Tag Archives: Commercial Space

How Does Paint Color Matching Work?

interior designers paint color design decor remodel home
Our go-to shop for paint has always been Dick’s Color Center in Portland.  They have an amazing staff of expert color mixers and have worked with us on countless designer color creations.  I recently had a conversation with our main contact, Kevin M Garvey, to get his expert point-of-view on how color matching really works in a boutique store like Dick’s versus a big box store.  What I found out was that the amount of time and knowledge it requires to create an accurate color match is almost always out of the range of abilities of larger stores.  Not that they are incapable of creating a match, but with the sheer volume of customers they receive, they are simply unable to dedicate the time it takes to do this intricate work.
 Paint3
Below is a statement from Kevin about color matching:
Nearly every paint store has a spectrophotometer. It works by beaming light from an internal lamp onto a sample. Some of the light will be absorbed by the sample, and the rest will pass completely through and strike a detector behind the sample. The detector senses the light being transmitted through the sample and converts this information into a digital display. For paint stores, that means a color formula is produced.
 
Accuracy depends first on the quality of the filters and sensors within the spectrophotomer and on the software that converts the data into an actual color formula. Secondly, the condition of the sample can interfere with color accuracy. Any texture or sheen on the sample can throw off how much light is absorbed or transmitted. Other environmental factors like ambient light and even temperature can affect results. While it may seem obvious that different spectrophotometers will produce different color formulations, people might be surprised to know that even the same machine will often yield different formulas on different readings. Experienced color matchers will take several readings and average them before using the data. Typically, spectrophotometers are 90% accurate. That is hard to visually describe, but essentially some toner in the color is going to be missing or perhaps too present. The resulting color is too red, or too green, or too dark, etc.
 
A color match on a spectrophotometer can be performed quickly, but with some degree of unknown error. Therefore, for the most accurate color match possible, any reputable paint store will match the color by human eye. This generally requires several hours of work. The reading from the spectrophotometer is likely considered one of several references used to produce the final color formula. But ultimately a trained eye determines exactly what combination of pigments match the color sample best. This process gives much more satisfactory results than the spectrophotometer alone. But there is no such thing as absolute perfection when it comes to color matching.
 
Keep in mind that most national paint manufacturers create their own pigments, have different resins and materials in their bases, and that there is no standard for sheen in residential paints. It is impossible for one company to exactly reproduce a competitor’s color when the starting base is different and the pigments to tint the paint are different. The only way to get an exact color, as the manufacture or designer intended, is to avoid the match in the first place and use the exact base paint and exact color formula.
 
Kevin M Garvey
Portland, OR

The Shanghai Project

interior design style for shanghai kitchen rendering interior designers

An upscale design for an industrial setting.

Having worked in China previously on a western-themed resort community, Jackson Hole, I already had a feeling for how to work through the language barrier.  When working on new construction in the States we’re able to focus on the details and oversee the implementation of our designs in person.  When sending a design to China, you never know.

Step 1: Materials and Layout

Choosing the materials is the fun part where we get to work out how the project is going to feel; what kind of vibe it’s going to give off.  Our contact in Shanghai, Andy, provided us with photos of the bare bones of this large apartment building so that we could create a plan.  Our job is to create an inviting apartment that will appeal to the expatriates, some of them from the States, who are living and working in Shanghai.  This model unit needs to show the potential of the building and draw in new occupants.  It really has to shine.

interior design international style portland designer  interior design based in portland apartment remodel  exterior shot of building for interior remodel

Using only these photos, AutoCAD plans, and a little help from our friend Andy, we were able to come up with a design theme: Post-Industrial Posh.  Walnut flooring set in a chevron pattern, Carrara marble tile, black and white paint, exposed concrete and some painted brick round out our design board.

marble tile design for interiors kitchen slab tile  herringbone chevron diy floor style for interior design  reclaimed materials for post industrial interior design style

Because we cant be there in person, we decided to create a 67 page instruction manual for implementing our design.  This may seem like overkill, but flying to Shanghai every time there is a question about flooring installation just isn’t an option.  To get it just right, we have to be specific.

We started with the floor plan layout.  This building has 4 apartments per floor, and 12 floors.  We only have to design the model unit, which is on the southern corner of the fourth floor.  The only obstacle at this point is working within the existing structure; the developer would like a three bedroom, two bathroom unit.  Fitting all three bedrooms into this space while maneuvering around support beams, fire doors, and concrete columns, is a challenge, but nothing we cant handle.

interior design plan for furniture and layout

We opted for an open-concept living space that takes advantage of that large wall of windows.  Even though furniture wont be specified, the best way to get a feel for how the space works was to throw in some generic furniture outlines.

Step 2: Flooring and Ceiling Design

The ceilings in this unit are relatively high but there is a sprinkler system and concrete support beams are scattered throughout.  To give the apartment a clean look while keeping our post-industrial theme alive, the solution is a dropped ceiling in some areas, and exposed beams in others.  In the living room and bedrooms, the ceiling will be at it’s full height–about 11 feet–for the bathrooms, foyer, hallways, and above the closets we’ve decided to drop it down to 9 feet so that we can add recessed can lighting.

interior design, feature wall, paint, apartment style, modern designinterior design for feature wall with reclaimed brick style

To make sure they understand the look we’re going for, we threw in this rendering(on the left), drawn on top of the actual photograph of the living area of the apartment.  Once the brick is up and painted, they can install the custom cabinetry we designed for this space(right image): shelves on either side for coffee table books, and cabinets in the middle to hide your components and wiring.  These cabinets will have the same finish as the kitchen–a medium-tone reclaimed look with satin black cup pulls.

