Sara is an expert in using colour to transform spaces and uses her passion for interiors to help customers create their ultimate interiors.
What is your creative process?
It is always important to gain a clear understanding of the client’s end goal. This is something that starts to become apparent during the pre-consultation phone call and the follow-up face-to-face meeting. One of the things that can help here is the use of mood boards, Pinterest and building plans; whilst these can help flesh out the client’s vision, they are not an essential part of the process.
What do you think is important when crafting effective designs?
It is always worth bearing in mind the human element, which means considering the function of the room. Is this a room that will be used frequently by children and dogs, for example, and if so, how are they going to want to feel when they enter this room? If you want them to feel like they’ve received a warm hug on entering your room, you need to decorate accordingly.
This is where colour comes in – if you choose the wrong colours, it can have a deleterious effect on one’s mood. It is also worth bearing in mind how the colours flow between the rooms: I like to use what Kate Watson Smyth called a red thread – that is to say, a singular colour that is used in every room to bind the whole house design together. If you can keep in mind the ‘bigger picture’, you can help the colours and rooms talk to each other. Never see one room in isolation from the rest of the house; always bear in mind the undertones expressed by the colour schemes in each room.
What kinds of paints and finishes should you use?
You need to think carefully about the paint finish that you’re going to use. Sometimes the choice can be overwhelming – it isn’t just a choice between matte and sheen anymore! – but the wrong finish can really impact the overall feel of the room.
The key here is understanding how you’re going to use the room; for rooms where you have a lot of movement you might need to go with a harder-wearing finish, but for more occasional rooms you could opt for softer paints.
How do you balance your design preference with what your client wants for the rooms in their house?
I never let my clients make a serious design flaw – that would be a serious lapse in my duty as a professional interior consultant! However, I do try my utmost to help them achieve their vision, even if this doesn’t necessarily match up with how I would imagine the best version of the room that they wish to redesign. I’ll work with what they want and make a point of asking them what picture it is that they wish to bring to life in order to help them get to where they want to get.
What, in your view, are the main benefits of using a colour consultant?
If you use a colour consultant, the end result will always be better – often far better – than what they could have achieved by themselves. I have lost count of the number of times that clients have turned around and said ‘oh! I hadn’t thought of that’. Knowing that you have helped open their eyes to the possibilities of what they can achieve with their space is very satisfying; it’s in large part because I specialise in colour and design, and it also owes to the fact that I’m seeing their interiors with a fresh pair of eyes.
Consulting a colour expert for advice helps achieve a final design that is unique and often radically different from the existing décor. It creates a synergy that is reflected in the walls and surfaces of the home, and it be truly exciting for people to be pushed out of their comfort zone, gain the expertise of an expert and create a home environment that feels right for them. It’s the ultimate gift that anyone could give to themselves.
Talk to us about your journey to becoming an interior colour consultant
I have always been fascinated in designs and colours from a fashion perspective. I was lucky to be exposed to a variety of cultures through my travel experiences, which has really encouraged me to think in terms of colour and what colour can achieve.
Textures, colours and patterns have long been my passion in life – and they always will be.
What do you like most about your role?
Giving people the clarity that they need about what would work and what wouldn’t with the space that they have is a wonderful feeling. It’s particularly satisfying to see people become visibly excited about their design project.
Every single project is unique, in terms of the people who will be using the space, the location, the feeling that you experience when you enter the room, the lighting (you need to take into account whether a room is north- or-south-facing, for example) and the space. For that reason, I can honestly say that every day in my role has been interesting and often very thought-provoking!
What’s the most common question that your customers ask?
This might surprise you, but there is no such question! Everyone is different, with their very own vision for their interiors.
In some ways, I see this as a very good sign: my unique selling point is that I create a unique experience for my customers, and so it’s hardly surprising that I don’t receive the same question from each of my clients.
What colours and interior trends are ‘in’ at the moment?
There has been a strong move recently towards the colour green, and I can understand why: it’s a very nurturing colour that brings the best of the great outdoors into people’s homes. During lockdown, people had to make their rooms perform a variety of functions, which made people think differently about the social functions of their rooms – this made people embrace colour, and so It’s not surprising that people had a strong desire to feel surrounded by nature whilst cooped up indoors!
With that said, you can find a trend in almost anything that you want. Environmental paint, for example, seems rather popular at the moment, which is entirely in keeping with concerns that people have about sustainability.
My advice to people would be to follow what you want, as opposed to the latest trend. Create a home that feels warm and inviting. Make it feel nice.
Why should a customer choose a professional decorator like Paint my Home for their redecoration project?
The biggest selling point that springs to mind is that Paint my Home are not tied to one paint brand, which means that they can dip in and out of the different paint finishes and colours that are out there. Paint my Home can use all of the colours in the world, which makes them rather special!
They are a brand that wants people to come back to us in 5 years’ time when they want to revisit a room’s design – and given the tools at their disposal, they’re ideally positioned to take on such work!
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We would be delighted to help you change your living space for the better.
Reach out to contact us today to find out how we can help you turn your home office colour scheme and décor ideas into inspiring interior designs. We offer professional painting and decorating and wallpaper services, as well as interior colour consultancy to help you bring your vision for your home office to life.