Designing Wall Color: Why We Love the Paint Consultation

Y’all, we are excited! (all the jazz hands emojis over here!). It’s no secret that we love color in design, especially wall color. And in this time of year that is all about change and transition to new autumn hues all around, we get even more dazzled by the way color can transform a room, a vision, and the entire home. The science and theory behind the perfect color choice for each space is something that we never stop exploring, and continues to be one of the most requested interior design services in our studio year after year. So this month seemed like the perfect time to post it up about all things colorful design, and how we can help you find the perfect hues that you will love for a lifetime.

Amazing Wall Color on this wood siding - Cat French Design Chapel Hill NC

The Paint Color Consultation

Of the many design services we offer, one of the most long-standing favorites is the Paint Consultation (we talked a bit about this in this post, too!). Most of our services fall under the umbrella of Full-Service Interior Design, but the Paint Consultation is so popular that we’ve kept offering it as one of our only one-time consultations. We continue to get referrals from painters all over who have customers looking for help figuring out the right color combination, and they send ’em straight our way. Clients love this service because it’s SO helpful- whether it’s interior or exterior painting you’re having done, it’s a big commitment, and getting it right matters. Having Cat in your space and choose the right paint colors for your specific house makes SUCH a huge difference- homeowners tell us they not only enjoy this process but breathe a huge sigh of relief at having a plan in place for beautiful wall colors within one session.

The perfect Wall Color - Cat French Design Chapel Hill NC

A Personal Paint Story

I recently went through this process myself, and Cat asked me to share about it here on the blog. For those of you who don’t know, I’m Sarah P (also known as “other Sarah,” not to be confused with the amazing Sarah Hamlett!). Among other communication-related things, I help Cat with the blog- she and I have been friends for a long time and have also worked together in the past. She knew I had been planning and saving to repaint most of the interior of my own house for about 3 years, and when it was finally time to get it done, trying to choose colors on my own turned out to be extremely overwhelming. We have a lot of large blank walls and a partially-open layout that is tricky for color transitions. So, I lured Cat to my house under the guise of Mexican food and a plant shopping trip, and being the good friend that she is, she kindly agreed to take a look at some colors with me while she was here.

Selecting the best combinations of wall colors - Cat French Design Chapel Hill NC

The Wall Color Process

The majority of our house was a sandy yellow-beige flat paint, which had been in here long before we moved in- probably since the house was built…. so, that paint was about 13 years old (yikes, I know). There’s nothing at all wrong with beige, but since it was in almost every room, we were over it. I had some general ideas about color- i.e., “blue is nice!”…. but that was about it. I had originally thought we would just paint all the rooms the same gray, but Cat quickly dissuaded me from that notion- and I’m SO glad she did. After she arrived she whipped out her paint sample deck and set about the house. She carefully assessed the lighting, the angles, the floors, art, and the furnishings that we already have- efficiently taking in and synthesizing all the details. She started to pull out colors, and in a truly wizard-like fashion, it just started to come together. Before I even knew it, she had a beautiful line-up of colors laid out, including this amazing icy blue with a hint of teal for the study.

Building the Vision

Cat knows that my husband and I enjoy the outdoors, and she instinctively based a lot of the palette on some of the photos that we have in the home of our favorite backpacking trips from years past- incredible sunsets, mountains peaks, beautiful valleys we saw during our journeys. She created our color story not just to highlight our current furnishings, but also to resonate with what we remember as some of happiest times of our life. I had originally thought we would land on a blue-green color scheme of sorts, but she had a vision that would make it much more unique. When she initially suggested a lavender-toned white for the foyer and living room, a deep, moody purple for the powder room, and a rich, bold navy for the dining room- well, I was nervous! But she knows exactly how to help you see the bigger picture, and I knew enough to trust in her talent and experience, and let her work her magic. That was the smartest thing I could have possibly done, because every room turned out incredible, and now that gorgeous night-sky plum bathroom is just about my favorite thing EVER.

A Moody Wall Color - Cat French Design Chapel Hill NC

Color Theory, Color Love

I’ve been writing about Cat’s work for a while now and trust me, I’ve seen her and the team do many incredible things- but having the experience myself was still nothing short of AMAZING. It’s hard to describe the talent that she has with color (especially wall color)- it’s probably best quantified as equal parts artistry coupled with a superpower level of design intuition- and a true desire for people to love their space. She’s told me before that her foundation in color theory started way back in studio art class, where mixing her own colors to replicate classic works of art taught her about the importance of undertones in creating a color story. As a non-designer, that was a bit lost on me at the time, BUT, once the painting was actually done and I got to see the full transformation, I had a whole new understanding of what she meant. It really is an art and a skill to create a completely original paint combination that brings your entire home together. The first person to see the house after it was painted was my mother-in-law, and the first words out of her mouth were, “These are the most beautiful colors I could ever imagine.” That about says it all, and I couldn’t agree more.

But there’s much more to talk about than just paint- We’ve got so many color-amazing things coming your way this month and throughout this fall! In the meantime, check out our Portfolio Page for more of Cat’s signature color stories. Interested in a Paint Consultation? You can always reach out to us via the link below!

Have questions about adding wall color to your space? We’re here to help! Give us a shout at or via our Contact Page. Tell us what kind of wall color ideas you have and we can help. For more of the happenings and goings-on of this busy team, catch up with us on the Catherine French Design Facebook Page, or on Instagram @catfrenchdesign.