Posts belonging to Category Color



HAVE YOURSELF A COLOR PARTY

Early in my design career, a client presented me with a challenge for re-designing her living room.

She wanted a new look, with lots of color. Per her instructions, she wanted to keep two existing chairs , one red and one blue, but replace most of the remaining furnishings, including the sofa.

Did you catch the part about the chairs – one red, the other blue? The real challenge here, was to connect these seemingly disparate pieces into a harmonious color scheme.

Well, I love a challenge, and every project has one. It’s what usually get the creative juices flowing.

It is also where the ‘Color Party’ comes in.

Let me explain.

Every design project needs a color scheme, and in order to achieve this, one needs to consider which colors to ‘invite’ to the party. It’s the same idea as coming up with a guest list, and subsequently weeding out the ‘guests’ that don’t quite fit in.

If you think of any party you’ve ever given, wasn’t this the typical starting point? After all, you don’t want to invite guests who don’t get along, do you?

A color party is no different. The best part, however, is that you can dispense with food and entertainment. A theme can be a good idea, if you’ve narrowed down your choices to warm, or cool colors, or a certain mood that you’re trying to achieve.

For example, if your goal is to create a tranquil, calm retreat, red might not be a welcome guest.

You get the idea.

Be forewarned that certain guests might arrive with an attitude, and may not get along with others no matter how clear your intention. Should you seat Peacock Blue next to Orange? What about Grey? The former might be a bit jarring, the latter may not be exciting enough.

Rules for a Color Party (Yes, there are Rules)


Purchase a Color Wheel

A color wheel is a handy tool that can be purchased at any art supply store.

This is a great resource for educating yourself on color, especially if you are unfamiliar with terms like ‘complementary’, or analogous’, or the meaning of hues, tints and tones.

Brushing up before hand, so you can address your guests accordingly, is always a good idea.

 

Consider a Theme

What mood are you striving for?

A few words come to mind: 

Sensuous (as in slightly exotic, with  rich reds, browns, and gold);

Nurturing (earth tones, in varying shades of green or brown);

Contemplative or Serene (a watery theme of cool blues and greens, mixed with neutrals such as taupe, beige, or off-white);

Dramatic (strong, jewel-toned colors, such as a sunny yellow, that can lend excitement to your space); or perhaps

Elegant (black and white, chocolate brown, and other neutrals come to mind).

 

Refine Your Guest List

The guests here, being the colors, of course.

Based on the theme you’ve selected, invite groupings of the most appealing colors to your party. Keep in mind existing surfaces that you don’t plan to change, such as floors and carpeting.

Remember – you want everyone to get along!

Steer clear of colors that tend to show up with an Attitude – they should not be invited.

 

Have Fun with Paint Samples

You can always rely on traditional paint chips, available at most paint supply stores, but I like some of the more innovative sample pots of actual paint, that are also readily available.

YOLO Colorhouse offers poster-size sheets painted with the actual paint color, so there’s no guessing if the color you’re seeing is the ‘true’ color , or not.

The coolest part is the sticky tape on the back, that allows you to temporarily attach the painted sheets to your walls, to see firsthand if the color scheme is to your liking.

A quick word about eco-friendly paint options – do yourself, and your guests, a favor by choosing sustainable paints that will be kind to your health and the environment.

 

Don’t Give Up

Despite your best efforts, your guests may still misbehave.

They may try to steal the spotlight, and not let others have their moment to shine. Give yourself time to re-coup, then invite a different group of guests and try again. Ask them to leave their egos at the door.

So there you have it!

Choose your project, review the Rules above, and throw yourself a Color Party.

Let me know how it goes.

DO YOU FOLLOW THE RECIPE?

This past weekend, we visited the Farmer’s Market. 

Walking among the stalls, I was thrilled to see the colorful rows of fresh produce –a sure sign that Summer has arrived.

Later in the day, as I inspected my selection of fresh asparagus, baby beets, snow peas, and lettuces, I wasn’t sure how they’d be combined them for the evening meal.

We ended up with soup.

I just tossed everything in the pot – well, except for the beets and lettuce. (I don’t think beets would be a good idea–unless you’re making borscht).

So anyway, I didn’t follow a recipe. I didn’t need to.

The next day, as I was preparing a salad for a potluck dinner, I was following a recipe. That’s when I realized I was missing a key ingredient.

Oh no!

At first, I panicked. Then I decided to improvise with my  Farmer’s Market finds from the day before. It was strangely relieving.

That’s what made me think about Rules and Following Recipes.

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ARE YOU FEELING BLUE?

Many years ago, while attending a seminar on Kitchen Design, I learned that blue is the least popular color for kitchens.

Not only that, the speaker went on to say, but there is hardly any food that is blue.

I thought that couldn’t possibly be true.

I envisioned fresh blueberries, and blackberries – well, maybe they’re more on the purple side – and….and….I couldn’t think of anything else.

