Sorry, marsala. Color expert Gretchen Schauffler says of all her 3,000 clients she's never had a single one ask her to put that year's Color of the Year on their walls. "What they will say is, 'my house needs to be refreshed,' or 'I love my house, I just need to make sure it looks updated,'" says the founder of paint company Devine Color. She adds that trend colors like 2015's marsala and 2014's radiant orchid are great for punching up a wardrobe every year, but that the walls of a home should transcend annual trends.
"I have a very strong personal philosophy that color should be trend-proof," Schauffler says. "The idea that you highlight one color as the Color of the year is entertainment, and we all love entertainment. But for me, trends are like big novels and fads are the sentences in the novel. Trends should be big, beautiful stories that unfold and have movement and direction that help keep a home relevant."
Speaking of direction, Schauffler has recently announced the launch of Devine Color Consultations, a service that uses technology to put a twist on the traditional in-home color consultation. Remodelers and their clients can use the affordable service to put thoughtful finishing touches on their up-to-date projects.
For $249, Schauffler will send a Devine Color Consultation client all 19 of the brand's color collection cards, comprising 209 colors, to give them an initial understanding of the color options she works with. Meanwhile, the client sends Schauffler photos and videos of their home so she can learn more about the spaces they'll be working on together from her studio in Portland, Ore. "Everyone has iPhones now and can easily send images, so no matter where you are, we get to study your home while you get to study our colors," Schauffler says. "So many people were reaching out to me for advice, saying 'I live in California - how do we do this?'" Schauffler says. "I realized I've been in so many homes already that I really understand how people live. Even if I can't travel, we can still book an appointment and give them a full consultation."
In some ways, Schauffler says the virtual consultation may be even better than a standard in-home meeting. "Because the client sends photos and videos, by the time we connect again for the color consultation, I already know them. I can reference furniture pieces, surfaces, cabinet colors, and other finishes in the home without stepping foot in the door." In a standard in-home meeting, a consultant could spend as much as half of the appointment simply getting acquainted with the space, Schauffler says. Using digital images maximizes everyone's time so the consultation can focus on the options and solutions Devine Color can offer.
"By the time we set up the appointment, I already have several palettes to discuss with the homeowner, and those will be very personal," she says. "The homeowner will also have ideas of colors they like just from studying the color collection cards in their home, in their lighting, and in their lifestyle." The consultation then takes place over the phone, or via Skype or FaceTime. When Schauffler and her clients narrow down the color options for the space, she confirms the choices by sending along 8x11 "deluxe swatches" made from real paint.
The benefits don't stop there. The $249 consultation fee also includes two free gallons of Devine Color paint, and 20% off the remaining paint order, all with free shipping. Devine Color paint is available at Target, and more information on the Color Consultation service can be found at gretchenschauffler.com.