Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Color in the Salon

I can't believe I've been in my salon for over two years now.  As is the case with most projects, the salon was over budget both in time and dollars.  I remember the day I went to the City of Columbus building permit office, expecting my permit to cost--I don't know--maybe $40. $2500. 


Fuuuuuuuuuuck. I also made the rookie mistake of buying all the pretty stuff first, thinking it was the important part. Not only does this jeopardize your budget for the necessary stuff, but then you have to store all that pretty stuff for months. So, no, I'm not being considered for the new host of This Old House. I don't like carpentry (too dusty) and I don't particularly like construction.  Do you remember that episode of Barefoot Contessa where Ina throws a construction luncheon for her contractors? That's more my style.  The one part of construction I really did like was the concrete work.  To get plumbing into the office space that is now my salon, an 18 foot long trench had to be cut diagonally across the concrete floor.  To save money, I asked (with the undertone of a demand) my dad and brother help me to get all the gravel out of the plumbers' way and then seal the trench back over with new concrete.  I hated the shoveling part, the carrying bags of quickcrete part, and the worst was driving home feeling gross and dirty.  But! I learned I have a natural talent for applying and smoothing concrete.  I found smoothing and leveling concrete to be exactly like frosting a cake with buttercream. If there are any mason/bakers reading, please confirm this.  As the contractors saw my fine concrete work, they all quizzically asked: You did that?


























So anyway, as the salon project was coming to a close, I was feeling frayed and generally nervous.  I opted to go with a sure bet in my color scheme.  So I chose all white.  I've loved all the white and have often thought how glad I am that I went simple.  But I've been getting a little bored with it.  I toyed with the idea of painting a wall, but I worry about casting tones into the light.  I decided to experiment with color, the smart thing to do is paint something that is easily repaintable. 
I love orange, but orange doesn't always love me.  It is so hard to get right.  The difference between cantaloupe and pumpkin is vast in perception but shockingly close in shade.  Last autumn, I really wanted a pumpkin colored bar tray.  I thought it would be so pretty September-Christmas.  I love orange mixed in at Christmas.  I selected and tested and was quite sure I had a lovely, autumnal pumpkin orange.  Well, I did.  Until it dried.  Then I had a Bahamian mango smoothie color.  Lovely--but far too tropical for Ohio.  Especially Ohio in the fall and winter.  Despite this frustration, I really wanted to try my main station at the salon in orange.  So the testing started again.  I have a rather bizarre method of testing paints.  I paint them all next to each other on a piece of wood and let them blend into each other.  The hysteria actually helps me differentiate and isolate what's working and what's not.  I'm much more able to see an orange is too blue when it's next to an orange that's too red. 
The paint guy at Home Depot hates me.  I call him all the time with annoying questions, I ask him to mix 10 or 15 or 25 sample size containers of the same color with manipulations in tone of 5%.  I'm always painting something and am prone to hyper-focus on color. But on very rare occasion, I think of something sensible and downright easy.  As I thought about painting my station, I realized I'd really like to just spray it with canned spray paint.  I love Rustoleum and am always astonished at just how closely the dry color matches the cap. There were two oranges.  One was dark, more on the red side.  The other was electric.  Next to each other, they reminded me of the Le Creuset color Flame.  I wondered if I could mix them, or manipulate the end product by layering them.  I tested them in all configurations and decided the dark orange covered in the electric orange was the way to go. I'm really happy with it, and the paint guy at Home Depot is going to be able to stop going to therapy.  Until next week when I continue my search for the perfect shade of cranberry (for a Christmas project). 

A little change is good.  Especially going into a new season.  Will this piece be orange forever? No. I'm already a little sick of it. Are you planning any changes this season? And do you have the formula for a perfect cranberry?  

37 comments:

  1. You are clearly a colour genius Stephen Andrew! That guy at Home Depot is just going to have to deal with it, my goodness I love the orange you've chosen. I have a real thing for orange but not your eye for colour. Actually my husband just left for work and I had to make him stand in three different lights just to be sure he was wearing navy pants not black: I can barely tell them apart at the best of times.
    I adore your salon, how do I wish I lived near you so I could pop in and admire your work?
    Love this post and please keep us updated on your cranberry project. XO

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    1. Thank you Dani! Haha I can feel his aggravation when I walk in. He always starts annoyed with me but eventually breaks down and starts to become very helpful and just as obsessive as I am. I have a friend who is so bad about navy v back that I helped her one day by writing "n" or "b" on all the tags of her clothes. Cranberry has proven to be one of my more difficult color quests yet. The samples are taking over!