 

Step 3: Lighting and Finishes

The rooms that have raised ceilings still needed some lighting, so we added soffits with recessed cans.  The lighting schedule is very simple for this apartment, with the most ornate fixture above the kitchen island.  The bathrooms get a little extra love in the form of sconces around the mirrors.

interior design lighting for kitchen remodel

Step 5: Explaining the Design through Imagery

Our in-house graphic renderer was able to put her new skills to the test with this project.  Bathed head to toe in marble, we needed to show the tile layout for both the master bathroom and the second bathroom.  Even though the images are just rough digital sketches of how the rooms will look, we feel they get the point across.

bathroom design with carrara marble tile and chrome finishes  master bathroom interior design style with built in cabinets and marble tile

For the final renderings of this apartment, we opted to hire a professional to ensure that we can provide top-of-the line detailing with the representations of our design.  Any point where the language barrier cant be broken down, these images have to pick up the slack and explain our intentions.  We were so happy with how they turned out; they almost look like photographs!  Hopefully, once the apartment is finished, our friend Andy will send us some pictures.  For now, we just have to hope that they love our design as much as we do and can create this beautiful apartment.

interior design style for shanghai kitchen rendering

entryway interior design with carrara marble tile and custom cabinets

living room design with brick feature wall and hardwood floor interior design portland

The Rec Center Comes Together: Before and After

billiards room pool table style masculine design rustic elements interior

This new construction commercial project was full of potential.

In a previous post we showed you a behind the scenes look at this project. With two floors, a kitchen, fireplace, and lots of space for recreation, we had to come up with a plan to keep it consistent, while giving each space its own feel.  The name of the apartment complex attached to this rec center is Park 16.  We decided it would be fun to take that theme and run with it.  Green walls, natural brown trim, and carpet tiles that resemble elevation lines on a map all came together to create the perfect backdrop for our rustic yet sophisticated space.  For the fireplace we chose pebble tile for the bottom half, and this amazing cross-cut wooden square tile for the top half.  A mosaic backsplash in the kitchen compliments the sage green cabinets perfectly.

Rustic style lounge recreation center interior design style paint  kitchen design style interior with mosaic backsplash tiled flooring rustic interior

The feature wall behind the kitchen cabinets was a custom design by Allison Smith.  We specified each width of wood and were so happy to see it all come together!  Good thing our measurements were spot on…

New kitchen design style rustic elements mosaic tile backsplash

Heading up the stairs, we’ve created a great entertaining space with cafe tables, a pool table, a gigantic 90″ flat-screen, and plenty of room to romp around.

stair well design with rustic style green paint walls  Interior design style with rustic elements natural style

rustic design style with leather chairs green paint carpet tiles  lounge room flat screen tv sectional couch interior design leather sectional

Billiards room pool room interior design rustic style

billiards room pool table style masculine design rustic elements interior

We had so much fun with this project: just before all of the furniture and accessories went in, the client came by to check it out and said, “Woah, that’s a lot of green.”  With a little trust, we were able to move forward and bring in our rustic elements.  Once it came together everyone agreed that the green was the perfect choice for this space.  Elegant, rustic, and a bit like a walk in the park.

 

For more commercial projects, check out our photo gallery.

In Progress: Park 16

allison smith design process materials for remodel

We just received some progress photos from a project near Seattle; the crew is finishing up a Rec Center for this large apartment complex.  So exciting to see a plan come to life and we’ll be sure to post some sparkling after pictures as soon as it’s done.  For now, here is a teaser showing the wall color, some flooring, and a feature wall designed by us.

Custom feature wall designed by allison smith

This feature wall is a custom design by Allison Smith.  We used varying widths of wood and stained them in Banyan Brown from Sherwin Williams to match the moulding and trim.  Once this room is put together, it’s going to be amazing.

reclaimed look feature wall in kitchen design

The feature wall is continued into a prep-kitchen.  Those cabinets will be painted a soft olive green from Benjamin Moore, Olive Branch.

Soft Olive Green from benjamin moore olive branch

allison smith design process materials for remodel

Above is a little peek into our design process.  All of the materials for the Rec Center are displayed to make sure everything works together.  The mosaic tile in the bottom right corner will be the backsplash for the kitchen.  The countertops are a beautiful, creamy CaesarStone Quartz.  With brushed nickel finishes, stainless steel appliances, and wood and stone accents, this kitchen is sophisticated and rugged.

Moving into the main lounge area, carpet tile is the perfect solution for a commercial space that is going to get a lot of foot traffic.  We found this great tile that reminds me of elevation lines on a map.  Adding to our rugged appeal, this room will feature a fireplace surround made of pebble mosaic.

Rustic lodge style lounge design for recreation center  Wavy pattern carpet tile in olive green tan

The fireplace in progress:

Mosaic made of pebbles    A work in progress in the lounge  Tile made of cross cut wood

From the floor to the mantle, and for the mantle itself, we’re using a natural pebble from OTM’s Bali Stone Collection.  Above the mantle is this very unique wood tile.  It’s cross cut white oak in two inch squares arranged in a mosaic.  So pretty.

Furniture and lighting have been carefully selected to bring the space together.  I especially love this coffee table with a pull-out tray in the center:

Reclaimed wood coffee table with pull out tray

 

Stay tuned for the big reveal of this rustic space.

Sign up for email updates