Gould, The Staging Diva®
Debra Gould has been an entrepreneur since 1989 and knows how to make money as a home stager. She developed the Staging Diva Training Program to teach others how to earn a living doing something they love. There are now more than 7,000 students in over 20 countries learning from her many products and services for home stagers.