You Want to Ignore What?

You Want to Ignore What?

This past week I went for a colour consultation for an office. I was called in strictly to choose an interior colour for the entire office. In my discussions with the redesigner, the plan for this new renovation was to go very modern (sleek white cabinetry, natural wood desk tops and grey furniture). Nothing speaks modern like white and gray right?

ignoring fixed elementsImage credit

ignoring fixed elements

Ignoring Fixed Elements Is A Mistake

So What’s The Issue?

When I walked into the office, the first thing I noticed was how orange the laminate floors looked.  Flooring is considered a fixed element (you know – something that can not be easily removed or changed).  I’m talking an early 1990’s orange.  The orange flooring was in the majority of the space.  The image below is not the exact flooring, but the colouring is pretty darn close.

ignoring fixed elements

Image credit

There was a little bit of carpet in one area and in the back office.  After going through my many large colour board samples as well as my Sherwin Williams Architectural Kit I ended up choosing some warm green-gray paint samples as well as one Greige (gray/beige) paint wall colour to consider.

sw-artasdcolortoolsSherwin Williams Architectural Kit

Why You Can’t Ignore Fixed Elements

When I showed the redesigner the colour choices that would work with the flooring as well as the blue-gray chair that has already been specified, there was some disappointment.  Why?  The client really wanted to go in the cool blue-gray direction.  I pulled out blue-gray paint samples to show just how horrible it was going to look with such warm, orange floors.  At one point in our conversation the phrase, “…we’ll just have to ignore the floors…” came up.


Are there times where you may just have to ignore certain elements in a renovation?  Of course there are and will always be when dealing with a tight budget.  Small things can be ignored.  However, this flooring that takes over the majority of space can not, under any circumstances, be ignored.  Remember, the client wishes to go in the direction with a sleek and modern design.  Without changing the floor, the end result was going to be new modern paint colour, new sleek furniture, and wait for it….old, dated floors.  Why bother doing all the redesigning without addressing the floors?  And just so you know, it was not the redesigner making the flooring decisions – it was the client who did not wish to change the floors and spend the money.

Ignoring Fixed Elements – End Result

I left that consultation pretty frustrated.  What frustrated me was leaving that consult with no decision being made on wall colour.  Quite honestly, I felt like it really didn’t matter what I suggested, they were going to go with what the client wanted (cool blues and grays) while keeping the shitty floor.  I did say that if they chose any of those blue/gray colours, they couldn’t tell anyone that I was there.  I was not, and will never take credit, for a shitty choice that I know damn well will not look good.

When I received a text from the redesigner the next day telling me the client had agreed to change all of the flooring I was ecstatic!  I was ecstatic for the redesigner especially.  Now her design concept is going to fully come to fruition and they will get the blue/gray paint scheme they were looking for.  The office will look so much better with new floor that won’t read orange.  I’m not sure if I’ll get called back to pick out the final paint colours (sometimes telling the truth in a blunt way doesn’t always work to my favour), but I do know the client will be extremely happy they chose to change all of the floors and the end result will be amazing.

Having trouble deciding what your undertones are?  Need some help with picking the best choices for your upcoming renovations or paint colors for your home?

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