Wednesday, June 10, 2009

House Beautiful Color Picks: Mistake or Clue?

I opened to page 16 of the terrific July issue of House Beautiful and wondered - have they made a mistake? They sought designer recommendations for accent wall colors and Alan Tanksley recommended Farrow & Ball's Pigeon 25. I've recently been immersed in F & B as I'm painting my kitchen floors and the magazine image didn't look like the F & B chip. It was so different I wondered if it was a mistake. However Tanksley's description of it as "this blue-gray has an undertone of taupe" corresponds with the F & B chip. So I don't think it's a mistake but rather a clue/confirmation of the advice not to choose a color based solely on how it looks in a magazine.

Interestingly enough though - look below and see how similar Farrow & Ball's Orangery 70 recommendation by John Loecke is to the magazine image. Leaves me wondering if some colors don't lend themselves to magazine printing...


UPDATE: I asked color expert Maria Killam of Colour Me Happy for her opinion. Here's some of her insights re: the Pigeon color pics- "The first one is a gray-green and the second one is a pinky beige (and they certainly are worlds apart!)." If you haven't visited her blog - definitely do - her color advice is so insightful and informative.

14 comments:

Pigtown-Design said...

between the magazine, the paint chip and the way it looks on the computer, how can you ever guess what it will look like on your walls?

Maria Killam said...

In my world there is no such thing as a blue gray with a taupe undertone? The first one is a gray-green and the second one is a pinky beige (and they certainly are worlds apart!). Good eye for pointing that out!!

Blue Muse said...

I think that it is a mistake.

What it looks like to me, is the person that actually bought the paint got the paint number wrong and inadvertently got the wrong color -- if you look at the F&B chips, the paint looks like the F&B chip left of "pigeon" and the number which corrosponds with the neighboring paint is just in front of the word "pigeon" I think they grabbed the right name but wrong color number and mistakingly picked up that paint to the left =)
xo Isa

Alicia said...

Im with Blue Muse. It looks like the color to the left is the correct one.
and thanks to Maria because I was wondering what is a blue gray with taupe undertones????
I did notice that on the F&B sheet the color above is called blue gray.
The mystery continues.....

Velvet and Linen said...

Great detective work, Michelle.
Maria is fantastic with color. Her blog is one of my favorites. Like your blog, I always learn something new during my visit.

xo
Brooke

High-Heeled Foot in the door said...

Oh great post. I had no clue the color was off, because I had never seen the paint chips prior to reading the mag.

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

That really looks like a magazine mistake to me. Too far off. I do like the paint chip version, but not so much the magazine one.

Ladybug said...

Blue Muse is 'spot-on' - the Pigeon below looks as though it's really No.243, the colour next to Pigeon above.

Michelle@Fromhousetohome said...

They do look completely different, I'd say it was a mistake. Paint colors are hard enough, they are making it even more difficult. lol
~Michelle

My Notting Hill said...

You all make some great points - maybe the magazine pic could be of Charleston Gray 243.

Ruthie said...

Hello there

Ive been using F & B paints for years and the colours on the card are true to the actual tins of paint. Coincidentally, my mum has her kitchen units painted in Pigeon and its the most beautiful blue gray with a hint of green. Hope you like it and hope my comments help. Cheers Ruthie

ps she has the walls painted in Slipper Satin and the worktops are in carrera marble with the piece de resistance a white aga - the look is stunning.

allison said...

i am definitely NOT a color expert, but i did just finish a class in color theory. we learned that - due to some very complicated things about printing that i don't entirely understand - colors aren't always reproduce in print accurately. i think you may be right that there are some colors that are easier to reproduce than others. but i think we can all agree that actually trying it on the wall is always best!

Katherine said...

Yes - certain colors are harder to reproduce than others.

I work in the advertising/printing industry and can tell you for sure it is very easy for a paint color to reproduce quite differently in magazine print! Magazines photos are printed in four-color process (you can see the color dots with a magnifying glass). The whiteness and surface of the paper affects the color, too.

The color on production checking proofs could have been closer (another process on another substrate that simulates what to expect on press) and/or then shifted on press. On press they have to balance it with all the other colors on the page - or pages since the press are very large and they gang up several. Who knows. So many variables...

Sarah's Fab Day said...

My mom and I were doing the exact same thing Saturday night. We were looking at the HB Home book together discussing F&B paint colors and we were going to go grab her F&B paint chips to compare (she's a designer) but we decided to have another margarita instead. I'm so glad to see someone else did it!

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