Welcome back to the Finding your Colour Confidence blog series!  Did you enjoy last week’s colour appetizer?  I hope so!  Now, like I said, this is a first class flight, so today’s post is a little Moet-flavoured palate cleanser, just to get your tastebuds ready for the amazing main course to come! {So many analogies, so little time!} 

Let’s talk about colour intuition.

Colour Intuition

Did you know it’s a thing? 

Well, it is.  In fact, the native people of the land of Colour Confidence were born with it.  Colour intuition comes naturally to them.  They don’t have to think about what colour goes best with what, they just know when it works and when it doesn’t.  And, as you follow along with this series you’ll learn that it’s a physical feeling for some people!

But what about me?  {Or, perhaps, what about you?}

What if you don’t have colour intuition?  Or, what if you DO have it and you don’t even know you have it?!  {Over-thinker much?}

Personally, when I see the words intuition and colour in the same sentence I get nervous.  I don’t {think} I have an innate sense of colour, and I can’t honestly say that it conjures up a physical feeling…  

Or can I……?  Hmmmm…….

Rachel Rimmer Hello Colour on Colour Intuition
Rachel Rimmer: Artwork by Kashia Kennedy

While we’re thinking on that, I’d like to introduce my first guest, Rachel Rimmer of Hello Colour.  

The lovely Rachel!

Rachel is a professional Colour Consultant who, through her colour consultancy business helps people like me (and possibly you) choose colours for their home, workplace or wherever else they might want to splash some colour around.  Rachel is a qualified Colour Designer with over ten years of commercial experience.

I came across Rachel’s instagram feed @hellocolour during one of my late night colour-inspiration searches, so if you’re looking for colour inspiration, I can guarantee you’ll find some there!  In this interview, Rachel talks about choosing colour for our home, but everything she shares is completely transferable to wherever colour is required.  Take it away, Rachel!

Interview with Rachel Rimmer of Hello Colour

Do you have a favourite colour?  

My favourite colour changes daily – a hazard of the job!  I’m really drawn to deep, dark blues at the moment as I’m pondering a colour update for a room at home.  It’s rich, dark and dramatic, and a beautiful background for brights.   I’m also super excited about blush, clay and terracotta hues.  I’m really enjoying the warmth of these colours after a number of years of grey featuring strongly in interiors.  Plus they’d look amazing with the dark walls I’m planning.

What does a day in the life of a Colour Consultant look like? 

Every day is different, and this is the thing I love most about my job.  I split my time between meeting clients to discuss colour ideas for their reno and repaint projects with behind-the-scenes pre-work (aka colour magic).  This involves putting together colour schemes, sourcing samples and visiting suppliers.  And of course, there’s a bunch of small business admin – oh the glamour!  I also juggle a couple of small peeps on the side.

What study did you do to get where you are today? 

I have a Diploma in Colour Design, a Diploma of Arts (Visual Merchandising) and a Communications Degree (which I’ve never really used in a job sense but has proved super handy along the way!).

Rachel Rimmer Hello Colour on Colour Intuition
Hello Colour project: Hansen House

Is colour choice an intuitive experience for you, or technical, or a bit of both? 

Both! Selecting colours is like putting together a jigsaw puzzle. 

There are definitely technical aspects such as understanding design principles, colour undertones, the effect of light conditions and elements of colour psychology. 

Equally as important is a solid understanding of my client, their preferences and their space.  Sometimes a little mind reading comes in handy too!

When working on colour schemes behind the scenes, I really rely on intuition.  It’s easy to overthink, so I try just to select away and then refine at a later stage.

When choosing colour palettes for our home what things should we consider about our personal style and the home we live in?  

I always encourage people to start with their end vision. 

  • What type of space do they want to live in?
  • How do they want it to feel?
  • How will they use their space?
  • What type of style or mood do they love?

Knowing the answers to these questions really helps guide your choices in terms of colours and finishes.  I also encourage folks to realise the central role colour plays in creating a mood in your space.  Colour makes you feel good.  And can make your space look amazing!

Rachel Rimmer Hello Colour on Colour Intuition
Hello Colour project: The Church

Do you think there are any big ‘no nos’ when using colour in the home?  

The most common mistake I see is people painting their house the same colours as their best friend’s house, and then being *so* disappointed when it doesn’t work out.  Each house is unique and the colours you choose for your space should be too. What works for your bestie, might not work for you.  And that’s OK – that’s exciting! 

Another mistake is not bothering to sample your paint colours.  It’s a MUST!  Colours can appear so different, even between rooms in the same house.  Try them out – when you’re painting, sample pots are your friend!  Finally, folks are often afraid of using any colour at all.  Don’t be!  Start small: a feature front door here, a bold rug there, and build up slowly.

