Color Expert

Lori Sawaya Color Expert

Hello! I’m Lori Sawaya.

You can stop struggling to understand all the confusing information about color out there on the internet. No more visual gymnastics. Aimlessly collecting paint chips and samples ends now. I can’t wait to show you how my world of evidence-based color expertise truly makes color easy.

Whether it’s paint, wallpaper, materials, textile selection or other finishes, interior or exterior, I will guide you to the right colors for your project.


My super power is I have an immense capacity for digesting complex concepts and theories and transforming them into clear and actionable ideas and strategies. I excel in sorting out chaos and identifying key threads that need to be pulled in order to unravel complicated problems. Reweaving those threads in to simply beautiful and beautifully simple solutions is my happy place.

The perfect 50% creative and 50% scientific job for my super power didn’t exist. So, I created it. I am a Color Strategist. What that means is my color design process is science based and I know how to use special color measurements (think of it as color DNA) to help homeowners and property managers choose the perfect colors. 

24 thoughts on “Color Expert”

  1. Lori, Hope you don’t mind that I used your LRV graphic because it’s the perfect way to communicate this concept, and I gave you full credit with link to your article on LRV …

    Love all the wonderful things you’re doing & amazed I never discovered you before today. If you’re open to an email interview, I’d love to explore your site more and send over some questions. You simply type up your answers, I edit-publish-promote … and of course, we would weave your book into the story.

  2. christina nichols

    Hi Lori – After many months of referring to your amazing charts and color wheels for paint color information, I finally subscribed so I could actually download/export the color DNA info into a spreadsheet that I can sort and manipulate when looking for the right color, in the right hue family. Unfortunately I have not been able to figure out how to export the color DNA list. Can you provide some guidance.

  3. Hi Christina,

    So happy to have been the one to introduce you to the amazing world of color DNA! 🙂 You made my day.

    We sell monthly subscriptions to access our proprietary database for a very affordable $10.97 per month fee.

    Our database of color notations is copyrighted intellectual property and protected from downloading functions both technically and legally.

    I don’t anticipate that we will ever offer the database for sale.

    It would be difficult to put a price tag on it because it’s taken an untold number of man hours to build.

    However, I do teach you how to build your own database exactly how I built mine in The Four Pillars of Color course.

  4. I’m taking the Four Pillars course and have registered for the forum. I have a question that I wish to post but don’t see that option anywhere. What steps do I need to take to ask a question? Thank you in advance for your help!

  5. Hi Lori. I am no longer seeing the paint color names with their color on the left side of the table. Any ideas about what is going on?

        1. A great one does not exist, no. However, most all of the paint brands have some type of visualizer.

          But remember – online color is nothing more than a digital representation of in-real-life color. Your device determines how paint colors show up for you. Which means the actual paint color names are totally useless. At best all of the paint color visualizer programs give you a loose idea of color. For example, it can give you hints whether you’d prefer a blue more than a green kind of thing.

          It’s definitely helpful to have actual paint chips in hand while ‘painting’ your photo in different colors. Zoom-in is you friend.

  6. HI! I am currently building a home with a basement apartment. The only windows are in the two bedrooms, facing East. I bought inexpensive cabinets from Home Depot that are pretty close to Behr Ultra White, I plan on doing the trim and doors in the same color. My question for you is, what neutral paint color would look good with these cabinets and trim/doors. I plan on using 3500 lumens lighting. The flooring is a lighter natural oak color, not a white oak, but maybe an oak with no stain…. I hope this makes sense. Your input would be greatly appreciated
    Thanks, Shelle

    1. Hi Shelle,

      My advice is get an inspiration piece. A rug, a textile, wallpaper – something with a colorway that you can use as a jumping off point that you can ‘pull’ a paint color from.

  7. W. Michael McDonald

    I notice in your paint charts the notation “Home Value 8”. Does the mean you consider 8 the ideal value for wall paint in a normally lit house?

    1. Home Value is about Chroma.

      Each hue has a different maximum Chroma. Some hues can go up to a Chroma of 12 or 14 while others max out at just 8 or 10.

      The Value level where that hue’s Chroma maxes out is its Home Value.

      So a Home Value of 8 tells you that you’ll find the most chromatic, saturated color possible – in that hue family – at a Value level of 8.

      This is a video all about Chroma. I speak to max Value levels around the 8:30 mark.

  8. Lisa Hughes Tagliarino

    Hi! I’m trying to buy one of your Haint Blue paints but unable to do so. Can’t figure out what I’m doing wrong ??‍♀️ Help please! Thank you.

  9. Joe Bagodonuts

    Thanks for this useful site. Just wanted to let you know that there appears to be an error in your paint dna table database. SW 9508 is labeled as “Solitary State”. The name according to the Sherwin-Williams website is “Solitary Slate” (ie with an L not a T.)

    1. Joe Bagodonuts

      Looks like SW 9508 is fixed in DNA table. Cheers!
      BTW, another observation. SW website lists SW 7054 as “Oak Leaf Brown”. I noticed it is entered as “Suitable Brown” in DNA table.

      I hope this input is helpful. I don’t mean to be a pest. I’m just trying to return some value for the value provided to me.

      1. I absolutely appreciate your letting me know when you find mistakes in the table. About 3,000 of the colors are colors that I created color data profiles for projects and clients. I had some help with the rest. Each has been entered by hand so not surprised there are some mistakes.

        We get them fixed as soon as we know.

        The Table is ever-evolving, growing and improving!

  10. Hi Lori. I am truly loving all that you do to help me understand color. I was following your YouTube Live Stream dated Aug. 12, 2022 Color Made Easy – Perfectly Harmonized Green Color Scheme and I followed your formula in my system and I am getting limited results in color. Am I doing something incorrect?

  11. Hi April,

    I changed the number format.

    They used to round up.

    I changed the table for all the values to include one decimal point.

    To duplicate that search I did, you’ll now need to bump up the range. i.e. instead of 85, search 86.

    Thanks for asking – great questions.

    I’ll be sure to mention this in a story or video.

    I’m always saying that the difference in values source to source can simply be a matter of a decimal point – it’s so true! ?

  12. Pingback: Wedgewood | Ellen's Blog

  13. Hi, Lori. This is the wrong place to post this but I can’t find a “help” link. I subscribed to the DNA database but ended my subscription last month. This month I was charged again. I have deleted my method of payment but would like to purchase other items on the site. I can’t until this gets cleared up. Help!

    1. Hi Sharon,

      I checked your subscription and it was not cancelled. You are using a payment gateway (don’t want to say it on public comments), not a credit card.

      I did cancel the subscription for you and I see no reason why you can’t checkout with other items. Any issues, just let me know. It’s always an easy fix!

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