I’ve always been very in tune to my surroundings, even as a young child. Studying design has only intensified that awareness of space and how a particular space makes me feel. There’s something about a place that has been wonderfully designed and appointed that excites me, inspires me, and emboldens me. But I’ve found very rarely am I “wowed” by residential spaces and I have come to attribute these lackluster feelings to boredom. Time after time after time, I enter a home and am greeted by white, beige, taupe, and/or grey walls. In addition to the insipid paint choices is insipid, beige, taupe, black, or brown furniture. These dull spaces, while “nice” (I always use that word. “Oh, it’s nice.”), are boring. Very little is memorable about them except that they are “nice”. I’ve deemed these spaces the “I-don’t-want-to-step-on-any-toes-not-even-my-own-so-I’m-going-neutral” homes. I get it. Picking paint/furniture colors that are bold or a little off from center may be shocking. It may cause someone to actually comment and have an opinion. Or it may cause someone to actually remember something about the house, other than that it was “nice.” The spaces I remember most are those that surprised me with a bold, teal living room or a shade of purple so deep, it can only be described as eggplant. In other words, spaces that have embraced color have also left a lasting impression upon me. Think about it. The point of this blog post is not to harp on why neutral is bad. The point is to explain why color should be embraced. Color is light that is reflected. Some time ago, a color wheel was invented to demonstrate the relationships between primary (red; blue; yellow), secondary and complementary colors. There is a whole field of study devoted to color called color theory and it examines color using the color wheel, color harmony and the context of how colors are used. For someone like me, this is all very fascinating but, for others, the main thing to understand is color harmony. Color harmony is exactly what it sounds like, selecting colors that are pleasing (harmonious) to (with) one another. According to www.colormatters.com, color harmony creates an inner sense of order and balance in the visual experience, “When something is not harmonious, it is either boring or chaotic.” Color harmony can be created using colors that are side by side on the color wheel or those that are directly opposite each other on the color wheel.
Color can invoke emotion. Subtle, cool hues can relax you, while vibrant, warm tones can be stimulating. Some colors can be jarring. Others can be boring and blah. But really, there are no wrong colors. There may be wrong color combinations but there are no wrong colors. An example of this ideology can be seen in the production of Caesarstone’s (www.caesarstoneus.com) “Apple Martini” quartz countertop.
Some may be taken aback at the thought of a lime green countertop but in the right environment and paired with the right accessories and appliances, a lime green countertop introduces an interesting talking point and adds a feeling of whimsy to the home. It says a lot about the homeowner’s personality without him/her ever having to utter a sound.
Often clients tell me they haven’t selected a paint color because they are afraid they won’t like it. I always reassure them, paint is the easiest and least expensive thing to change. It’s not permanent; if you don’t like it, choose another paint color. It’s a very simple fix. Color strikes an emotion. It resonates with something deep within us. We see color and immediately form opinions. Don’t allow the fear that you may not like your color choice stop you from allowing your personality to shine through in your home. Be bold or be subtle. Be daring or be traditional. Just be something and whatever that is, please don’t let it be “nice”.