Rachel Rimmer Hello Colour on Colour Intuition

Are there any exercises we can do while selecting colours for our home interiors that might help?  

I think it’s pretty common for folks to raid Pinterest for interior inspo.  But an essential next step is to review all the images you’re pinning to look for key themes.  For example, are you pinning similar types of flooring, or all white kitchens, or bright feature walls?  Look for similarities.  Is there a tone or colours which are consistent throughout?  This will help you nut out what type of style or mood you are drawn too. 

Then make a moodboard for each room.  I LOVE a moodboard!  Add your fave pics and write notes about what it is you love.  This creates clarity around your likes and dislikes.  This can sometimes be difficult for people to articulate, but it is really essential to know before you select anything for your space. 

Return to these boards whenever you are suffering decision overload, and ask a question, like {Does this floorboard work with this mood/style/vibe?}, for example.

Hello Colour project: The Church

Do you have any thoughts for people who want to develop their sense and understanding of colour?  

  • Read, research, get inspired!  A number of the design schools run mini workshops in understanding colour – a great place to start if you are keen to explore colour further.  Paint stores often run paint mixing classes where you can learn about pigments and how colours are created.  
  • Absorb.  I spend way too much time pouring over interiors, deconstructing why various colour combinations work.  This is an amazing way to discover new combos and ideas.  I also look at non-interiors imagery to get new ideas; fashion collections, street-style photos, even wall murals are a source of inspiration. 
  • Get social.  Jump on Instagram or Pinterest and follow inspiring interior designers and colourful folks.  Or head over to the Hello Colour blog
  • Get analogue.  Pour over interiors books and magazines for colour ideas and inspiration.

Thank you Rachel for your colour insights!  

Finding Colour Confidence with Wife-made

How do I know if I have colour intuition?

Rachel’s interview responses have made me wonder if maybe I DO have a little dash of colour intuition.  Maybe it’s in there somewhere but it’s just a tiny little seedling that, with some love, attention and theoretical fertiliser, could be coaxed into growing into a beautiful, colourful flower! 

How exciting!  So, how can we start to coax this colourful little baby out? 

Here’s 3 steps to start tapping into your colour intuition!

1. Ignore the trends {for a moment}

Ok, I want you to ignore what XYZ magazine is telling you is in vogue for just a moment and think about YOUR favourite colours.  

What colours do YOU like?  Not sure?  The following questions might spark something…

  • What colour is your favourite flower?
  • What colour is your favourite item of clothing?
  • What colour do you find yourself always buying to style your home?
  • What colour do you have the most of in your fabric stash?

2. Get in touch with your feelings

When Rachel talked about her favourite colours she expressed the impact they had on her in a dynamic, active way.  She said she was:

  • Drawn to them,
  • Super excited by them, and that she was
  • Enjoying them.

Think about how your favourite colours make YOU feel.  You might not feel excited by your favourite colour… instead you might feel calmed by it.  It might refresh you, or invigorate you. 

The physical impact of colour is different for everyone.  For some it’s a literal gut-feeling.  For others it might be spine-tingling. 

You just need to tap into how it feels for you and remember that feeling.  That feeling is your friend.  That feeling is the start of a beautiful friendship with your own personal colour intuition!

3. Go with your gut

When I began to plan my house renovations a few years ago I came across a pendant light and kitchen tiles that I LOVED as soon as I saw them. 

As I continued to research styles on Pinterest and flicked through magazines I quickly became overwhelmed with all the possibilities out there.  I began to doubt my initial gut feeling on the lights and tiles, and if it hadn’t been for my husband, who convinced me to stick with my initial feeling, I would have definitely ignored my gut and gone with what was more ‘on trend’.

Looking back, I am so glad I stuck with those tiles and pendant light because my gut told me straight away that they were {me}.  They make my home feel like an extension of me and my family, and it’s exactly the same for any other project you might be planning, from the little baby quilt to an entire house build!

Back yourself…

So, trust your gut and know that just because someone chooses a different colour to you doesn’t mean that your choice is wrong! 

It just means its different.

If nothing else, I hope this post encourages you to look at colour from the perspective of what YOU like, instead of always being influenced by what is {on trend} or what someone else’s colour intuition tells them is ‘right’.

Next week we’ll start looking at the specific theories of colour and how you can use them to support the choices you make based on your gut feelings.

Stay tuned!

You can follow Rachel and her business, Hello Colour, on Instagram @hellocolour or on her website.  Rachel offers various colour services for anyone wanting to refresh their home, as well as workshops to assist you on your colour journey!

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