My take on Pantone's Autumn|Winter 2019|20 color trends part 1 of 2

Hello, party people.

As promised, tonight we begin the discussion of what Pantone says are the colors for Autumn|Winter 2019|20. Last week I attended their webinar, where Pantone executives reported on a number of themes, fashion motifs, color combinations and attitudes in general about color. 

In part one of my report, I want to discuss macro themes presented and a bit about some global and cultural trends that are influencing the final selection of Pantone's colors for Autumn|Winter 2019|20. 

The first global order of business is human's need for connection and personal interaction to counter the increasing sense of disconnectedness that people feel in this digital age and time of artificial intelligence. 

People are looking to reconnect in authentic ways, and what better way to symbolize connection than through a simple circle? Yes, we are seeing fashion, art and home décor fully embrace the circle and variations of it. Here are some examples from one of Houston's own renowned artists, Gary Griffin www.ggriffin.com

Another major cultural trend is wellness and aging redefined. The statistic shared by Pantone is that 86% of folks interviewed believe that they are not at all defined by age. Hey, I have been trying to tell everyone this forever! 

We are seeing a proliferation of mature models in skincare, fashion and even swimwear ads. People are embracing the aging process and taking care of their health better than ever before. Part of this wellness movement focuses on the strengthening of both mind and body. 

A third major theme is this attitude of maximalism, going bold, creating unique color combinations and mixtures of prints and patterns. Unique, personal styling of pieces is the name of the fashion game. As a color rebel myself, I love to see all of this unfold both on runways and in real life. See one of my favorite Instagrammers in action below.

 

 Journey of a Stylist www.instagram.com/journeyofastylist

Journey of a Stylist www.instagram.com/journeyofastylist

Another trend that I am super jazzed about is a melding of various cultural and global influences to create a type of hybrid fashion statement. It is key to note that this IS NOT AT ALL CULTURAL APPROPRIATION, a hotly debated topic of the day. We are seeing essentially an appreciation for many different cultural influences, a respect of them, and a new blending of many of their elements.

 Rocky Mae Style www.instagram.com/rockymaestyle

Rocky Mae Style www.instagram.com/rockymaestyle

I have a lot more information to share with you folks next Monday. We will continue the discussion as I detail several color palettes for Autumn|Winter 2019|20 and select my top picks accordingly.

Until next week, good night and have a colorful evening,

Your "color tamer" Lauren

Lending my color expertise to the world of window treatments

Good morning and greetings from the LFB Color headquarters!

I just didn't have a clever title for today's post. Nothing zesty or catchy struck me, and in the past that would have kept me from writing a blog post at all. Now I realize that it is far better to just write the darned post and not worry about hash tags, clever titles, optimal marketing lingo, etcetera.

Last week my client SRH Paint Co decided to expand his Benjamin Moore business a bit by bringing in window treatments by Hunter Douglas. Paint and window treatments do go hand in hand, no? SRH has had the display in the store for some time but didn't have a designated Hunter Douglas rep. That's where I come in. We decided to send me to Hunter-Douglas school so to speak. I completed three exams, watched a ton of videos, and learned about a line of over 26 products. Needless to say, I did not learn EVERYTHING there is to know.

SRH Paint Co offers a full line of products for your home

As a big picture thinker and one to focus on why and how anyone or any product can enhance my life, I created my own list of what I'd want to know about Hunter-Douglas products if I were considering them for my own home. DISCLAIMER: I am not being paid by Hunter Douglas to write this post, and it is not at all written for advertising purposes. These are my opinions about the products after having been trained and certified on them.

Important things to know about Hunter Douglas products

1. All Hunter Douglas products, systems and components are made and produced in the United States. That keeps quality control standards in house, high and more easily controlled than if the products were produced internationally.

 

Hunter Douglas tests all products at one of their facilities before launching any and all of them.

2. All Hunter Douglas products come with a lifetime guarantee. They mean it. If 20 years from now something malfunctions, a Hunter Douglas rep will either replace that product for you or offer a comparable one at no charge. That is CLASSY and how business should be done.

A full array of Hunter Douglas products in MANY colorways, textures and patterns

3. Cut your energy bills dramatically with the right Hunter Douglas products.

I could go on and on and give you data to support this, and explain which products do what, but I will spare you. Suffice it to say that Hunter Douglas prides itself on a product line that is THE MOST energy efficient in the global marketplace. Period. I have studied some of the reports to see that the blinds often pay for themselves within the first year alone because of energy savings.

Color and many other options abound. How exciting is this for us color enthusiasts?

