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Living with Color, from an Artist’s Point of View

 

Rarely, if ever, have I met a color I didn’t like, especially if in a good combination with other colors.

 

Because by profession and education, I am a designer, an illustrator, and painter of pictures, living with color is what I do best.

 

P.T. Barnum is right! My world is also cherry red and turquoise and lime green. It’s also, taupe, celadon, sand, and terra cotta. I can’t even imagine a world without color. It may not be consciously central in everyone’s life, but you can be certain that it affects everyone. It has the power to be irritating or soothing. It can raise your blood pressure, lower it, suppress your appetite, energize you, or rock you to sleep. I’ve also heard it said that by using bright colors in a baby’s room, you can increase the baby’s IQ.

 

Color is powerful, particularly in interior design because it comprises our entire environment. We're all living with color every day!

 

You can’t take the painter out of the designer and vice versa. When designing a room, I like to think of the entire room as a painting. When facing a blank canvas, one thinks of organization and structure. There is a structure to the use of color. You can use many hues in a room setting, but your hues have to get along with each other like interlocking hands. Otherwise they will just fly around and you’ll have chaos instead of order. One color will affect the color next to it. The only way to know how any group of colors relate is by putting them together and stepping back. Take a look. Did you create harmony or discord? You be the judge.

 

When structuring the color in your room, think of three big color spots. Odd numbers work better than even numbers, and three is a good number to work with. By color spot I am referring to the dominant shade. Your rug may be predominantly brown, so that brown is one of your spots. Your rug (floor) has a dominant tone, your walls are another tone, your major piece of furniture is a spot. All three spots should relate to one another and be pleasing together. Voila! You now have structure. Congratulations. Great start!

 

We all prefer living with color that suits our tastes and personalities. If you are comfortable with earth tones and neutrals, go for it. If you’re a blue person, go for that. If you are an art collector and like to have art on your walls, then select a tone that brings out your art. You don’t necessarily have to paint your walls white. Line up your art around the room and then decide what color to use on the wall that will make the art the star of the show.

 

I have so much more to say on this topic. Meanwhile, you might like to read this: Color It You! 

 

Enjoy your gentle sand. Enjoy your bold red.  By all means, enjoy living with color!

 

~Joan Saloomey

 

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