Every once in a while clients ask me how did I become a Color Expert in Charlotte. Here are a few questions that are typically asked with some very upfront answers.
What education, schooling, or skills are needed to do this?
This is highly important! There are two types of Designers. The first type are people who are schooled and educated in the field of Interior Decorating and Design and who’ve had a very strong background in color and design such as myself. Between education, work experience and a natural talent for color, the career choice of a Color Specialist would be perfect for you.
The second type are the people who have a flair for design and just decide to pick it up later on in life. They may have a degree in Fine Arts which is general but helps and they may also have a natural flair for color. Both of these are good and neither type is correct or wrong, however, I personally would say that you’ll definitely have a leading edge if you have a specific degree in Interior Decorating and Design and your work experience solely relates to color.
Pick up any certifications relating to color and design along the way and that will be an added bonus both personally and professionally. You may find that some of the color certifications are a bit redundant at a point but if you learn just one thing from it, it’ll be worth it and I highly recommend anything you can do to round out your education.
What does your work entail?
Designing a color palette for a home is really quite involved. Since I’ve been doing it for so long (since my 20’s) and I know color, home layouts and lighting so well, it’s really become a science.
Color consultations for a home about 4,000 square feet take about two hours to complete. I walk the home with the homeowner and go from room to room to discuss the color options. Taking decor and lighting into consideration, I show several colors to the client and THEY are actually the one who finalizes the color. I wouldn’t show a color to the client that won’t work but I want them to choose a color that they like and not be influenced by what I think they’d like.
After we complete every room in the home, I take some photographs of the areas that open into other rooms and the consultation is complete. I compile a color portfolio for the client. This comes in super handy because all the color information, color placement, and color chips are all there in one folder. They really need this portfolio when they shop for decor such as drapery, art or furniture. It ensures that they are staying in the same color palette that I designed for them. It also provides the painter with useful information such as where the colors start and where they stop.
What advice would you offer someone considering this career?
Other than education which is #1 on my list, the one thing that I would say is that if you don’t eat sleep and live color, this is NOT the field for you. You can’t just wake up one day and say,“Oh this color looks so pretty and it would look great in a bedroom.” Loving and living color is more than that. It has to be in your blood from day one in order for you to be successful in it. You can be good at it but in order to make a career out of, you need to feel it in your toes.