Posts Tagged ‘decorating with color’

PicMonkey Collage - colors2

As soon as I earned my first paycheck, I started to buy clothes in green and purple. In hindsight, I think it was a reaction to wearing a school uniform that consisted of brown, cream, mustard and red; it literally took me about 20 years before I would wear any of my school colors again.

So, green and purple became my automatic favorites; in fact, I think I spent most of the late 80’s wearing purple and green sweater’s over leggings (well, that, and an over-sized graphic t-shirt inspired by Frankie Goes to Hollywood).

Now, I’ve forgiven my school, and I love it when I see unusual color pairings that just work (even though we sometimes think they shouldn’t). The color trend is more about showing your personality, instead of following design rules, because really, rules are like words in the Dictionary; they are a wonderful base of knowledge, but they still need to be updated every now and again.

Like peas and carrots, these color combinations may not be your first choice, but they will always have a certain unexpected charm…

Picmonkey Collage - colors1

PicMonkey Collage - colors


Wendy E. Wrzos  http://wendyandthebluegiraffe.blogspot.com/

Thank you to:  A Sweet Pea Chef (Carrots), The Smithsonian (Peas), Chictopia (Dress) Acute Designs(Flowers) Pixi Wishes  Forehead Kisses (Cake), Pinterest (Door and Sea Glass)  House Beautiful (Living Room).


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Have you noticed that television shows, furniture and clothing are all being re-introduced to us with a healthy dose of 1960’s reality? So what if it doesn’t reflect 2012, maybe it just simply makes people feel happier. When life feels complicated, we crave simplicity, we reminisce about how things used to be.
Even people who say they don’t like retro are drawn to the occasional piece that is totally out of character; suddenly finding themselves being cheered up by a square, orange teapot, or a ridiculously, impractical new dress. Typically, the colors back then were brighter, and the designs more streamlined. TV shows from that era depict an old-fashioned view of life; men and women had defined roles, and families spent more time together. People drank a bit too much, and smoked without worrying about getting sick. Technology and cars were limited and expensive, making your private life very public, and forcing teenagers to rely on the availability of their parent’s old station wagon.
Of course our nostalgia removes all of the bad bits, but a retro life, on the surface, just sounds less complicated. Incorporating our lives with these quirky, bold reminders makes us smile when we are over-scheduled, forcing us to take ourselves a little less seriously.
Some trends are deliberate, forced upon us by bored designers, but I don’t think this one is. I think it was born from an emotional need to cheer people up when the world became a little glum!
How can you be worried when your sofa is lime green? Living with a little bit of retro makes you feel like it can all be fixed with a pie in the oven, a good hug, an Elvis record and a shiny, pink Cadillac!
(Lovely photograph courtesy of Kate Bingham, UK, with a little bit of Elvis added in for good measure)

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When a client asked me to help her choose colors based on the Color Wheel, I was a little unsure. Yes, I have an Interior Design Color Wheel, but, personally, I sometimes dig my heels in when I am told what I am “supposed” to do. I guess the Color Wheel falls into that category – being told what to do…

So, we sat down, looked at the front, chose our color, spun the wheel, then started to read the back of the card. We both burst out laughing, neither one of us understanding what to do next. We put it away, and chose the colors based on her favorite things instead. If nothing else, it was a lesson; it gave me something to write about, and left me wondering if I could explain it to my readers (just in case you’re curious).

Did you know that the Color Wheel was invented in the 1600’s by Sir Isaac Newton? It was originally based on sunlight – he separated the sunbeams with a prism, which created different colors (just like a rainbow), then joined them back together to show the natural progression. So, does that mean that if I look at the color sequence of a rainbow, and turn it into a circle, it will look like the color wheel? Well, I just tried it, and it does! The colors of the rainbow are red, orange, yellow, green. blue, indigo and violet …

Now that I know where it came from, I understand it even less. Why are we basing our judgement on a rainbow? Does that mean that we should decorate according to all natural combinations? If I wear green and brown together, won’t I just look like a tree?

Anyway, back to the story. The premise is that by spinning a wheel you will be told which colors go together, therefore, you will know exactly how to decorate your home. It begins with you highlighting the main color that you want to use. Once you do this, it will automatically bring you to the coordinating set of colors, based on a few guidelines. Complimentary (the color opposite the main color), Monochromatic (any shade of your main color) Split Complimentary (the two colors either side of your Complimentary) and Related (any shade that is either side of your main color). Confused? Don’t be. If you are a bit cautious, maybe tones of the same shade would be a good beginning. More adventurous, choose the complimentary or split-complimentary colors.

If you buy an Interior Design Color Wheel, my advice is to read the directions, let it guide you, but most of all have fun playing with the spinning circle.  After all, it is just a round rainbow…

Wendy E. Wrzos http://wendyandthebluegiraffe.blogspot.com/

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