Sherwin-Williams, Hester Painting & Decorating Discuss the Power of Color in the Home and Share Expert Paint Color Picks

The psychological impact of color has been proven to have a significant effect on how we perceive and respond to aspects of the day-to-day. The “power of color” was explored by design professionals at the Sherwin-Williams Color Conversation with Hester Painting & Decorating virtual event, hosted by Make It Better Media Group on March 23.

Included on the panel was Lauren Coburn of Lauren Coburn, LLC; Annie Conway, a Designer Account Executive at Sherwin-Williams; Joan Craig of Craig & Co.; Jeff Hester of Hester Painting & Decorating; and moderated by Janet Miller, a Designer Account Executive at Sherwin-Williams

The panel detailed their respective positions and how their work fits into the design world, with all panelists agreeing that in order to fulfill a client’s wishes, step number one is getting to know the client, their family and their unique needs. They added that in the post-pandemic world — after time spent sheltering at home — “people [figured] out through COVID how they want to live, how their family functions and what they want their house to look like,” Coburn said.

The Power of Color

While in recent years, interior design for some has gone the way of grays, whites and neutral colors, the panel suggests that the tide may be turning.

“There can be a color that’s a trend, but that doesn’t mean it’s going to make everyone feel good,” Coburn said. To which Craig added that people “want something unique and something their friends don’t have. They want moments of surprise walking through their house that they can’t just go and see anywhere — they want it to be personal.”

To help clients envision their next design overhaul, Sherwin-Williams — which has 114 locations across Chicagoland — has developed virtual assistance via their ColorSnap Visualizer. Downloading the app allows users access to countless samples which can virtually “match colors from photos, save colors and virtually paint your own walls,” among other things. Also at users’ disposal is Sherwin-Williams’ blog, Tinted, which features everything from project success stories to tips for your next DIY project.

Another part of Sherwin-Williams’ premiere branding is their annual Colormix Forecast — which takes into account personal and social trends that influence how we design our lives. For 2023, the theme is Terra — selected for its earthy tones and “enduring beauty.” 

“Color is probably the most powerful tool we have in our arsenals — color is really transformational. People are really looking for colors that convey warmth and comfort … but they’re interested in getting back to a certain sense of style,” Craig said.

On the topic of personal style, each panelist listed their favorite Sherwin-Williams colors. Topping the list, among others:

As for Hester, his preferred colors are those that excite his clients the most — “I want it to be their favorite, and then I’ll install it.”

More Tips From The Pros

Hester outlined the necessity of having a team of committed professionals, as he does at Hester Painting & Decorating. “It’s a fun thing to watch develop, you build a team and you let it go,” Hester said, which was met with resounding agreement from the panel.

“We are all kind of in this together, it’s a big journey from when someone purchases land, to building a home, to selling their last home — so I think it really takes a team, it takes a village to create a beautiful home,” Coburn said.

When asked if he interferes with clients’ risky paint selections, Hester’s solution is simple and, of course, puts the client first. “I’ll say ‘Why don’t we paint this wall — one wall — and you live with it today and tonight, and then tomorrow if you still love it then we’ll finish the room.’” It’s considerations like this that led Hester Painting & Decorating to be named Best Painter in Better’s Best of 2022 competition — a title they have taken home for the past 10 consecutive years.

That same commitment to the community was also the launching point for Hester Cares. This project — which began in lieu of a 40th anniversary party for the company — gifts the company’s services to a local, deserving institution across Chicagoland every five years. And this year, in honor of 55 years, they will be selecting two projects; details to come.

Watch the full discussion below:

More from Better:

Margaret Smith is a Chicago-based writer and editor with a passion for socio-political storytelling about their community. They are a graduate of Columbia College Chicago.

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