4. Here's the fun part. As a color "tamer" as I called myself last week, I can help YOU match and coordinate window treatments using your color inspirations, textiles, décor, paint chips or whatever else you bring to the store for me to evaluate. We can have fun with color, create flow and harmony in your home, AND select window treatments that serve the intended function AND are aesthetically pleasing to you.

Headshot by brand photographer + my good friend Victoria Garcia www.victoriagarciastudios.com

Speaking of working with me on color, there are two ways to do so, friends. You can either make an appointment to visit me at SRH Paint Co in Spring, Texas, OR I do make house calls. Either way, reach out to me via text 281-989-4086 or email lauren@lfbcolor.com.

In-store consultations are always complimentary, but I do charge consulting fees for in-home appointments. The great advantage of calling me out to your home is that we can evaluate colors in your space, factoring in your lighting and testing color boards and such on all of the walls in your home.

Okay, I am off to write the next blog post all about Pantone's color forecasts for the year 2020!!

Stay tuned, color lovers!

xoxo,

Lauren

Call me a color tamer, not a color expert AND 3 things I do with color

Greetings, friends and fellow color lovers!

Thank you for your readership and for following me on this long and winding color journey. If you have noticed, I am actually posting weekly on the blog. This is intentional and no small task for a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants kind of girl like me. 

This week I explain all about what I do in the field of color, because now I operate three areas of business. Check out this 10-minute Facebook Live video that was recorded today with my brand photographer friend Victoria Garcia of www.victoriagarciastudios.com

In the video, I discuss the three types of color consulting I do: personal color analysis, business color consulting, and paint or surface specification for homes and commercial property.

See link here: https://www.facebook.com/victoriagarciastudios/videos/2004070159623640/?t=1

Last week I completed an in-home color consultation for my client who is selling her 4500-square foot home. She needed my help selecting new carpet, countertop, backsplash, wood flooring AND paint colors. She wanted a refreshed look to make the home easier to sell. Basically, I was in color heaven getting to choose all of these surface colors!!!

My client was specific to tell me that she wanted to avoid the use of creamy, earthy, beige, or yellowed colors on the wall. She wanted to select colors using variations of white or even greige. We spent the next two hours walking from room to room with my large color board samples, recently purchased from www.mariakillam.com

After each color consultation, I provide my clients with a full report listing colors chosen for each room of the house. See example below. We include paint color name, code and recommended finish or sheen. 

 This is the color report I completed for my client looking to use whites and off-whites in her home. 

This is the color report I completed for my client looking to use whites and off-whites in her home. 

Now, at first glance these whites I specified look similarly, do they not? On small paint chips that is true. There is not a HUGE difference, but paint those colors up on expansive walls and you WILL see differences in them based on their undertone, lightness or darkness AND temperature (how cool or warm they appear). 

This brings me to my final point. Even after receiving over 5 color related certifications in multiple areas of the industry, I still do not refer to myself as a color expert. I am very qualified to work in color, and my approach is both methodical and comprehensive. I am skilled and experienced......for the record.

The reason I do not claim to be a color expert, friends, is because color refuses to be dominated or boxed in. It is difficult to pin down, and there are often multiple color solutions to any given problem or scenario.

Not to personify color or anything, but color has a mind of its own. The same color changes appearance depending on the surface on which it is painted, the paint finish, time of day, what other colors surround it, and a myriad of other variables. Color is tricky and squirrely that way, no? 

Instead of calling myself a color expert, I call myself a color tamer. I tame color to make it work for you on your person, in your home or for your business.

How do I tame color, ladies and gentlemen? Well, I factor in all of the surrounding colors in any given room or in a person's natural coloring, THEN I select colors that will harmonize with them.

I also like to rebel with color. Once you know the color rules, then you can bend and even break them. Color breaks its own rules all the time anyway. Why not roll with it?

Speaking of color rules, please do comment below with any questions you'd like to see answered in my blog posts. Color questions for beauty, fashion, image, business branding, what's on trend in any industry, and home/commercial paint or surface selection are all welcomed. 

Please ask away. I am here to answer your questions...…..

Until next time,

your color tamer Lauren

 

 

 

 

Paint DIYers: Who's down for some special effects paint projects?

Greetings, friends and fellow color lovers alike!

I just sat in on a 2-day Benjamin Moore product training last week in Dallas, and learned that there are specialty paints for everything from sinks to garage floors to football fields and tennis courts. Paint is anywhere there is a surface.

This had me thinking about the DIY world, where creatives come together and do innovative things with everyday items. As a busy mom and professional, I don't have time to do a ton of DIY painting projects. My daughters, however, are interested in painting and redecorating their rooms, so we are currently exploring options. 

