I am still unsure. The samples you made for me are beautiful but I cannot decide. What do I do?

Finishes may be perceived differently based on room lighting, time of day and the impact of surrounding colors and effects. Production finishes may render differently than samples based on scale. Please understand such limitations and let us know any specific requirements you have in order to evaluate, select and decide. 

Your indications of interest are not decisions until you say so. At the time of presenting our portfolio and developing a proposal, we are interested only in you expressing what you like. Allow yourself the freedom to entertain different ideas, designs and colors, and play with those concepts until you are sure of what you want. Additional samples may be helpful and instrumental when different finishes are considered. Please recognize that sample production takes considerable time and expense. Fees charged to supply you with such demonstrations are credited toward your total cost and do not increase total cost.

I have a decorator I am working with. Will you work with her/him?

Absolutely. We look forward to the opportunity to working with your decorator in helping you achieve beautiful results. All that we ask is that the relationship be between you and us and not to have the decorator stand in the middle as the party we answer to. If you (or the decorator) insist on the decorator having control and authority, then the contract we develop will need to be between the decorator and us, where responsibility for directing the work, specifying details, approving samples, and guaranteeing payment is their role.

Which finish should I select? What colors do I need? I don't know what I want. Will you tell me what to do?

Taste and style is personal. In order to avoid conflict of interest over what we like vs. what you like, and suggesting finishes beyond your budget, we require your direction and decisions. Please do not ask us to make selections or "do what's best for the space" unless you are interested in our input from the perspective of professional interior design.

Decisions over finish type, colors and design are a combined result of technical analysis and just plain taste. What “works” or is good for one client may be the opposite for another. The factors that go into knowing what to do and acting on plans prior to seeing the result are difficult for many people. We do not purport to be your decorator and you should not make decisions based on our or any other decorative finisher’s input without feeling comfortable. We will not offer specific design or color solutions without invitation and only then it will be opinion only.

However, we recognize and appreciate the fact that these decisions are important and significant, represent an investment, and must be optimized and tailored to you. To this end, we stand ready to refer you to independent decorating specialists whose input you can trust and whose relationship with is completely at arm’s length and above board. Alternatively, we can provide, at an additional fee, design services by one of our staff consultants. In any case, the point is to get professional assistance and service that you can feel confident and safe with when making lasting personal choices.

I have a color I need matched. Will you do this?

There is a distinct difference between color matching and color coordination and blending.

Our interpretation of a client’s request to color match is to do one of the following:

1. Reproduce existing colors in the subject space.
2. Reproduce an existing faux finish in order to extend it into new or additional areas, or to repair/patch damage to an existing faux finish.
3. “Pick up” a specific color in a décor’s fabric, flooring or other furnishing.
4. Copy an existing natural wood grain.
5. Create a decorative finish the same as one of our portfolio samples.
6. Reproduce a finish found in a magazine photograph.

On the other hand, color coordination or blending differs in that the target colors:

7. Approximate existing or reference colors.
8. Work well with, balance and complement existing reference colors.
9. Are a shade or a tint of the existing/reference colors, and provide tonality and dimension.    
10. Add interest and accent.
11. Bridge or tie-in companion colors.
12. Help transition colors from the subject space to adjoining ones.
13. Help “recycle” or give new life to furnishings, flooring, etc.

Let’s examine possible issues with the “matching” issues (1-6) above: 

1. Existing colors may not be readily reproducible.

  • What is the exact color? How was it formulated?
  • Is there more than one color there? A combination?
  • How old is the existing color? Has it oxidized or sun faded? Is it dirty or smoke embedded?
  • What material was used?

2. How was the finish done?

  • What materials were used?
  • What implements were used to create the pattern and effect?
  • What base color is under the foreground?
  • Will the new finish have the same texture, tonality and reflectivity as the existing one?
  • Were the materials thinned in order to get the effect?
  • The finish is somewhat more or less opaque that we can create.
  • What if the existing finish is on top of another that contributes to its look? What if there is wallpaper underneath?

3. The color we’re being asked to pick up is not the best one.

  • Prominence, strength. Will the new color overpower the effect?
  • Will it clash?
  • Fabric color has a different perceived density than wall color, due to interaction between fabric and dye, texture of the fabric, nap and sheen.
  • What if it’s the wrong color to pick up? We strive to create correct colors when picking up a décor’s component color, but not to exactly match.

4. At best, the faux finish will appear more or less attractive than the natural grain. We do not pretend to be able to impersonate Mother Nature. Natural wood contains tonal differences, gradual color shifts, textures, porosity, and a finish stain/sheen that creates uniqueness. Matching is not recommended. 

5. We welcome the opportunity to create a production-sized version of our portfolio sample. After all, if we were not proud of it, we would not show it. This is most feasible in terms of matching, assuming that the color formulation we create for you exactly matches that which you see in our collection. Samples get beat up and dirty over time. What we have shown you may render slightly different than what we can create for you. 

6. Magazine photographs are notorious for the effort that goes into removing flaws and enhancing attractive elements. When trying to match what is in a photograph, we may be unable to ascertain:

  • What materials were used in the subject space of the picture?
  • Lighting plays an immense role. The color and effects you see may be created artificially.
  • Did the photographer use special filters?
  • Was the print retouched or airbrushed to provide a special look?
  • Is the magazine’s printing process responsible for making the picture look the way it is? Has contrast been enhanced?
  • Remember, reprinted photographs approximate real life and must not be seen as always accurate.