Back in the day I used to have a boss and everyone said he wore rose colored glasses. Although many of us were frustrated by his "sunshinyness" and wanted him to take those proverbial glasses off, I always liked the term. Tonight when I looked it up on the internet, answers.com came back with the following:
"Last week a co-worker bought a pair of stylish sunglasses with rose-colored lenses. When she went outside and put them on, all of the colors of the leaves on the trees (it's autum now) absolutely POPPED! She dashed into our building excitedly telling us of her discovery so we all lined up and took turns looking through her rose-colored glasses.
It was absolutely amazing - I have never seen the world as colorful and vibrant as when I looked through those lens. Breathtaking. It was an Ah-Ha moment for us as we finally understood how beautiful the world is through rose-colored glasses.
Now the question is - where do I find rose -colored glasses? She bought the only pair, dangnabbitt."
The point of this and why this term works, is because the world looks better with a little color.
For as long as I can remember, I have always loved color. I used to jump at the opportunity to go to an art store with my mom to see all of the papers and colored markers lined up and could stand in the various aisles forever just staring at all the different shades. Every new school year, I was always adamant with my parents that even though the school supply list said we needed the 12 pack of crayola's, that it was in fact a typo and we really needed the 72 pack with the built in sharpener. I just HAD to have the selection. Today, I am still the same way and love the various art stores and their massive selections of paint, inks, papers, etc. Another favorite spot is in the office supply section of the Kinokuniya bookstore in the ID of Seattle. Their selection of folders, notebooks, pens and the like come in every color under the sun. Just clearing up my craft supplies had me folding all kinds of tissue paper and something so simple to look at, makes me happy.
So, I think I've now established that color is a good thing. And now to bring it into your home. The easiest, least expensive way to add a little punch to your environment, is paint. Many people seem overwhelmed at the prospect of doing so and therefore we see a lot of walls, in a lot of homes with an eggshell finish of "cosmic dust". Doesn't scream excitement does it? Or really tell you much about the people that live in that home, at least we hope not. When thinking about adding color to your space, think about what inspires you, what brings you calm, what makes you happy. Many people reference vacations when thinking of colors that they like; whether its the calming shades of the beach, the gorgeous hues of fabric from India or Mexico, or the mountains of the Pacific Northwest.
A woman named Gretchen Schauffler who moved to Oregon from San Juan, Puerto Rico when she was 10, had missed the bright oranges, pinks, and blues of her childhood but eventually felt like she needed to embrace her new home with the colors of the Northwest. In creating these new colors to inspire herself, she ended up drawing others in with her creations and long story short, came to start Devine Color. She created these colors based on NW nature, from the mountains, to oceans, rivers and deserts and feels her line turns our local nature into a lifestyle. I have gone to the local specialty paint store and had a look at her color palates and they are beautiful. They cost a little more than your local hardware store but supposedly they paint on like yogurt and are of very high quality. They have to since Gretchen feels wall color has a big job to do: "to make every color in your home; floors, countertop, carpet, fabrics, and pictures look more beautiful".
For me, I tend to like my bedroom, living room and den to be darker, cozier, with all my lights on dimmers and candles everywhere. Obviously my cave dwelling does not work for everyone or every room and so where light is needed, my color inspiration comes from my love of all things Asian, focused on the red, lacquered pieces found in antique stores. This too, only goes so far, so a pale but warm yellow tone ties my rooms together and is the primary color throughout the halls. Some rooms are still in question as to "what they will be" but it is a process in living in the space, figuring out what you might like, and maybe even changing it once or twice. At $25 a gallon, that is something that most can do.
Many of the paint company's these days offer either bigger sample swatches or even a "mini" can of paint for a small fee which allows you to take it home, and give it a test run. If its swatches that you have, tape them up on the wall and live with them for several days. With actual paint samples, slap a rectangle of color up on the wall of the room you are focused on and do the same. Check on your colors at different times of the day and see what different light levels do to change the color. That might be cause for elimination of certain shades right there. After watching them over a few days, you will really start to get a sense of what you do and don't like. You may have a winner or you might be headed back to the store. That's okay as you want to love whatever it is you will be living with.
Last week I posted a link to the feature on Fine Living with their color wheel and it looks to have some really great ideas. If you haven't had a look yet, it is worth a peek. When you click on any given color, it gives you a whole range of ideas to incorporate that color into your decor. Some conservative, some very creative and many options in between.
And finally, a modern day assistant to help you with your color selection. For all of you with an iPhone or iTouch, your color app has been created. It is called MyPanatone and it will cost you $10. This app displays 5,251 shades and allows you to assemble palettes of color for everything in a room, from paint color to window treatments. It can also analyze digital photos to find the exact shade of matching Panatone chip. How convenient is that? No more last minute visits to the Home Depot paint guy, you know the one that got moved from the plumbing department last week.
Still overwhelmed? Call me.