This Expert Shares Her Hack for Choosing a Color Scheme

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Benjamin Moore Paint Deck- Tools of the Trade

Product: Benjamin Moore / Image Treatment: The Spruce

The world of home decor is vast, and we’re constantly amazed by the designers, creators, and creatives who cross our paths. In an effort to learn more about the innovative eyes behind the scenes, we’ve launched a series that explores the sanity-saving tools, products, and services that keep our favorite designers and decorators focused on the job at hand. Welcome to Tools of the Trade.

As the owner of the antique and vintage rug marketplace, Upstate Rug Supply, Joanna Mahserdjian knows that a room’s color palette is key. But when it comes to assessing a room and creating a design plan, it’s not always straightforward. We recently talked to Joanna about her must-have item when working with clients—and it might surprise you.

Joanna Mahserdjian, owner of Upstate Rug Supply

Christian Harder

What item made your work life easier this week/month/lately?

Joanna Mahserdjian: My Benjamin Moore paint deck has been a lifesaver while communicating with clients about rug selections.

Benjamin Moore Collections Fan Deck

Collections Fan Deck

Benjamin Moore

JM: I have had clients who built their design scheme around a rug, but sometimes, a designer or homeowner is coordinating a rug with existing paint and fabric selections. In this case, my paint deck has become invaluable at the shop.

Where/how do you use this item most?

JM: I use this to reference so many paint colors, and it is so helpful! I will take a client's color selection and photograph the paint card on a rug of interest. It creates a context of color and gives the client confidence through visualization.

How did you discover this item?

JM: Rugs are such a decorative decision in a room and define a room's color palette in a significant way. Clients regularly shop for rugs with paint selections already made, so that guides the color story and impacts the selection of the rugs. A paint deck became a necessity in working with clients simply by demand. 

Will you use this item in the future?

JM: Yes, I've used it as recently as this week. If a color is missing from my deck, I'll pick up a chip at the paint store to compare it to a rug.

How has this item made your job easier?

JM: One of the special qualities of vegetable-dyed, antique rugs is the depth of color and natural variation in the wool. You can pull deeper and lighter tones throughout the rug, which makes it fun for pairing paint colors. Whether the paint selection or the rug is the starting point in a design scheme, my paint deck has proved an invaluable tool in assisting my clients.

How might someone not in your line of work benefit from this item?

JM: If you're making a lot of color decisions for a large project, or regularly creating color stories, paint decks are so helpful to contrast colors and tones. It's the first reference point before putting a sample on the wall.

What, if anything, would you change about this item?

JM: It would be nice for the novice to have a few cards with color palette recommendations.

Are there any care/use tips someone considering this item should know about?

JM: My paint deck is a more general selection of colors, but there are a variety of deck options depending on your needs.