PHOTO DISCLAIMER: Please note that almost all of my photos presented at this point have been downloaded either from Pinterest or selected from Benjamin Moore's website, and it will be that way until I start doing some of these projects myself. I do my best to credit the photo source, and in most cases include a link. 

Here is the inspiration piece for my 12-year-old's room décor. (I did snap this photo!)This painting was gifted to me by a very special friend, and we knew we'd incorporate it somewhere in the home. The overall color scheme my daughter wants includes warm deep reds, golds and metallic glaze over some of the walls with an accent wall in black chalkboard paint. We have our work cut out for us, don't we?

A color palette we are exploring is within Benjamin Moore's Williamsburg collection in CW-325 Brickyard Red + CW-255 Palace Arms Red + CW-425 Palace Ochre + CW-430 Scrivener Gold.

 

While we're at it, let's add glitter to the mix, shall we? My daughter feels inspired by that, too. Below you see Benjamin Moore Studio Finishes Glitter Effects added to the wall color. At this point, I am looking at painting two red walls, one gold wall, and an accent wall in chalkboard paint. Oh my word!

GOOD TO KNOW: This is a top coat paint, dries very hard and is soap and water washable! Let's not kid ourselves.....children's rooms get dirty and so do the walls. Apply this glitter effect on any color to reveal a transparent, iridescent look.

 SOURCE: www.pinterest.com

SOURCE: www.pinterest.com

We also talked about mixing silver and gold metallic, and painting a furniture piece in Benjamin Moore Studio Finishes Molten Metallics is an option. See this piece below.

GOOD TO KNOW: The Molten Metallics are oil based colors, not glazes or topcoats, so you use it as a paint. The finish achieved will look like hammered metal. It dries to a very high gloss finish and can be applied to almost any surface.

 https://www.pinterest.com/pin/358388082826752649/

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/358388082826752649/

Last but not least, let's have a crack at a chalkboard paint wall while we're at it. Benjamin Moore manufactures ben chalkboard paint that is offered in thousands of colors, but we are going with either charcoal gray or black ourselves.

GOOD TO KNOW: You will usually need at LEAST two coats of chalkboard paint. Once that has dried, allow at least THREE DAYS for the paint to cure before writing on it with chalk. 

 https://www.pinterest.com/pin/235735361721323532/

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/235735361721323532/

It seems by the look of things that I am setting myself up for an entire year of home improvement and DIY projects. We are putting the finishing touches on Pergo flooring on our second floor, then we paint the interior walls of almost every room minus the girls' rooms.  I will post more photos as we start each project.

Until next time, live colorfully,

Lauren

3 ways to simplify picking paint colors for your home or other space

Greetings, color aficionados! If you are visiting me here on the blog, then you have figured out that I am really into paint color lately, and Benjamin Moore to be precise. My client SRH Paint Co. of Spring, Texas is a Benjamin Moore dealer, and my job is to help his customers specify color the right way the first time.

From the get go, I confess that paint color selection used to utterly confound me, the color professional. Yes, I would beat myself up because I couldn't be decisive on paint for my home based on a small color swatch the size of a matchbook. 

Guess what? Even color professionals with a trained eye cannot specify color so well with just a small fan deck. Take heart. Today you will learn 3 ways to simplify the process for yourself. 

If after reading this blog post, you still need help and are in Houston, Texas, please call me 281-989-4086 or email lauren@lfbcolor.com, and we can schedule an in-home, full service consultation for you.

Tip # 1: Work within a particular collection of paints.

Don't overwhelm yourself by looking at all of Benjamin Moore's colors when there are over 3,000 of them. Each collection has a particular look, feel or function.

The Off White Collection offers light, airy options other than just pure white. If you are looking for the look of white or neutrals, then consider this collection. You will also find greys, beiges, greiges and taupes contained. If you are afraid to paint color on your walls, then this is a good collection for you. 

I mentioned in last week's post that I want to incorporate some green in my house, particularly in the bathrooms. Here is a soft color duo from the Off White Collection: OC-136 Celery Salt on the walls + OC-33 Opaline on the ceiling. (IMAGE SOURCE: www.benjaminmoore.com)

The four images below are taken from www.benjaminmoore.com. All of those colors belong to the Affinity collection, our most muted color palette. They are also formulated to mix and match with one another seamlessly. Pick any 2 to 3 Affinity colors, and they work together!

 

 SOURCE: www.benjaminmoore.com

SOURCE: www.benjaminmoore.com

Tip # 2: Paint up color boards to test your top 2 to 3 color picks.

