To say that Dee Schlotter has a colorful week ahead would be an understatement. And in February, we could all use more color in our lives. Fresh on the heels of hosting 25 PPG color stylists from around the globe for a three-day conference at Downtown’s Hotel Monaco, Dee shares a behind-the-scene look at the company’s fascinating color forecasting process (you’ll have to wait until June for the big reveal), along with unveiling new Frank Lloyd Wright-themed palettes and naming hues inspired by the idyllic Caribbean island of Aruba. Job envy?
Monday, February 6
Part of my role includes being a media spokesperson to discuss PPG’s color trends and expertise. This morning, I’m appearing on KDKA’s Pittsburgh Today Live to discuss PPG’s color forecasting process.
Later I’ll meet with designers from the PA West chapter of the American Society of Interior Designers. Their viewpoints are helpful when I’m introducing a new color tool, since they give me honest opinions. This organization advances the profession through education and advocacy, and leads the way in showing people how the power of design affects their lives. We’ll talk over lunch at Mad Mex in the North Hills—nothing tops the black bean pineapple quesadilla.
I’m also finalizing details for updated color cards in our PPG Paints™ stores (there are 18 in the Pittsburgh area), featuring the colors Frank Lloyd Wright used in Fallingwater—such as PPG Cherokee Red—and the home’s light ochre exterior, PPG Covered Wagon. The goal is to show consumers how easy it is to bring these same iconic colors into their own homes.
After work, I’ll run off that Mexican food!
Tuesday, February 7
I have a meeting at PPG’s global headquarters at One PPG Place, which gives me an excuse to zip into Nicholas Coffee in Market Square for a cup of whole leaf tea from the giant silver tins on their upper shelf. It’s the best in the city, I think.
As a follow-up to last week’s global color forecasting meeting, my team will begin laying out 120 trending colors on giant boards, to prepare for our big color forecast book that comes out in September. These themes show how consumer preferences and stories emerge from the palettes that reflect developments across regional, cultural and global markets. No other company predicts and tracks consumer insights with the science that PPG’s global color experts follow, and manufactures the coatings that are on so many surfaces consumers interact with every day. I’m proud to work with so many talented people.
Wednesday, February 8
Today I will finish up the color collection inspired by Aruba that we’re working on. We’re choosing the names for colors from the Caribbean island known for its blond beaches and trade winds. The trick is to come up with names to describe colors that also are inspiring for various regions in Aruba. This is a place that markets itself as “One Happy Island,” so it’s a fun project with bold, bright colors.
After work, I’ll go for a much-needed yoga session at Salt Power Yoga in Cranberry.
Thursday, February 9
Today, I’m recording a segment for KDKA’s Sunday Business Page with Dave Cole, vice president of PPG’s architectural coatings business for U.S. and Canada. I love doing media interviews and will never turn down an opportunity to showcase our expertise!
I’m also working on my next commercial and hospitality presentation about color trends for students at Chatham University’s School of Architecture. The date isn’t set but I want to get my thoughts down while some of the ideas from discussions with our global color experts are still fresh in my mind. The students love seeing the influences from our color stylists all over the world that can help inspire and direct their design projects.
I love working with Pittsburgh designers Steve Shorthouse, Nancy Spears, Pat Lynn Good, Fran Colby, Nancy Barsotti, Andrea Pohl and Karolyn Spagnolo—all experienced interior designers who work with PPG Paints to do in-home color consultations for customers.
Later today, I’m taking a builder to Hotel Monaco, Downtown, to show the use of color from a hospitality standpoint that Kimpton does so well. I often refer developers and media to the hotel because of its use of color in unique places.
Friday, February 10
I’m working on a project with Lowe’s, helping them to select the top 50 colors among our Olympic® paints, so that consumers can choose their favorite colors faster and more easily. It can be overwhelming for someone decorating a home to see 1,000 colors on display at a home improvement store—where do you start to pare them down? Our project will select popular colors so that someone can find, say, the best shades of orange for an energetic, happy kitchen.
Tonight, it’s family night with Frank and Jack at Diamond Market, one of our go-to restaurants when we dine Downtown—we love the poutine. The three of us are looking forward to seeing The Book of Mormon at the Benedum Center soon.
Saturday, February 11
I’m starting my morning at Amazing Yoga in Shadyside, for a little “me time” before a busy day.
Jack plays on two hockey teams—the Steel City Ice Renegades and Shaler Middle School—so typically on weekends you’ll find us at Alpha Ice Complex in Harmar. He has a game today vs. Kiski North Hills and one tomorrow against Allegheny.
Afterward, Jack and I plan to stop by Animal Friends on Camp Horne Road. We volunteer to walk the dogs, and I usually spend time cuddling with the cats and bunnies, too.
Sunday, February 12
We’re heading back to the ice rink this morning.
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