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  2. Stephen Andrew you would love my paint guy at home. He's more obsessive than me. He and his wife came to my house before I started painting to make sure he had picked the right black.

    i love spray paint too, it's so easy and for the most part the colors are great.

    i'm wondering how far utah is is from you salon? i can't even begin to describe the horror that is now my hair...

    x

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    1. Thank you! Oh I would. There's no replacement for the knowledge from someone in the trade. I'm sorry to say it is quite a far drive! Are you still liking it longer? I'm sure it is crying out for some shape and texture considering how different it is from where you started! Don't tell anyone I'm telling you this, but you could get some texturizing shears (one blade with teeth and one straight blade) and cut a little bulk out from your nape. If I've assessed your texture correctly from your blog, that is. Thick hair, slightly coarse, and I'm assuming a little wave, especially below the curve of the head. If I'm wrong, don't try that. But if I'm right, 2-3 cuts about 6 inches down the hair shaft near the occipital will really lift you up. You'll want shears with as many teeth as possible, vs just a few large teeth. I have a client who uses this for survival when she leaves me for the summer. I'm often not a fan of texturizing shears and prefer to point cut with my shears for texture. But in some cases, they're great. I use them on my hair once a week. Do not, however, trust yourself or L to even up your ends. Men often think they'll be good at this because it's mathematical and who can't cut a straight line?

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    2. well now i really want to have you cut my hair. that's exactly what i need! you are good even virtually! i would never let L touch my hair, omg, what a disaster that'd be. lol you are a doll SA.

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    3. i just google mapped the distance. 1700 miles but it's literally in a straight line so i couldn't get lost.

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    4. Yes it's a loooooong way across I-70! Let me know if you try the texturizing shears!

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  3. Love the orange you created - it looks fabulous against the beautiful floor and the walls. Really gives warmth and zing. So funny about your paint consultant. Best wishes, Pammie

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    1. Thank you Pammie! I loved seeing the highlights of your trip to Hobart! I think I'd love it there.

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  4. I have stopped buying tester pots and bought the decorators paint card stack which has freaked my husband out. I love and hate the colour choosing process. But I like the cheeriness of orange but I can't get that at home because it's been proven orange stimulates appetite which is why fast food logos use orange tones. Although I love orange Hermes boxes. I also agree about location and colours too. So many colours don't look the same in this Northern European light!

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    1. Haha I have the Pantone fandeck and looooove that thing. So useful for matching colors. In person, my station looks quite similar to an Hermes box. Ha! Orange stimulating appetite would explain most of my summer :) I'd love to read about how your color preferences changed as you settled into the Northern European light! I can totally see how that works though. I loved my vivid summer annual flowers all season until the light began to change. I suddenly found them downright garish! Hot summery colors need summery light.

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  5. Orange you glad I'm here? hehe...ha! Couldn't help myself. I love the orange and your style station. I luv all white with a pop of one color. I would like to make an appointment with you and do whatever you would like with this hair of mine. I will be medicare age next year but, I could rock purple or orange!!
    Maggie

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    1. Maggie, I am so sorry! For some reason this comment was in my spam folder! I would love to meet you! My number is 6143148099 and email is salonstephen@gmail.com I love working with vivids! Thanks for your comment and, again, I'm sorry it got mixed up in the wrong place!

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  6. Oooh I love orange but am rather intimidated by paint chits. Your station looks wonderful...that mirror is stunning.
    I love going to the art store and perusing and choosing acrylic paints. The names are sumptuous...oh boy the Home Depot Guy must be a nervous wreck...I hope he is polite...after all the customer is always right. Right?

    I remember that Barefoot Contessa episode....wish she had her own channel. I adore her show and have her cookbooks...your Flame Le Crueset is the classic colour...I've strayed and gone with white Cuisinart...I know it's a dive but I could not find and Le Creuset in white...do keep us in the loop on your new project...

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    1. Thank you! I love all the colors of acrylic paint and how vivid they stay on canvas. And no fumes! I love your white Cuisinart pots and share your frustration with Le Creuset for not having more options in white. I would have much preferred white. They now have the matte white through Williams-Sonoma but I don't believe the matte finish will hold up as well.

