I don't know how other Stagers go about their creative processes when deciding what color direction to go when designing, but I have a definite method that I use to find a direction to build a color scheme and choose the right items the first time.
I always start with an inspiration item, which is usually something that trips my trigger in a big way. A piece of art, a photograph, heck, I have even found my inspiration on a sweater I saw a friend wearing once. My criteria is that it has to make me want to look at it again and again.
For instance, I saw an ad in a design magazine that depicted a certain type of finch a few weeks ago.
Although the mag had lots of fabulous rooms full of ideas, that little bird just struck my fancy more than anything else I saw.
So, I picked the image apart and pulled four paint colors out of it for the walls of the house.
Then I found a sofa that reminded me of the texture of the bird and a couple of side chairs that helped to set the a natural scene.
Art came next.
And we carry a picture of the inspiration item with us whenever choosing anything, so we stay focused on the inspiration and don't spend money where it won't lead us toward the goal.
I have seen shows where other designers wait on wall color. I always think those people are kinda crazy! A painter always starts a new piece by painting the background first. What colors decide on in the beginning determines how all the other color intensities will play out. I am dead in the water without a wall color. It is the very first item on the list to decide.
Then I find the most difficult and cost-worthy things first. There may be 2000 sofas to be had in my area, but I am only going to find only 1 or two that are:
A.) the right style
B. ) the right color
C.) the right dimensions
D.) the right price
Same thing goes for the rugs, art and lighting. Lots of choices, but only a tiny handful that will work toward my ultimate goals. So, they also get priority, and I need to find them as soon as possible in the design time line.
Things like accessories are last, because they are generally fairly plentiful and have the most flexibility. I'm kinda funny about it when we do shop for accessories. We shop for criteria, not for specifics.
I'll tell my team to find a target shape, texture, size, and vibe:
The reason for this method of tchotchkie shopping is that when all criteria are met, we can quickly go on to the finding our next item. That way we don't spend valuable time shopping for the "perfect" thing" that we have "pictured" in our mind's eye.
It all comes together in the end because we know what we are looking for, straight out the gate, and we are flexible and we don't sweat the small stuff.
Lead Conceptual Designer, www.CurbAppealConcepts.com
Vice-President of Acadiana Real Estate Staging Association, www.AcadianaRESA.com