It’s happened to many of us, that interior or exterior house-painting experience when the color goes up, and the panic sets in—what were we thinking? The fact is, color is complicated. Just ask ColorWise Consulting owner Lisa Groshens.
Color Shines Through
Groshens owned and operated Rooms Restyled, a full-service interior decorating service, for 10 years before she decided, in 2018, to move to ColorWise. “I loved interior decorating, but I really saw a need for color consulting,” she says. The concept is anything but simple. “It’s not just walls,” Groshens says. A consultation involves touring the space (a room, several rooms or the home’s exterior) about which you have color questions and an analysis of your “fixed finishes,” which, according to Groshens, “dictate color direction.”
Her family says Groshens comes by her impressive color sense honestly. She’s heard, numerous times, that her great-grandmother could go to the store and find the perfect thread color to match a sewing project, without even bringing a sample of the project along.
Knows Her Clients
Lisa Ly worked with Groshens on a home remodel and finishing a basement. “Lisa takes time to get to know her clients’ likes and dislikes,” Ly says. Conversations, recommendations and large, 11” x 17” color boards “looked at in all angles of light,” Ly says, resulted in choices that “brought fresh, new-perspective color to help make my house a home.”
Client Ashley Docken consulted Groshens for both a business and a new home build, but the consultation went far past paint alone. “She looks at your woodwork, carpets, the flow of your rooms, the effects of natural light. She is very skilled at bringing it all together,” she says, adding that while “Lisa is very much on-trend, she helps you pick out something you like. She definitely takes your style and opinion into account.”
Pitfalls and Trends
A common color selection error, Groshens says, is ignoring the undertones in neutrals like beige and gray. The darker the neutral, she adds, the more prominent the undertone. “Your '90s-era ‘neutral’ beige may, in fact, be a pinky beige,” she says. Combine that with a green-beige sofa, and there could be trouble.
Popular neutrals are grays, Groshens says: “Grays, especially gray-black-white combinations, are a perfect backdrop for brighter colors, like emerald green.” Beiges and grays tend to swing back and forth in popularity like a pendulum, she says. She suggests there may be a trend back to warmer neutrals soon, as evidenced by the emergence of a color called “greige,” which is a gray/beige. “It’s a very warm gray with a slightly green undertone,” Groshens says. Neutrals (white, black and navy) tend to be more timeless, she says. “A white home exterior, for example, never goes out of style,” she says.
Dark colors tend to recede, and light colors come forward, Groshens says. “In other words, it’s possible to actually visually expand a room with dark walls or ceiling,” she says, depending on many other factors, including ceiling height, the size of the space and the amount of natural light in a room.
A Good Time for Painting
Fall through winter is the time of year, Groshens says, to plan or tackle painting jobs. For under $200, ColorWise is the “second set of eyes” on painting projects. It’s an affordable, quick and accessible process that could save you time and money and help avert those “What were we thinking?” moments.