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  7. While Janet was busy map questing the distance from Utah to Ohio I was already trying to figure out if it's commutable from Nashville to Ohio (378 miles!) because I am leaving my hairdresser of the past 14 years and that is just as devastating as leaving my family!
    She promised me the "recipe" for my base color and said she can find me a Wella salon out there but truth be told I'm still scared to try someone else. So, Columbus here I come! ;)

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    1. Haha! 378 isn't so bad! I used to use Wella! It gives beautiful, saturated brunettes. I've actually switched away from it though because I feel it has an increasing tendency to lean red. The bases can be a little too warm for me. It might be worth it to let your new stylist try her/his own formula. Hair is always changing and it's good to keep the formula evolving and tweaking by season and as the years roll by. If it doesn't go well, you can always get back to the old one! Don't be scared of color! It's easy to tweak. Cuts take much more time to fix/change!

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  8. Paint is SO HARD! I just literally got back from doing an exterior house colour consultation, and my client was amazed at the difference between the little tiny sample chips we were trying to match his existing house colour to and then the big A4 sized paint colour sheets I have built a collection of (they give them free to Architects and I keep all my old ones from other jobs in case I need them on new projects). You really can't tell much from a sample chip. Laughed so much at your paint guy needing therapy! Love the colour of the buffet, and good luck with the cranberry project.

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    1. It's amazing how the chips lie to you! And how the color changes in your light at home vs the cold, blue light in the store!

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  9. I love painting, or should say I love changing paint colors! My hubby usually does the painting for me. And like you, I obsess over the slight variations in color. We're re-doing our bedroom and I'm doing a very soothing (hopefully) coastal colors thing. Picking the perfect shade of grey/blue/with a hint of green like the mighty Pacific under greyish skies was a challenge. We're almost ready to begin painting the walls...wish me luck huh? Oh, and I can totally see how finish concrete work would be like frosting a cake - just a larger scale!

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    1. Oh that sounds so pretty! If the grey-blue proves to be challenging as it was for me, my favorite is a Sherwin Williams color called Monorail Silver. Not much green in it though.
      But I just love that color. It goes on very grey and the blue comes out as it dries. Good luck with your project!

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  10. well I love orange and think it looks stunning! I am terrible at choosing paint colours and feel your pain xxx

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  11. and I LUFF your mirror !!! Is it antique? For years I was too lazy to go t the salon so Mr FF cut my hair with the kitchen scissors…Pity you don't live closer. x

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    1. Thanks! Yes you'd love this color even more in person! I love that mirror so much. I'm honestly not sure. I'd imagine it's from the 1950s. Maybe if Loi Thai stops by (that should be the name of his design TV show), he can take a look at tell me what he thinks. I'll also ask my mom. It was her frame that sat empty for many years until I finally asked if I could use it my salon. Technically it's on lifetime loan to me like the Queen loans jewels. Kitchen scissors! FF! Bad bad bad! Somehow you survived fabulously.

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  12. Hi Stephen, I found you through Janet's blog and thought i would take a look see around. First off, I just loved your profile and then read this post and laughed when you said the people at Home Depot hate you hah! little do they realize it's people like us (yes they don't like me either) but it's people like us that help them keep their jobs. why, don't they get this? lol anyway, i love, love your writing and your sense of humor. I will help you annoy the people at HD with the search of the perfect cranberry. are you wanting a cranberry red or a cranberry raisin? hahahah

    Sandra from South Carolina

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    1. Hello, Sandra! First of all, I love your name. Sandra was my GG's name (she loved it enough to abandon her birth name and legally change it to Sandra). Where in SC are you? I vacation often on Hilton Head. Luckily, for the most part, everyone at my Home Depot is very very nice. I am looking for red fresh cranberry. You know how in any given group of cranberries there are some that are speckled white and red, some that are burgundy, and some that are more vivid red? Im looking for vivid, mostly red, cranberry. 17 samples so far...