Like I said, it is nearly impossible to select paint color using a little fan deck of swatches. Buy pint samples of your top 2 to 3 selections, then paint each color (flat finish) onto thick card stock or poster board in 11 x 14" or larger size.

Buy an even larger plain white poster board to cover existing walls or surfaces painted in the old color. The goal is to remove the distraction of the existing wall color to focus only on how the new color will look.

Set the color board against the wall and up adjacent to (touching) the trims, cabinets or other fixed elements surrounding the paint. Do this around several parts of the room, always with the white board covering existing wall color. You will set the white boards behind your painted boards.

Seeing color in a larger area makes it easy to see different undertones and intensity in each of your selections, and makes the final decision much easier.

Tip # 3: Don't mix bright/clean colors with soft/muted colors.

This tip is probably the most valuable tip I can give you. Saturated colors look best with other saturated colors, and when your permanent elements such as countertops, cabinets, carpentry and furnishings are black, white and gray. The stark contrast among these colors and their saturation almost require the same strength in painted surface colors. See the first example below on the left, using the color Vermilion, a very saturated red from Benjamin Moore's Color Preview collection. 

If your permanent fixtures and furnishings are muted, toned down and/or earthy, then you will need to select an equally muted paint color palette. See the second example below, which also displays a red. This is Cornwallis Red from Benjamin Moore's Williamsburg collection. Note that the red is toned down as compared to the Vermilion above.

I keep being told at the paint store that selecting paint colors is an emotional experience for many, and I see how that could be true. Because I sit and analyze colors all day, I tend to forget that! In the end, how YOU feel about a color is the most important part of all of this. If you narrow it down to 2 or 3 good color choices, then select the one that resonates most with YOU!

Until next time, live colorfully,

Lauren

Picking wall color for my earthy, orange-beige floors

Good day, color lovers! I have before me a fun yet relatively straightforward task; that is, deciding on one singular paint color for all of my living areas and bedrooms. Moving forward, I am going with a neutral, earthy color palette while bringing in white, cream, linen and green accents into the home.

In years past, I went overboard with saturated colors from mint green to orange to Ronald Mc Donaldesque reds and yellows. I wondered why my children were quite literally bouncing off of the walls. Overstimulated much? 

Nowadays, I seek a calming and visually restful color palette for my home. After attending Maria Killam's 3-day Specifying Colour With Confidence workshop last month www.mariakillam.com, I realized that classic, timeless interiors form part of my aesthetic much more than do the vibrant hues I favored years ago do.

Have you ever used Pinterest to create an inspiration board for your home décor? I recently created one for myself. Have a look: https://www.pinterest.com/lfbcolor/botanical-inspired-living-room/

You'll see that my main inspiration is anything botanical. I plan to bring in plants and incorporate shades of green in accents such as artwork and throw pillows. My front door and bathrooms will also be painted in green tones.

 My front door is flanked by two tall narrow windows and cream colored brick, but you can envision how this toned down Bunker Hill Green from Benjamin Moore Classics collection will look.

My front door is flanked by two tall narrow windows and cream colored brick, but you can envision how this toned down Bunker Hill Green from Benjamin Moore Classics collection will look.

Let's chat wall color now. Remember that my floors on the first level are an earthy brown with an orange undertone, or an orange-beige as Maria Killam taught us in the workshop. I want a neutral paint color that has an orange-beige undertone without looking too peach. I purchased three pints today in the following colors: Home Sweet Home 1088, Sepia Tan 1116, Terra Bella AF-195

Terra Bella is part of the Affinity collection, which is Benjamin Moore's most muted color palette. With my earthy, muted floors, I do not want to go too bright or "clean" with my wall colors. Here is an example of Terra Bella, and the floors featured have the same undertones as my Pergo flooring in Applewood. 

AF 195 Terra Bella in a Room.png

I will definitely keep you posted and show you the color boards I paint up, along with my final selection for wall color!

Peace, love and color!

Lauren

New to paint as I was? Tip # 1: Not all paints are created equally

Greetings, fellow color enthusiasts. Let's talk paint, but not just paint color. I want to focus today on what I am learning about the Benjamin Moore brand. Before I begin, know that I am not being sponsored by Benjamin Moore to write this post, and it is not an advertisement. 

Before beginning my color consulting with SRH Paint Company of Spring, Texas last week, I was the person who slapped the least expensive coat of paint on the walls of my home in as few coats as possible to get the job done. I thought that selecting between satin or semi-gloss finish made me fancy and 'in the know.'

