"Is There a BAD COLOR?" Hmmm, I Use To Think So...

What is a bad color?

We’ve all had them. Sherwin Williams knows me by name, because when I am working on a project, it takes several trips, with their little sample quarts, to pick the just the right color. I have even been known to go around back to help them adjust the color. They love me. LOL! When I am working on a new build, I just can’t take risks.

When picking out colors, you MUST know your audience. Basically, a builder is not going to appreciate if I take risks with their investment. So, I have to stay within the box. But one builder was the exception and wanted something different, and we got it.

Can a toothpaste color really work?

I had been hired by a new builder (to me) to help picking everything for a spec house and then market it to sell. I had done several color boards along with meetings with him, because he wanted to be cutting edge to pull a clientele from Jefferson City and Columbia.

He kept talking about a color that he could not quite describe. He kept referring to the color he had in mind and be described it as having blue, teal with a hint of grayish tones. As you can imagine, that leaves a lot of to the imagination. I kept getting samples of what I thought he wanted way ahead of his set painting time.

Then, on a random, unscheduled day, I received a text from this builder that he had decided to get the paint and start. He had been at the lumber yard, getting supplies, and decided this was the day to paint! My first thought was, what color? He purchased three, 5 gallon buckets of the color HE picked when HE was standing there deciding this was the day to paint. Gotta love that. (I must add, he does not build in this area anymore, but was one of my favorite builders, AND we can laugh about this now.)

The text was very short, “I’ve started painting… Get up here as soon as you can!” When I
arrived, the color was everywhere; he had been spraying all morning. I looked at the color
with shock. IT WAS TOOTHPASTE BLUE! He looked and me and I looked at him and we
were both just speechless. I still don’t know what to call that color, except how his wife
described it when she saw it, as Aquafresh Toothpaste color.

I went back up that night and thought I was seriously going to cry. We all stood there and
looked. Earlier in the day, he had insisted on finishing because he just knew the color
would calm down. I think it got worse. No, it for sure was worse. LOL!

So, back to the question, “Is there a BAD COLOR?”

Once he was done, we assessed the situation and put, what we called them, peek-a-boo
walls in. We calmed the color by taking (for lack of better color names) a maroon and
accented one side of the very visible hallway and one wall on the other side as well. We
then used black tile and a warm toned carpet and staged it. I know, it sounds hideous!
It sold and sold right away.

Lessons learned…

We were brave, but decided NEVER to do that again on the off chance it was just luck. It
certainly was the talk of the development though.

So here is what I do know. I have been decorating a long time and the more I decorate (and
maybe the better I get at it), the more I truly believe there’s NO BAD COLOR. It is what you
do with it and what you put with it. When you do something different, and it turns out, that
is just a best, because now you are on the cutting edge.

So, paint away and pick colors that you love, but finish the whole look. Paint alone can only
tell part of the story. Paint away!

(Side Note: I just pulled up the pictures of that house to put with this blog. Okay, I did have to
laugh. MAYBE I should CHANGE this WHOLE BLOG. The pictures are still shocking after seven
years, but it did look better, than the pictures, when you walked in. LOL! Ugh!)

Kristina McMichael-Schwant

McMichael Realty, 369 S Summit Drive, Holts Summit, MO, 65043