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    2. cool, with that many cranberries you should find one you love! If i should find one that i think you might like, i will let you know. btw, i love, love the orange dresser :)
      so kind of you as to what you said about my name, i lucked out when my parents named me because if they would have named me with my two sisters names, i probably would have changed it by now lol I am in the Charleston area and love going back in time there with all the history and it just feels brand new to me every time i go downtown. i have been to hilton head and just love that area too :) i love exploring the coastal towns and Savannah, GA too. ~sandra

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  13. p.s. do you know how i can get this dang Redken Demi color out of my hair??? it turned out way to dark i almost look goth and can't stand to look at myself in the mirror anymore :( i've tried everything, the head & shoulders, the Vitamin C thing ( i almost think that is a hoax ) the baking soda. I don't want to damage my hair, just get the demi out! how long does it take? it's been at least 3 to 4 weeks :( will it ever go away? btw the girls hair in the photos look gorgeous!! {sandy-SC}

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    1. That's a long time! Did it grab darkest on the ends? Usually when demi holds like that it's because the hair was exceptionally porous at time coloring. Porous hair grabs color like a sponge and over absorbs it to fill the damaged layers. One of the best things I know to fade too-dark color is dawn dish soap and baking soda. But that is harrrrd on the hair. Since you are in sunny South Carolina, I would try sitting in the sun (in the sunniest part of the day) with some shampoo in your hair. Hopefully you don't have very judgmental neighbors. Then once it has faded, condition condition condition. Now if your hair wasn't on the dry side going into this, it's likely the color selected was just too dark or improperly mixed. It's hard to advise not knowing what was used. Hopefully you trust your colorist enough to talk to him/her about it. I'll tell you that people in my industry hate it when our clients aren't happy and generally want to do anything possible to fix it. Sorry to hear it's too dark!

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    2. thank you so much for your comment and suggestions. I have tried all and i am also trying the redken cleansing shampoo, which brings a nice shine, but still not lightening up. yes it really grabbed on the ends and the last time my hair was colored was back in december, so i had a lot of outgrowth and i stressed and stressed to the girl that i just wanted something that would wash out because i still wasn't sure what i wanted to do with my hair and she didn't listen to me (first time i went to her) and she put the demi in, when she should have put the semi in. how i wish she would have explained it to me. oh well, i did get my money back and they didn't offer to do anything to fix it. tomorrow i am just going to go down to the beach and pour the ocean salt water on my hair, i will just scoop it up in a gallon jug to avoid being bit by sharks as we are being invaded with (lol) and pour it on my hair and let the sun dry it as it's still pretty warm here. my hair was virgin hair about 4 or more inches on top and it is shoulder length and only once had color put on it, a reddish brown on that virgin hair and was faded but still in excellent condition, not damaged at all, so i don't know what went wrong, the colors she showed me were a light brown, and to top it off she put in some kind of "warmth" as she called it and it also has a reddish cast to it I am just now starting to see. but anyway it was no where close to those colors and to me it looked black. didn't come out that way :( it was my mistake by not going to my regular stylist to begin with, but he works in Walterboro and Hilton Head as well! I don't know why I didn't. I just made a big mistake. hopefully in will lighten up. (p.s. I had breast cancer and lost my hair in May of 2014 and it was growing in all pretty, healthy and curly and then i had to have something like this happen to my brand new hair as i like to call it. a real bummer :( yes i did mention to this to her as well and i know "chemo hair" as they like to call it, the colors can change on you, she should have known this and i most certainly brought it to her attention. I had to go back and have a long stressful discussion with the manager and that was a total nightmare, because "they" were the right ones and she wasn't trying to help me, she was trying to help her stylist in the long run. Sorry, this is so long, it just feels good to get it out. unfortunately I wish I could "get this color out" but I won't put another color on top of it to lighten and I will just wait it out. i'm hoping by Christmas it might have gone. I have a lot of hats. oh, i used to have long blonde hair for a hundred years and had/have an excellent stylist here. I wouldn't be surprised if you don't know him, you remind me so much of him. I guess I should talk to him, but I am too embarrassed and i don't want him to know i went someplace else :(

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  14. Oddly enough, I just painted my old bedroom furniture at the cottage, a deep orange.
    It's style is much like your painted dresser; which I love by the way.
    Mine didn't come out the exact colour I chose; but I'm going to have to live with it and make it work.

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    1. I would so love to see your cottage and the furniture! I love your house. Thanks so much!

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  15. First off, I think orange is maybe the most difficult color to get right for all the reasons you mentioned and I think you nailed it! Second of all, that first hair color is amazing! And lastly, there is no perfect cranberry so don't try to find it. And if you do I'll send you a batch of kale pesto to celebrate with.

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    1. Why thank you thank you! The violet was so much fun. It's my favorite vivid to use. It fades well and brings out beautiful shades in almost anyone's eyes. Oh I'm not going down on cranberry without a fight. Ask poor Terry at Home Depot. I would be less grossed out by a dead fish in newspaper in the mail than kale pesto! Haha

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