As I am about to repaint my entire home, now I'm REALLY focused on doing things the Benjamin Moore way. Here's what I am learning, folks.

1. Benjamin Moore uses their own colorants and pigments to create paint color that maintains its vibrancy and resists fade! Translation: Buy the better quality paint once to avoid having to repaint or having to use too many coats.

I'm thinking about painting my own front door in Benjamin Moore's Aura Grand Entrance in Wild Blueberry. Note: Aura Grand Entrance is for exterior doors and trim.

2. Let's talk humidity. It is a way of life here in Houston, Texas!

Aura Bath & Spa is designed specifically for areas exposed to humidity, such as bathrooms. This paint is mildew resistant and comes in a soft matte finish. Frankly, I am contemplating using it in my entire home, because the finish allows for repeated washing with no color rubbing off as a result. I have 3 kids who have historically been rough with my walls.

I want to explore light greens in all of my bathrooms this year. My pick is Sweet Celadon CSP-785. Check it out!

 

 Aura Color Stories in Sweet Celadon CSP-785

Aura Color Stories in Sweet Celadon CSP-785

3. With paint, we usually worry about color last believe it or not. First we focus on what properties are needed for the given space

As a color consultant, I obsess over color and all of its nuances.....period. The same holds true when I specify paint colors for other people. If we select a color, we don't want it "grayed down" or looking dull. With Benjamin Moore, there are over 4,000 color options, so finding the right hue is never an issue.

First we look at paint functionality for any given space. For exteriors, we focus on durability and fade resistance. For interiors such as ceilings, we look for finishes that hide imperfections. For high traffic areas such as kitchens and playrooms, we look for good "scrubbability." 

Next week I am attending a two-day paint school with Benjamin Moore to learn all about the paint options within their entire product line, which of course is expansive.

As I learn more, I'll teach you what I know, so do stay tuned!

Your color strategist,

Lauren

 

 Another Aura Bath +Spa option: Mount Saint Anne # 1565

Another Aura Bath +Spa option: Mount Saint Anne # 1565

My new venture: Where color + paint collide

SRH Paint Co. of Spring + the famous Colormobile

 

Ladies + gentlemen:

I am elated to announce the addition of my first corporate client, SRH Paint Co. of Spring, Texas www.springbenjaminmoore.com. Owner Steven Hill operates this Benjamin Moore store, and we are collaborating with me now serving as his exclusive, full service color consultant.

Steven and his family have been in the paint business for decades, so his industry knowledge is expansive. His store manager, Daniel Ruiz, handles day-to-day operations and is extremely knowledgeable about paint mixing + the ins and outs of the industry. I am blessed to collaborate with this powerhouse of a team!

For my part, I just returned from advanced color training with world renowned Maria Killam www.mariakillam.com. (More about the True Colour Expert training with Maria is forthcoming in another blog post.) This partnership makes full use of my years of color training and experience across multiple industries and applications.

I'm essentially applying my years of experience in retail + fashion + cosmetics to the realm of home interiors + exteriors.

As stated, LFB Color (yours truly) is SRH Paint Co.'s exclusive color consultant. Not all paint stores offer this service, and they certainly do not all offer full service color consulting as we do.

You can either come to the store with your inspirations, fabric or tile samples, and color ideas for me to pull together paint palettes for you, OR you can hire me for an in-home color consultation.

What is a color consultant and why do I need one?

As a full service color consultant, I look not only at paint colors, friends, but also at all of the fixed elements (flooring, furniture that will remain in a room, countertops, sink fixtures, etcetera) in your home.

The goal is to create flow, or visual harmony, in your home by accounting for all of the undertones represented in those fixed elements.

Simply put, I only select paint colors that bring the rest of the elements of your home into harmony. I also have a curated selection of 100 hand painted color boards for use during in-home color consultations. 

It is almost impossible to accurately specify color using a small paint chip, which is why we use the color boards.

During a consultation, I might make recommendations for replacing throw pillows, area rugs or other color "distractions." In some cases, I even recommend replacing some fixed elements where there are too many undertones represented in one area.

I also create at least 2 color palette options for you, my valued client, to consider. A good color consultant narrows down colors from over 4,000 to just a small handful of choices for every client. 

To learn more about working with me on YOUR color scheme, please call 281-989-4086 or email lauren@lfbcolor.com. 

Stay tuned here on the blog, as well as on my Instagram page www.instagram.com/lfbcolor, for tips on paint color, selecting palettes, color trends and home décor!

I cannot wait to continue the color dialogue with you, my friends. 

Your chief color strategist, 

Lauren