Do You Judge Your Decorator by her Fingernails?

When I meet a client for a Color Consultation, they are sizing me up.  They may already know that I’m a certified True Colour Expert trained under internationally-acclaimed Maria Killam.  They may know that I am a Benjamin Moore Color Expert and on their Design Advisory Panel.  But they are still wondering:  does this girl know what the heck she is doing? will she tell me to paint the room some color that will make me wanna puke? does that outfit she’s wearing even match (or is it supposed to?)?

My nails have to look good.  You know, because of all the pointing.

photo by Kristie Barnett


I’m very busy and have children and such, so I really don’t have a lot of time to devote to my nails.  Haven’t had a manicure since college.  I usually do my nails right before I get in the car and head to an appointment – of course, I have to use the quick-dry stuff so that I’m ready when I arrive.

Benjamin Moore Paint Fandeck


And the color has to be right – I’m a Residential Color Expert, afterall!  Maroons and reds look so 1989, light pink looks too juvenile, unpolished looks like Benjamin Moore’s Yellow Bisque 220.  You see the dilemma.

Benjamin Moore’s Monroe Bisque 220


So today I’m going with Benjamin Moore’s Silent Night 1613 in high gloss.  It’s a great neutral that goes with all the on-trend colors.  Silvery grayish with a slightly lavender underbelly.

photo by Audrey Barnett

I thank color specialist Nancy Alwin for my new favorite color term:  “lavender underbelly.”  Anywho, if you need help choosing paint colors for your home by a Nashville Color Expert, contact [email protected] to schedule your appointment.  And don’t think I won’t notice you checking out my nails . . .

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19 thoughts on “Do You Judge Your Decorator by her Fingernails?

  1. joy says:

    haha, how can it not be noticed when you are using them on those color pallet? personally I prefer clean cut natural nails — because it’s hassle free. ….hmm, I don’t recall what you normally dress like, so cannot come up with a whole body image of you with some painted nails..

    are you saying you can use those paint samples for walls to paint nails? I did not know that…are they the same thing after all?

    • Kristie Barnett says:

      joy – if i could go natural on my nails, i would. but they look AWFUL that way on me! and as for the paint samples on the nails – that was kind of a joke, but i did color match what i had on my nails (Revlon Silver Screen) to a Benjamin Moore paint fandeck to get those colors!

  2. Amy says:

    Kristie you are cracking me up!!! 🙂 Last time I saw you I think your nails were a blue something or other … Yes I looked! ha ha!

  3. Maria Killam says:

    Haha, I love this post!! Your headlines are so great, you must do what I do. . . when I’m stuck for one, I google copyblogger headlines to get ideas. . .
    Lovely nail colour by the way!

  4. [email protected] says:

    That’s how I do my nails too! So much to do…so little time! But I know that potential clients judge everything about our “exterior” when they meet us for the first time, so I try to make a good impression. Don’t know if I can go with the green nails or not…a bit too “Hulk-ish” for me. LOL

    • Kristie Barnett says:

      i thought the same about green – but i actually like it! i have an emerald green shade and it looks really sophisticated and edgy – i thought it would look puky until i tried it . . .

  5. Christine says:

    What a hilarious post!! Now I need to run out and get a manicure and change the colour to my next clients wall colour! Thanks for the LOL this morning!!

  6. Jean Molesworth Kee says:

    Sooo true. I always consider the image I’m projecting, and.. the client. I love manicures but keep fairly short and almost always neutral– like OPI Bubblebath. I love color but worry that it could be a distraction. Clients DO end up looking at our hands. That “silver” is somewhat neutral, though. : ) Great post, Kristie!

    • Kristie Barnett says:

      i think shorter and squared-off is better – daggerlike fingernails are scary! i used to have a great OPI neutral, then they stopped making that color so i switched to Zoya’s Camille (a creamy off-white).

  7. Pat Zahn says:

    I’m one of those people who probably wouldn’t notice unless your fingernails were all raggedy and chewed…or it was a distinctive color. I would think knowing your potential client or knowing who you want your potential client to be might determine what color (or lack thereof) you use. I like the lavender underbelly.

  8. di says:

    I see your point to a point (pun intended).

    I’m not an interior designer. I’m a client. And as a client, I want to see you looking nice and fitting the style of design you do, i.e. sophisticated if that’s your style; edgy and funky, is that’s your style, etc. But I don’t want you to be overdone to the point that the emphasis is on you and not the design of my house.

    That said, my personal opinion on nails is that I dislike them long. (Kristie, the nails in your photo are not too long unless they were on men…ewww). But perfectly polished, long, long nails say “I don’t do any work all day except on my nails.” Or, “I can’t do that because I might break a nail.” Or, “Don’t expect me to actually focus on your HOUSE, when I’ve got these NAILS to display…”

    • Kristie Barnett says:

      very good points, di! i am certainly not the kind of decorator that comes in and says “do this, do that, see ya later.” I am moving furniture, hammering nails, and getting my fingernails dirty (pun intended). that being said, it is quite impossible to keep my nails looking “perfect,” and maybe that’s for the best – i sure don’t want anyone to think i don’t like to work or i’m afraid of breaking a fingernail. i guess it’s a balance, huh?

      oh, and by the way, are you saying i have manhands????? 😉

  9. Sheila Zeller says:

    Aarrggg. You make a good point. I hate painting my nails, like really H-A-T-E it!!! Is there such a thing as fast-drying polish? (kidding). Guess it’s time for an attitude adjustment and a new approach… my daughter will LOVE this. She’s a nail-painting junkie. Thanks, I think 😉

  10. Linda says:

    Kristie, such a funny posting because I was in a tizzy last week getting my toe nails done. I just couldn’t decide what the PERFECT toe nail color should be on a color consultant. It actually crossed my mind to paint every toe nail a different color or maybe varying shades of the same hue. Ended up going with a warm red ….in a high gloss finish:)

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