Testing, testing…1,2,3

•June 30, 2016 • Leave a Comment
Painting your house this summer? Here are 3 reasons I don’t recommend painting a ‘tester’ directly on the house as the person in this photo did:
1. You aren’t seeing enough of the color and you’re only seeing it in one place on the house.
2. How we see color is altered by the colors around it and what you see here is not a true representation of what the color will really look like on the house.
3. When you paint directly over an existing color the old color can shadow through and alter the color you are evaluating.
I recommend painting 2 coats of your ‘tester’ color directly on an inexpensive white poster board but don’t paint all the way to the edges, leave an inch or more border of white. You can now move the board around and test it on all sides of the house, in both sun and shadow. Because of the white border the color will be seen accurately and not altered by the adjacent colors. I provide large color samples to my clients so they needn’t purchase paint to test colors but many painting contractors require their clients to approve a sample painted directly on the house before they begin painting, so it’s important to know how to do it properly. Happy painting!
There is a better way than this to test colors!

There is a better way than this to test colors!

Lighten up!

•June 1, 2016 • Leave a Comment

It’s hard to have a conversation about color without talking about lighting too. If you can’t see them it won’t matter if you have the most lovely colors in your home. In the Pacific Northwest where I live we have a number of low light months in the winter where natural light is minimized and it can create a sense of gloom if not dealt with. The most obvious solution is to have enough of and the right kind of lighting. Overhead lighting such as recessed lights, ceiling lights, chandeliers (a personal favorite) and the like are great for broadcasting  large arcs of light, and table and floor lamps are wonderful for bringing the lighting source down into the room creating a much cozier light and great task lighting, but there are other sources of light you might not have considered that can really help lighten and brighten a space.

Mirrors can really give your lights a boost, and when used strategically can direct light to exactly where it’s needed. I’m not advocating large mirrors like the days when entire walls or large closet doors were mirrored but rather, treated like decorative pieces or even pieces of art. Mirrors reflect back 100% of the light that hits them so it can be like having twice as much light contributing to the space which is not to be underestimated!  They can be used on walls to bounce light back into the room, on tables to bounce light back up or in corners to lighten the darkness they often have. They’re also wonderful for broadcasting light into rooms that have few windows and natural light and can feel like a window in those applications where light is needed. Shiny objects, while not mirrors still reflect light into a space and have the added bonus of being things of beauty to look at. I’ve chosen some examples showing how mirrors have been used to move light where wanted as well as an example showing what a silver tray with glass floats can to do brighten a table and bring some sparkle into the room; enjoy!

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Move over Port Townsend!

•May 5, 2016 • Leave a Comment

When you think of quaint Victorian architecture on Washington’s Olympic Peninsula you probably think of Port Townsend, right? Well move over Port Townsend, Quilcene’s got a gem too! I was recently contacted to consult on the exterior colors for an 1892 Victorian home in the heart of the small town of Quilcene that I’m very excited about. It was purchased by the Quilcene Historical Museum in 2013 from the Worthington family after having been lived in by family members since 1907.  The renovation it’s undergoing has been an amazing community effort showing Quilcene’s determination to keep this gem an asset for the whole community to use and enjoy. It holds Washington State’s Historic Designation and the project has many highly qualified and dedicated people making it happen.

The renovation includes restoring the roof to the original mansard style roof it had when it was built which has been altered from its current state. This alone will return it to its Victorian appearance and that, paired with colors befitting this lovely lady you will see an impressive and beautiful transformation! Below are vintage photos of the home when it had the original roof as well as photos of what it currently looks like. I’ll be sure to show you the results when it’s done so stay tuned!

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Best of Houzz 2016

•March 14, 2016 • 2 Comments

 Houzz is a platform for home remodeling and design, bringing homeowners and home professionals together in a uniquely visual community. There are literally millions of photos of professionally designed projects you can view as well as the ability to use numerous filters to search for exactly what you’d like to see. It can be an incredibly inspirational tool for seeing ideas you think you might like for your home or refining ideas you’re considering but aren’t sure about. It’s a wonderful resource I regularly recommend to my clients, but it’s also a place to find professionals to help you with your project. Wenberg Color Design is a proud part of the Houzz community of professionals and I’m honored to be recognized with the Best of Houzz Service 2016 award. Only 3% of Houzz professionals receive this distinction and my clients have made it a pleasure to earn this award!


•February 17, 2016 • Leave a Comment

When I meet with clients for the first time I find they all have their own style and taste preferences, their own color likes and dislikes and they may not be able to explain what they want but they seem to know what they like when they see it. What I find they uniformly lack is confidence. They are leery to make their own color decisions and this can stem from several things such as past projects that have not turned out as hoped, or they may have tried to copy a look they had seen and it didn’t work or the colors they loved in the paint store didn’t look at all the same on the walls in their home. Confidence that they have chosen the right colors for their project is the most important factor to move confidently to the next step of purchasing paint or hiring a painting contractor to do the painting.

When I work with clients I explain why colors are chosen and how they work to create visual balance. I also provide large color samples for them and explain how to thoroughly evaluate all colors; from this they gain the confidence they need to move ahead comfortably with any project, large or small. I find that helping my clients understand how and why colors work is about 75% of my job and I believe is absolutely necessary to having satisfied clients.


The holidays Frank Lloyd Wright style

•December 7, 2015 • Leave a Comment

Please enjoy a peek inside Frank Lloyd Wright’s home and studio in Oak Park, Illinois decorated for the holidays with best holiday wishes from Wenberg Color Design!

Color trends, sigh…

•November 6, 2015 • Leave a Comment

Each year paint companies feature and promote a selection of colors and they have just been announced for 2016. Benjamin Moore has announced their ‘color of the year’ is Simply White and Sherwin Williams has announced four different color palettes for 2016, each palette containing six to ten different colors. Some are toned and understated and others are bold and bright, you take your pick. I love hearing about these announcements, they come with some slick high quality printed materials that are fun to look at and as a designer, the professionally lighted, designed and photographed images are inspirational. They might actually make you believe your room can look just like their room if you merely paint it the same color. They are certainly fodder for ideas, which is a good thing but what if your room doesn’t have the same light exposure, ceiling height or architectural style?

A space needs to be properly evaluated before colors are selected and they should not be selected solely because they are the trend. The foundation of my color consulting is color psychology and I always start with finding out how you would like to feel and experience a space first since the response to color is an emotional response. Colors can make us feel calm, comforted or warm, or agitated, uncomfortable and even depressed. Trend colors have a place in my recommendations not because they are trendy but because they are what works for the space. If a trend color is one you happen to like and use there will be a multitude of products available on the market at that time such as rugs, towels, bedding, pillows and accessories so I recommend you take advantage of it and buy up what you need. Once a color is ‘out-of-date’ those products will disappear to be replaced with the next trend color.

My desire is to help you select colors that truly work for your space and you will be happy in for many years because they do what you asked them to do, not because they are a trend.

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