Defining a Color Scheme

Color is very complex, and means different things to different people, so there are no universal rules or guidelines that will guarantee success. But by using the simple procedure that follows, you will be able to choose a color scheme that your customer will be satisfied with.

Defining a color scheme can seem intimidating to a beginner. But there is actually a clear process that you can follow to come up with an effective color scheme for your client.

Clearly define what the consumer wants and expects to achieve with their color scheme. Help your customer narrow down what they want by asking the following questions:

  • Why do you want to change the color in your house?
  • How does the current color in your house make you feel?
  • What mood are you trying to create?
  • What is the style of your furniture?
  • Do you have a special piece of furniture that you want to highlight/coordinate with?
  • Do you have a special piece of fabric that you want to highlight/coordinate with?
  • What is the function of the room/building that you want to paint?
  • How much natural light does the room receive?
  • Which direction does your house/window/building face?

It’s important to figure out how different customers want to be approached.

  • Does the customer want your help, or do they prefer to choose their color without assistance? If the customer wants help, ask the questions from step 1. If not, give them a few idea cards for inspiration and leave them to it.
  • Is the customer in a hurry and has already chosen a color? If so, use idea cards to provide a quick look at concepts (without going into too much detail) for the room the customer plans to decorate. Let the customer know that you are available to help if required and then step away.
  • Does the customer want to give some input and then have you recommend a color? If so, ask the questions from step 1. Take your time to understand what the customer really needs (which might be a little different from what they think they need). Involve the customer in the selection process so that they will be happy with the color that is chosen.

When you, as a salesperson, have a better idea of what the customer is trying to achieve, you will be in a good position to recommend the right color key palette.

  • In some cases the customer won’t be interested in hearing the theory behind the color program. They will pick out a few chips and leave. However, if the customer is interested, explaining the program can help them with their selection.
  • Explain the difference between warm and cool colors. Take out a blue chip from the cool palette and place it beside colors in the warm palette. This demonstrates the difference in undertones.
  • Explain the difference between clean and muted colors by taking a muted color and showing it next to a clean color.
  • If a customer is hesitant about choosing a color palette, have them bring in color samples from their home, such as a throw pillow or an area rug. We can also show various options using our I-color software. Looking at many possibilities will give the customer more confidence about their choice.
  • The answers to the step 1 questions will give you guidance about which colors to recommend. Later on, we’ll go into more detail about how to use color to create certain environments.

It is important to talk about color scheme and what the customer would like to achieve with it rather than just pricing and function. The key point to remember is that at first, customers might be nervous about color and fearful that they don’t necessarily know enough or have enough experience to understand it. Once the customer is comfortable with the price and function and has decided which paint to use, follow up with these questions about color:

  • “Now that you have chosen the paint, did you know that the right colors will help you create a wonderful new environment—one that reflects your style?”
  • “Have you considered letting us guide you through the simple process of using color to change the style of your apartment?”
  • “Did you know that we have excellent tools to help you choose a color scheme for your house that easily matches your furnishings”

The next step is to choose a main color that reflects the requirements of your project. Then you will select a basic color scheme based on that main color choice. Finally, you’ll refine your color scheme to meet your client’s requirements.