hue, tint, shade or tone? I lean toward tones – the grayed down version of hue. It’s in the nuances of tone that I become obsessed. Like many, I’ve spent a good amount of time searching for that elusive (perfect) paint color, and I have a jillion quarts of paint to prove it. But I can’t help myself because I know that when the colors are as they should be, an interior space sings. I ran across this Online Color IQ Challenge the other day and according to their test I have perfect color vision. Really? Then why, do tell, is picking a paint color so dang hard!
My favorite book on the subject is called COLOR Natural Palettes for Painted Rooms by Donald Kaufman and Taffy Dahl. It was first published in 1991 but it’s message and photos are timeless. When I first bought the book – well before we lived in France – I stared endlessly at photos of Nicole de Vesian’s house “La Louve” in Bonnieux.
The book offered a pallet of tones gleaned from the surrounding landscape. I still gravitate to those colors just as I still love the house and garden.
Kaufman offers this advice to those of us who agonize over color:
- Visualizes spaces as volumes
- Consider color and space as one
- Expand the mock up phase
- Don’t shortcut the execution
- Forget Trends
- Credit your individuality and eccentricity
- Stick to your belief that decoration can be great and still contain your personal expressions
- Don’t be distracted by the mass market jargon that is masquerading as expert advice
- Realize the limitations of all advice including mine
On his website he expands on each of these thoughts and it’s well worth the read. The site is inspiring and beautiful and I particularly like the irregular presentation of the color swatches:
Kaufman’s and Dahl’s work as colorists led them to develop a line of paints featuring over a hundred luscious colors and I’m dying for a chance to use them. Through their eyes it seems so simple.
If any of you have tried or seen the paints in person I’d love to hear about it!