What Color Did You Use On…

Long ago, a friend of mine told me about an exchange she had with an architect. She was so mad that she could hardly speak to ME in a calm voice. (Guilt by association?) She had seen a house in a magazine, liked the color of something (I don’t remember what), tracked down the architect and called his office to get the paint color.

She went right out and bought enough paint to paint the what-ever-it-was and, low and behold (do people still say that? Besides me?) anyway, low and behold, it was the wrong color. She was convinced that the architect had either been too lazy to look up the color and just told her something to make her go away or had deliberately mislead her because he was protecting his “look” or something like that.

Well, that really was a long time ago and I didn’t have any hands-on experience, having never had a house published, being tracked down and asked for details. There’s nothing like hands on experience and in this case it has taught me to say (as nicely as possible, of course) something like this:

“I’m sorry, but the color that you think we used has been photographed, digitized, adjusted, transmitted to the magazine’s art director who has further adjusted it. When I look at it, I see the color that it really is, so if I give you the spec, I’d do it honestly believing that the information is correct. I’ll be wrong and you’ll be disappointed.”

So, the point I’d like to make is that the well meaning architect or interior designer on the phone may not know what I know. Save everybody a little time and effort. Don’t even bother to call. Take the magazine to the paint store and match it to the photograph.


About More Than Architects

I’m Rick Clanton. Michael Ruegamer and I are architects and the principals of Group 3 Design on Hilton Head Island, SC. We provide architecture and interior design services for homes in the US and the Caribbean Islands.
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2 Responses to What Color Did You Use On…

  1. CoastalSouthern says:

    I found your photos on Houzz and love your design style. I truly appreciate the time you take to answer people’s questions.

  2. You have good points about matching paint colors from photographs, however, it is helpful to know what color was used as a starting point, especially when you like how it looks in a room. Many people go totally crazy trying to choose paint colors. Professional paint color consultants always advise their clients to view paint colors in the lighing of the room to be painted, during different times of day, to truly see how the paint will look in the room.

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