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Category: Color & Design

Architectural color expert Cristina Acosta’s portfolio of interior and exterior colors for residential, commercial and institutional architecture.

Choosing the Right Colors for You

Choosing colors can be confusing. My color consulting clients usually have piles of paint color samples and an idea of which colors or color direction they prefer, and then say “. . . but, you just tell me which colors are best.”

Multi-colored sign saying Be You that I found while visiting a Los Angeles County, California beach town. ©Cristina Acosta
Los Angeles Beach Area Street Art Sign ©Cristina Acosta

 I won’t. At least not until you’ve done some exploration. I won’t tell you the colors I think you should have, because the first thing you need to experience when choosing colors is the freedom to choose any color that catches your attention. And…I don’t live or work in your building. Choosing colors is about you.

Color consultants have many different processes they use when advising about colors, so I’m not speaking for anyone else. When I work with clients, the first hour of the appointment is crucial so that we both see which colors they are attracted to.

Most clients choose about fifty to two-hundred colors during the initial phase of our appointment. Looking across the color samples on the table, we both get the true non-verbal reality of their color likes and dislikes.

I included the word “dislikes” because invariably, some of my clients color choices move to the “hate-it” side of the table.

Choosing colors can be a deeper process than just decorating. Surrounding yourself with colors that resonate deeply for you is emotionally satisfying.

Cristina Acosta

Residential, Commercial and Institutional Architectural Color Consultant

Choosing Colors Can be Like Chasing a Rainbow

Color communicates. Any color expert, designer or artist will agree with that statement. But ask those creative types what exactly a color is communicating and the answers you get may have surprisingly little in common. Here's why: Color is a language that continually evolves with the cultures that contribute the shades and tones of meaning each of us sees. And, each individual brings their personal biases and perceptions to the mix, further complicating things. Consequently, the meaning of a color is a moving target.

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Modern Metallics Meld Traditional Surfaces with Contemporary Design

Mixing metallics into your home design can give a small space a stylish vibe. Put the metallic accents on existing cabinetry and your small space can remain clear and uncluttered - both practically and visually. And when those metallics come in a coppery pink tone, the result is gorgeous! Metallic finishes can play up modern architecture like this master bath at the same time they link traditional materials like marble with the contemporary shapes of the home design.
The perfect wall paint color brings together the variety of surfaces with a unified color. With that in mind, choosing the color that works with every color in the bathroom is very important. Helping my clients choose the best color for the room meant first determining a few basic concepts.

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When the Color Yellow isn’t Sunny

One of the unexpected changes that can happen to the aging eye includes the color yellow. For some people the lens of the eye becomes increasingly dense and more yellow with age. With that change, contrast sensitivity declines and dark colors can be difficult to distinguish from each other.
The yellowing effect may not be affecting you personally, but if you are a retailer or manufacturer selling products, how your products are being perceived by the older customer with this condition affects your sales.

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Matching Pantone Colors to House Paint Colors – Is a Color Match as Good as Buying the Real Thing?

When color consulting clients look at paint color samples the most common question I get from them (after they choose their colors) is this: Do I have to buy "this" brand of paint to get the color I want, or can I buy something cheaper? The answer isn't simple. There are at least 3 parts to how a latex house paint color looks: Base tint, pigment and sheen. House paint isn't just white paint with colors added. Depending upon the color, the paint store selling the brand uses a particular (there can be several choices) tinted base color to which they then add measured amounts of their color pigments.

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Feeling a Color or Tasting a Sound isn’t Crazy, it’s Synesthesia

Have you every noticed that a color can feel heavy (even if it's a light color)? Or tight, or smooth, or have a flavor? If the colors you see register as tastes, sounds or physical sensations, then you might have synesthesia. When I walk through a client's home, the colors, shapes and textures speak to me kinesthetically as well as visually. And sometimes I get the sensation of a taste or sound, depending upon how the colors in the room interact. I never gave much thought to this ability until I read Ramachandran and Hubbard's work. Then a way of experiencing the world that I had considered a personal idiosyncrasy was suddenly something with a name that I now know is experienced by others.

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Choosing Room Colors

Creating a paint color scheme blending good color design with the architecture of your home is like putting together a 3-D puzzle. One part of that puzzle changes and everything changes. And change can be complicated. If you've ever felt overwhelmed by color, you're not alone. Putting together entire interior design color schemes can be a lot to think about. But, mixing colors around your home gets a little simpler if you think about those color combinations as a master color plan.

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Nature’s Lovers are Colors – Purple and Green Together

Landscape artists often refer to the color combination of violet/purple and green as "Nature's Lovers". Not only do purple and green look good together on an artist's canvas, they can look amazing together in your home. From soft gray violet to deep amethyst purples, painting your walls your favorite shade of purple will go with more colors than you might think.

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