Color ideas to help you create a sense of spacious flow in a small home.
Red has such a reputation as an appetite stimulating, passion rousing color that I’ve had clients insist on putting red in a room for that reason, or insist on not using red for that reason. And just like the many varieties of reds, there are just as many reactions and beliefs surrounding the color red. Passionate, powerful, stimulating, argumentative, sexual, life-giving, playful, decorative, deep, are just some of the concepts that people attach to the color red and/or feel from the color red.
Start randomly choosing colors that attract you and after you’ve made 50 to 100 selections, there will be a pattern to your color choices. Guaranteed. I see it with every client.
Calling natural gas the new “blue” doesn’t turn it green no matter how many times anybody says it. And when the gas company insists that it does, their efforts to tint the green movement into a shade that they wash their product with takes green-washing to a new low.
Color communicates. Any color expert, designer or artist will agree with that statement. But ask those creative types what exactly a color is communicating and the answers you get may have surprisingly little in common. Here’s why: Color is a language that continually evolves with the cultures that contribute the shades and tones of meaning each of us sees. And, each individual brings their personal biases and perceptions to the mix, further complicating things. Consequently, the meaning of a color is a moving target.
I’ve been thinking a lot about color and culture, and have been exploring that theme in my fine art for many years. The landscape around us effects how we perceive color. This week I painted this silk scarf directly from the inspiration of some recent travels.
With color on my mind, this past weekend I cooked up a dinner party and menu with a color theme – the red, white and green of the Mexican flag. Inspired by the cookbook, Frida’s Fiesta’s – Recipes and Reminiscences of Life with Frida Kahlo by Marie-Pierre Colle and Guadalupe Rivera, I’ve been experimenting with the recipes and themes in the book. A very beautiful cookbook, the photos and stories are inspiring. The recipes. . . well, they remind me of my abuelita’s (grandmother’s) recipes, something very important is missing from most of them. The missing item is usually an ingredient, amount or technique that ranges between crucial to the success of the recipe to a minor taste problem. Maybe the recipe editor had more to do with this than Frida did, but nonetheless, reading her cookbook reminds me of my abuelita’s passionate artistic temperament (she was a concert pianist and gifted chef). The recipes that my abuelita gave me were always more of a suggestion than a solution.
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.
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?
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”.
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.
Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month is an opportunity to celebrate the beauties and gifts the heritage of Hispanic culture as well as to acknowledge the mosaic of cultures that make up all of the U.S. The irony for me being an acculturated Latina born in Los Angeles is that I know that though Anglos from many cultures have representative crafts saturated with color, like Polish paper-cuts or Scandinavian tole painting, American Anglos will often focus on the colorful aspects of Mexican American visual culture while ignoring most of the subtle colors that are part of the same mix. To this day, there are no Latina visual artists licensing their decor lines at the supported level of acceptance any of the above Anglo artists have achieved.
Best Ever You magazine has invited Cristina Acosta to be their Paint and Color Expert. The editor, Elizabeth Hamilton-Guarino along with her team has put together an anomaly in the current publishing business climate; a successful and growing magazine. Kudos to the staff at Best Ever You!
Painting your ceiling white is not necessary or even always a good idea. White paint will not always make your room look larger, cleaner and more fashionable. Sometimes it will, but sometimes it’s a big mistake. Mostly, people paint their ceilings white because they don’t know what else to do. I’m not exactly sure when white ceilings became the fashion, though I suspect the country’s fascination with white paint began in 1893 at the Chicago World’s Fair. The famed White City made of white stucco and brightly lit with the new-fangled street lights must have been an entrancing alternative to the dark countryside and dimly lit city streets filled with dark tenement buildings.
Have you ever wondered why when fashions change with the season you see a lot of the same colors at a clothing store or home decor store and those same colors seem to be everywhere? If you think it’s because those colors are suddenly “in-style” by some magical arrangement of molecules, think again. The group think behind the styles in colors comes from, you guessed it — a group!keep looking »