Real Simple

“Color Has More Value Than We Realize”


Lauren Battistini


SEEING RED HAS nothing to do with anger for Lauren Battistini— just the opposite, in fact. Even a small pop of the fiery hue, whether on her lips or in her living room, is enough to make her “feel powerful and creative at the same time,” she says.

The emotional pull of color has been a lifelong obsession for Lauren, who grew up in New Orleans surrounded by the city’s music, bright beads, vibrant parades, and candy-hued buildings. Then, of course, there was all the makeup her stepmother, a cosmetics analyst, kept around for her clients. “I remember being 4 years old and lining up my crayons to figure out which shades looked best together,” she says. “There was never a time I wasn’t fixated on color.”

Fifteen years ago, she decided to turn that passion into her profession. She founded a color strategy firm that has worked with

retail, fashion, and television clients. These days, she focuses mainly on business branding and architectu­ral projects, which can mean anything from devising the palette for a swimwear company’s logo to selecting the perfect paint for the exterior of an apartment complex.

“Choosing colors, for me, is about the intersecti­on of emotion and function,” says Lauren, who’s currently working on a multibuild­ing revitaliza­tion project, using color to breathe new life into a historic town north of Houston. “If it’s a commercial space, then we need to consider who is going to be visiting and how we want customers to feel. If it’s a residentia­l space, especially if the people living there are stuck in lockdown, we want them to feel calm, soothed, optimistic, and productive,” she explains. “My work is often about choosing surfaces—walls, floors, textiles—but the power of color goes so much deeper. Its effect is absolutely psychologi­cal and even physiologi­cal. That’s the most exciting part of what I do.”

TAKE IT FROM ME: “As the CEO of my small company, I respect both the client’s and my time—so I don’t request meetings or phone calls unless I have something unique and valuable to offer, and can clearly and concisely articulate it.”

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