A favorite topic for me to talk about and study is color and color theory. I have always been moved by color and fascinated by its affects on the human condition. Beginning as a child, studying the color wheel in grade school art, to more sophisticated study of psychological impacts of colors and color combinations; I love it all.
At its core, color preference is very personal. Most people have a favorite color. My husband’s favorite color is blue. My daughter’s fav is yellow. To the extreme, there are those that have their “signature” color. My dear friend’s mom is obsessed with purple. My grandmother’s 80-something year old neighbor decorated her entire condo (and I’m talkin’ every room) in the black, white, and red combo of her favorite professional wrestler’s costume (I know, right?). Admittedly, folks that latch on to a color in this way, make it easy for us to shop for them, am I right? Having a true love of one color really helps narrow the focus, or aids in locking in a choice. (Which I’ve already established that I have a problem with.)
But color preference can also be suggested and “taught” to us by media and industry. Think in terms of social phrases we have learned, “The Little Black Dress” (a known symbol of sophistication), “No White after Labor Day” (which can invoke eye rolls from others if violated), “Pink is for girls” (but did you know that in early 19th century England, pink was actually for boys?), or even “Orange is the new Black” (LOL, hopefully not for most of us). Sports teams and school colors have a tremendous influence. And who can’t see the hand that one “little” show on HGTV has played in the mass change from taupe to grey for interiors.
Fashions and interior fashions are seasonal and cyclical. Some of us are old enough to remember the avocado and turquoise fad in the 70’s. And MOST of us can remember the Tuscan reds and golds of the early 2000’s. (A lot of us are probably still undoing all of THAT.) Well the Turquoise and green are back with a vengeance in home décor. And burgundy was super hot in fashion this year. It won’t be long before we see it creeping into our homes in the form of throw pillows and dishtowels.
I am definitely one who is influenced. Is it because of my intense love of color, or my constant desire for change? I’m not sure. Probably both! For me, and you can ask my kids, I do not have a favorite color. I actually hate when I’m asked what my favorite color is. For me, I’m influenced by my mood, my wardrobe, the season, an occasion, the weather, you name it; these different factors affect me and my choice. I laugh because you could walk my house and tell what season it was when I decorated the room. In the winter, I tend toward cool colors, hence my white, teal and silver dining room. Styled in the fall was our family room that sports warmer tones. Whenever my daughter asks me what my favorite color is, she knows to always ask, “Mommy, what’s your favorite color TODAY?”
This broad love of color makes decorating quite challenging for me, especially when I am starting from scratch. I don’t function well with endless choices. (Have I mentioned that before?) For people like me, having an inspiration piece, or a color palette, is essential to narrow the focus and getting started. (See “Inspiration” posted 5/25/17). Wherever you stand on the color “wheel”, go for what you love, even if it’s just for the moment.
1 Photo from www.hgtv.com.
2 “The Destroyer”, Dick Beyer photo from www.getbig.com.
3 Let’s Goooooo Mountaineers! (Photo from www.shopwvu.com).
5 Modigliani Frutta Laccata Olive oil jar. This was my color inspiration for my kitchen back in 2005.
6 Octagonal plate of Rose Medallion china purchased by my grandparents in Manilla, Philippines around 1948. My color inspiration for my family room/kitchen today. It’s a work in progress, of course.