As we finally emerge from winter and its landscape devoid of color, I'm anxious for the hues of spring-and why not? The creativity that unfolds around us month by month gives us so much inspiration-in all aspects of our lives. Take decorating, for example. It seems to me the world is divided into two camps. And I am not talking about blue states and red states, Democrats and Republicans. I'm speaking of those who decorate with color and those who do not. (Even in the art world, the dichotomy exists. The Metropolitan has "Jasper Johns: Gray" while MoMA has "Color Chart: Reinventing Color, 1950 to Today.") But no matter which camp you're in, color is part of our language. Think about the expressions "feeling blue" or "seeing red" or "green with envy." Color is deeply entrenched in our everyday life: from "red sky at morn" (as the sailors' expression goes) to a brilliant blue sky to a dramatic orange sunset. So it's only natural that color should become part of how we live and how we decorate. It wasn't always that way. While the Victorians loved color and pattern, the Bauhaus School urged people to strip it away, so sharp, angular architecture could take center stage. But people rebelled. Tom Wolfe wrote in From Bauhaus to Our House (Bantam) that people were desperate for "color and coziness."
Elaine Ryan (who has a house in northwestern Connecticut) writes in her book Color Your Life (St. Martin's Press) that "we have a natural relationship to color [because] we're often emotionally affected by colors that were present during pivotal times of our lives." I remember moving to nearby Riverdale, starting at a new school and seeing snow for the first time. I played in the snow, forgetting about time. At one point, I looked up and saw my mother's frantic face after she had searched the neighborhood looking for me. I still remember seeing my mother's beautiful red wool coat as she burst into tears upon finding me. Well, as you might have guessed, I love red to this day. In fact, when decorating it's always the first color I choose. Red always works for me. It represents warmth, comfort and security. So when decorating, it really does take some work to find colors that are right for you. Don't be afraid to tap memories for color insight. I decorate not with my head but with my heart.
Editor in Chief
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