The speaker was correct – Mother Nature had it right all along.

You see, Blue is an appetite suppressant.

The reason this matters in the kitchen, is that if blue is the predominant color, there might be less interest in eating.

Which – if you’re cooking up a feast – is not the goal, at all.

If you paint a dining room red, on the other hand, you might suddenly have a lot of hungry diners. And if you try to come up with a list of foods that are red, you’d have a lot more to choose from than the blue category.

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WHAT DOES YOUR HOME FEEL LIKE?

Your home is like a 3-dimensional self-portrait.  

It says volumes about who you are.

Not to mention how you live.

I work with clients all the time who have a clear sense of what they’d like their homes to look like. (They’re just not sure how to put it all together).

Yet, it’s quite another thing to know how you want your home to feel.

It’s an elusive quality, hard to define.

On one level, this is likely because what works for one person, might be meaningless to another.

On another level, it’s because knowing how you want your home to feel means tuning in to your deepest desires and understanding what makes you feel whole.

What you want you to home look like, is based almost entirely on your sense of vision.

You might focus on your favorite colors, a certain fabric, or a particular style of sofa.

If you’re selecting new appliances, your choices are based on a combination of appearance and function.

Cost figures in too! (In the end, we always need to think about dollar signs).

However, let’s focus for a moment, on how you’d like your home to feel.

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YOUR INTERNAL COLOR COMPASS

We all have our favorite colors.    

The ones we’re drawn to instinctively in the way we dress and what we surround ourselves with in our homes.

Me, I like blue, especially a faded blue, one that leans toward blue-grey. Other days I might be more in the mood for yellow.

Speaking of moods, who among us hasn’t had ‘one of those days’, the kind where you look in your closet and nothing suits your dark mood but black.

So you dress yourself in black, head to toe, and head out the door.

That’s a good example of your Internal Color Compass dictating what you should wear, based on your mood.

Of course, this internal compass can serve you just as well when you’re feeling sunny and upbeat, and it can also help determine the color palette in your home.

The following four Color Palettes were shared at a recent Sherwin Williams Color Forecast presentation.

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HAVE YOURSELF A COLOR PARTY

Early in my design career, a client presented me with a challenge for re-designing her living room. She wanted a new look, with lots of color. Per her instructions, she wanted to keep two existing chairs , one red and one blue, but replace most of the remaining furnishings, including the sofa.

Did you catch the part about the chairs – one red, the other blue? The real challenge here, was to connect these seemingly disparate pieces into a harmonious color scheme.

Well, I love a challenge, and every project has one. It’s what usually get the creative juices flowing.

It is also where the ‘Color Party’ comes in. Let me explain.

Every design project needs a color scheme, and in order to achieve this, one needs to consider which colors to ‘invite’ to the party. It’s the same idea as coming up with a guest list, and subsequently weeding out the ‘guests’ that don’t quite fit in.

If you think of any party you’ve ever given, wasn’t this the typical starting point? After all, you don’t want to invite guests who don’t get along, do you?

A color party is no different. The best part, however, is that you can dispense with food and entertainment. A theme can be a good idea, if you’ve narrowed down your choices to warm, or cool colors, or a certain mood that you’re trying to achieve.

For example, if your goal is to create a tranquil, calm retreat, red might not be a welcome guest.

You get the idea.

Be forewarned that certain guests might arrive with an attitude, and may not get along with others no matter how clear your intention. Should you seat Peacock Blue next to Orange? What about Grey? The former might be a bit jarring, the latter may not be exciting enough.

Rules for a Color Party (Yes, there are Rules)

Purchase a Color Wheel A color wheel is a handy tool that can be purchased at any art supply store. This is a great resource for educating yourself on color, especially if you are unfamiliar with terms like ‘complementary’, or analogous’, or the meaning of hues, tints and tones. Brushing up before hand, so you can address your guests accordingly, is always a good idea.

Consider a Theme What mood are you striving for? A few words come to mind:  Sensuous (as in slightly exotic, with  rich reds, browns, and gold); Nurturing (earth tones, in varying shades of green or brown); Contemplative or Serene (a watery theme of cool blues and greens, mixed with neutrals such as taupe, beige, or off-white); Dramatic (strong, jewel-toned colors, such as a sunny yellow, that can lend excitement to your space); or perhaps Elegant (black and white, chocolate brown, and other neutrals come to mind).

Refine Your Guest List The guests here, being the colors, of course. Based on the theme you’ve selected, invite groupings of the most appealing colors to your party. Keep in mind existing surfaces that you don’t plan to change, such as floors and carpeting. Remember – you want everyone to get along!

Steer clear of colors that tend to show up with an Attitude – they should not be invited.

Have Fun with Paint Samples You can always rely on traditional paint chips, available at most paint supply stores, but I like some of the more innovative sample pots of actual paint, that are also readily available.

