Successful Schemes Boil Down To Instinct For Color Guru Eve Ashcraft


Eve Ashcroft Moodboard

“I love using the resources and collections I keep in my studio to build these inspiration boards, either for my own edification or to show clients possibilities,” says Eve Ashcraft of her fantasy color palette.

Eve Ashcraft knows a good palette. A formally trained painter, she earned her stripes as a color specialist for Martha Stewart and today touts an elite moniker—architectural color consultant— lending her expertise to residential homes, cultural institutions, public works projects and corporate branding the world over. Luxe called upon Ashcraft to learn more of her vibrant and innate approach.

Formative influence. My mother was a painter. We had a yellow living room with fuchsia silk pillows. I would come home from school and she’d say, ‘Grab a brush’—she’d be painting the kitchen cabinets, again. It never occurred to me until I started working with clients that anyone would be afraid of color.

Less is best. Fan decks are an instrument of torture. I’ve had clients test 30 colors before calling me. They were probably feeling insecure to begin with, and there’s this internet problem of, ‘I’ll just scroll to the next page and oops, it’s 4 a.m.’ Endless choice can have a negative effect, so I edit and distill my ideas before sharing.

Artist’s intuition. The only thing I love about getting older is that I’ve developed respect for my instincts. There are moments when I walk into a room and just know. I had clients with this tasteful blue parlor, but there was something sad about it. I said, ‘You’re going to kill me, but this room should be tobacco with cream trim.’ Six months later, I received a love letter about how they never leave it now. That kind of transformation is luxury.

Go-to paint trick. When I want a space tofeel calm, one easy tip is to reduce contrast, especially between building components, like the trim, walls and ceiling. Make those elements the same or almost the same color and boundaries will disappear, creating a sense of spaciousness.

Golden rule. The more color you have, the more color you can use. It’s like a great party—just jam everyone in there.