Thursday, June 30, 2011

How to Let Others See the Colors You Imagine

The feature wall draws the eye into the room
and creates an inspiration for fabric choices.
As an Interior Designer, part of my job is to offer my recommendation about what colors to choose for paint (both interior and exterior), as well as furniture and window treatment fabrics, tile, and carpeting. Being able to do this well and with confidence is a skill that’s been honed and refined over the years with lots of experience to support my choices.

Over the same years, technology that once existed only for design professional has evolved and now is available to anyone capable of using a computer, smartphone, or tablet device.

Included in this category is colorizing software that lets you use a picture of any room and change the colors so you can see on a screen what you visualized in your imagination. This lets you contemplate your choice, lets anyone see it, and helps avoid potentially costly mistakes.

Benjamin Moore, a paint industry leader, has developed a downloadable desktop application that lets you import a photograph and “paint” the space with their colors. Once you’ve made your decision, it gives you the information about the color(s) you’ve selected so you can either give the specs to your painting contractor or go to the paint store yourself with your shopping list.  It’s called “Personal Color Viewer ®.” 

Benjamin Moore's Personal Color View screen contains helpful pop-up guides and libraries of images to inspire.

Their website has a useful video demonstration that shows you how to use color swatches. You can save both work-in-progress and completed images to project notebooks, share them via email, and export them to your desktop. It’s available for both PC and Mac users, and best of all, it’s free! You just need to register and follow their instructions to download the software. For a link to their site, click HERE.

My Perfect Color (an app shown below) also has an excellent web site that helps you find a color by name, brand, and more. Their color tool is a great way to do a reverse search for a color you know the name of but can't remember the brand. For a link to their site, click HERE.


BENJAMIN MOORE also has an app that lets you choose a color from a photograph and find the corresponding color in their paints. This is an excellent way to translate your favorite flower, for example, into a wall paint color.

BENJAMIN MOORE’s PRO CONNECT is another app from this company but it’s designed specifically for the painting contractor. It’s organized differently than the above app in that it lists the different products offered so you’re sure to use the right paint for the job, has complete color decks organized by the different product lines offered by the company, and a support link that lets you email questions to the company, Tweet to the company, and find retail locations. As a designer, I find it useful to make sure I’m specifying the right paint type for the contractor to procure.

All these apps are also available Android and Blackberry, so go to the app store that’s right for your device for more information.

My wish would be for the Benjamin Moore’s iPad app to do many of the same functions that are available in the desktop version. Perhaps it’s in the works.

COLOR CHANGE is an iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch app that lets you import a photograph from your library or camera roll or take a picture and then change the color from what’s in the image to whatever you want from the color chooser and saturation/brightness function in the app. You can save the image and email it. In my opinion, I found the app to be easy to use, but wasn’t able to keep the colors “inside the lines,” much like when I was using coloring books as a kid, but nonetheless, you’ll get the general idea about whether a color works for you or not.

ANY PAINT COLOR is an app that’s collected over 130,00 paint colors from over 100 paint brands. It lets you capture or choose an image and then lets you point to sections of the image to tell you what the colors would translate to in different paint brands. This is a good idea if you’re in a room and love the colors but can’t ask what the colors are or would like the throw pillow’s color on a wall; simply take a picture and this app will tell you how to replicate that color in different paint brands. It costs $2.99, and is available for the iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad.

An article I wrote a few weeks ago, "There's an App For That - Featuring Color in Black and White Images," also includes useful apps for the designer to change the color in images, so check it out.

Now that you're inspired, go forth and cover the world in wonderful colors; you're limited only by your imagination!

The information contained herein is for guideline purposes only, is not intended as an endorsement of any product, and is no guarantee of the results.

Images courtesy of iTunes, Beryn Hammil Designs, Benjamin Moore, Inc.

Copyright © The B. Hammil Company 2011

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