YOLO Colorhouse offers poster-size sheets painted with the actual paint color, so there’s no guessing if the color you’re seeing is the ‘true’ color , or not. The coolest part is the sticky tape on the back, that allows you to temporarily attach the painted sheets to your walls, to see firsthand if the color scheme is to your liking.

A quick word about eco-friendly paint options – do yourself, and your guests, a favor by choosing sustainable paints that will be kind to your health and the environment.

Don’t Give Up Despite your best efforts, your guests may still misbehave. They may try to steal the spotlight, and not let others have their moment to shine. Give yourself time to re-coup, then invite a different group of guests and try again. Ask them to leave their egos at the door.

So there you have it! Choose your project, review the Rules above, and throw yourself a Color Party.  Let me know how it goes.

To subscribe to my eZine, and receive a FREE copy of my ebook Living Green:  12 Simple Steps for Creating an Eco-Friendly Home, please visit my website at harmonydesignsudio.com.

A RIOT OF COLOR

I just launched my new ezine, Live in Harmony, and no sooner did my first issue appear with an article on the ‘Power of Color’, than our local paper ran a piece titled ‘Applying the Power of Color’.        

How timely was that?

Seems a local artist had the idea to paint the lobby of a downtown housing facility. Along with a team of volunteers she transformed the walls from institutional drab to cheerful and upbeat.

It was the bleakness of the interiors that convinced the artist she could really make a difference. Just by painting the lobby walls in bright colors, she ultimately brightened the lives of those who live there.

Color can do that!

Earlier this week, I spotted bright yellow daffodils – my favorite – in the neighborhood supermarket, a sure sign that Spring is just around the corner, and a great example of how color can instantly lift ones’ mood.

Of course, the lack of color can also do the opposite, as evidenced by many a gray Seattle day this time of year.

One could argue that soft, neutral colors can also relax and soothe, but there are times when what we really need is a jolt of color to wake up our senses.

Kind of like the rush of seeing my first daffodils of the year. Just writing about this makes me want to go out and buy some!

Several months ago, in an earlier post, I asked:  ‘What color is your Life?’ Today I will rephrase that, and ask instead:

What color makes your heart sing?

To subscribe to my eZine, and receive a FREE copy of my ebook Living Green:  12 Simple Steps for Creating an Eco-Friendly Home, please visit my website at harmonydesignsudio.com .

What Color Is Your Life?

I heard this question at a recent lecture. The speaker was Alicia Keshishian, and the way she posed the question was:  ‘What color would you choose to describe your Life?’

What a great question!

Last year, I worked with an 84 year old client who was downsizing to a retirement home. Her previous home had been shades of peach and pink, but this time around she had decided on yellow. Not a muted yellow, mind you, but a bright, cheery color.

We re-upholstered the sofas in a yellow floral, and everything, including the walls, are varying shades of yellow from soft to stronger hues. The paint color, by the way, isn’t for the timid – it’s as bright and welcoming as the lady herself. Walking into her home is like entering a brilliant sunroom, even when the skies outside her windows are gray. (We do live in Seattle, after all).

For myself, what color would I choose? Well, I’ve always loved the color blue, but knowing that blue is often associated with feelings of sadness, this somehow doesn’t seem right. So I’ve decided, for now, on the color Turquoise, a more intense shade of blue that is also not for the weak.

When I was a child, I was one given a gorgeous Indian silk scarf, in the most brilliant turquoise I had ever seen. The turquoise was accented with gold threads; I had never seen anything so beautiful in all my life, let alone been given such an amazing gift. I still have this scarf, and it is still in it’s original box! So yes, I think turquoise does it for me.

What about you? What color best describes YOUR life?

Shoes of a Different Color

Have you ever seen someone wearing different colored shoes? Same style, but different color? On purpose?

I had this experience yesterday, during a seminar focused on Color. The shoes, one lime green, the other turquoise made a dynamic fashion statement! The speaker was equally dynamic. I envied her ability to go out in public with intentionally mismatched shoes.

I’m not sure I could ever pull that off,  but of course the seminar wasn’t all about the shoes. Among other things, I learned that during the course of a typical day, 60-85% of our decisions are influenced by Color.

Let’s think about that a minute. We go to the grocery store, and we’re drawn to the colorful array of fruits and vegetables in the produce department; whatever catches our eye and looks tempting we’re inclined to buy. Sometimes it’s on our grocery list, sometimes it isn’t. Think of your choice of cereal. Is it based solely on ingredients, or does the packaging design somehow influence the purchase? I could keep going…

Whether shopping for clothes, dishes or bedding, color certainly figures in every single time. Need new shoes? What color will they be?

Which brings us to Interior Design, where Color is huge. It drives an entire project, from beginning to end. There isn’t a single decision that I can think of, that wouldn’t be based on color. I always advocate having a Plan from the get-go, and developing a color scheme is central to that Plan.

Playing with color is fun, and wearing different colored shoes…how fun is that ?!