Jackie Terrell (JT): I don’t have a particular strategy, but I am not afraid of color, which I think is everything.
MHI: What colors in particular do you love right now? Are there any color combos you’re tired of?
JT: I’m not partial; I do love all colors. But I find I am always attracted to a warm palette. I like the way oranges, pinks, and greens relate to each other, even in nature.
JT: No matching to anything -- it’s too corny and flat. I think people should listen to what they like and build from that.
MHI: When you have to convince a client to sign off on a bold color choice, how do you make your case?
JT: It helps to remind people that paint is an easy redo. Sometimes I just have to insist on trust and promise to change it if they can’t handle it, but I have never needed to do that.
MHI: Does your use of color change when you’re dealing with a large space rather than a small one?
JT: A large, open space usually needs to be neutral, and I favor a really good white. Although one can take one area in an open space for a blast of color, especially if it makes sense architecturally. A small space is often a great opportunity to create a jewel box with intense color.
MHI: Do you keep bright colors out of bedrooms? That’s the conventional wisdom ...
JT: No rules here -- I’ve done both spicy colors in bedrooms and calm colors. It depends on the people.
MHI: Where do you get your inspiration?
JT: I’m a painter at the base. I rely on my own instincts. I do take clues from the client, the house, and scope of the work.
MHI: Your style seems so perfectly West Coast. Would you use different colors in a different environment?
JT: I grew up here, so perhaps that’s just my outlook. Even my East Coast projects may have that outlook. I don’t see a change of geography as a reason to be different. It’s more about the environment and the clients.
JT: It's very important to have balance. If everything is the same note, it won't sing. Think of music, beautiful poetry, or prose -- all mixed up in a certain way that communicates.
MIH: With the difficult economic times, are you worried people are going to pull back from exuberant color?
JT: Not at all. It’s a great time to use color. Paint is a very inexpensive yet effective way to change a room -- and so cheering!