Brilliant colors and stark value contrasts between dark and light with the addition of warm earthen tones make up the complex palette of colors associated the Mexican Celebration of Dia de los Muertos (the Day of the Dead). Not only are these colors seen among the flowers and decorations that make up the various ofrendas (altars), foods and decor that are part of the celebration, the colors metaphorically and symbolically mirror the mystical underpinnings of the Dia de los Muertos celebration.
Landscape artists often refer to the color combination of violet/purple and green as “Nature’s Lovers”. Not only do purple and green look good together on an artist’s canvas, they can look amazing together in your home. From soft gray violet to deep amethyst purples, painting your walls your favorite shade of purple will go with more colors than you might think.
Visualize “fire engine red” and the color red rushes to mind with or without a vision of the wheels. Seeing color is such a natural condition that we often don’t question why we see colors and we presume that everybody sees the same colors. Though most of us do see the same colors, some people can’t.
Because silver and white are such popular car colors, car manufacturers will tend to play it safe and make more silver and white colored cars. Is the most popular car color the sign of a trend or a self-fulfilling prophecy?
Put a red tomato on a white sand beach and your eye will instantly focus on the tomato. The color difference (even if you know nothing about tomatoes) will be enough to capture your attention. Not only does this visual attribute help you find a snack or your socks, it’s an important concept to keep in mind when you’re painting your house.
Mother Nature was giving us a lesson in whites along with a reminder that the borders we humans put around our cities, states, territories and countries are invisible to her. During those moments I spent looking at the subtly colored layers of white snow, white became my new “green”.
Good design snakes our attention. Interesting design of all types, including home interior design is about moving the eye, mind and body throughout the work. Whether that work is architectural, a photograph, painting or product, when the viewer is engaged, the work is a success. That doesn’t mean that good design appeals equally to everyone. That’s not possible. Despite that, there are general concepts or tools that designers and artists of all types use. One of those tools is the balance of design repetition to variation.
You were covered in color psychology from the day you saw your first pink or blue baby blanket. Scientists, religions, governments, mystics and artists have always assigned meaning to colors over the centuries of human kind and there’s no way to get away from those meanings. Regardless of the culture you’re from you’ve been steeped in color symbolism.
How those color meanings translate for you depends upon when and where you were born as well as your gender, socio-economic status, the perception of your race and culture within the larger population, as well as your personal thoughts, beliefs and experiences.