Sunday, March 10, 2013

The Life of a Color

Reading the Sunday paper, always a ritual around here, I happened across and article about the color of all things, kitchen appliances. It seems that stainless steel reigns supreme still have after more than a few years but that there is beginning to be some movement in colors of yore. White and black are also considered "safe" colors. You have to wonder about stainless steel though. It shows everything. Every fingerprint, ever water spot, to keep it shiny its best not to use it or have a maid to immediately clean up the mess you made simply washing your hands.

Could there be a return to the colors of my past? Who of the boomer generation can forget Harvest Gold, or antiqued Avocado, or a brown that looked pretty much like, well you know. That along with gold, orange and avocado shag carpeting pretty much sums of my memory of colors, colors that make me actually flinch to see today. However, I must say, whoever the salesman was who sold enough avocado shag carpeting to cover the world, must have had a grand retirement. It was everywhere.

The colors shown on the appliances in the article though were not any color that I remember but kinder, and lighter versions that still were festooned with lots of stainless steel accents.

This brings up the matter of color. What IS the life of color?

Here is a vermillion tinted birdhouse accented with reds, yellows, purples and turquoise. Actual colors you might see in New Mexico or at least the Southwest. I have always been drawn to these colors and for at least 40 years of my life they were and still are popular. The copper roof adds a nice accent to the whole, the patina reinforcing the colors.

Why is it that some colors always remain popular and others ebb and flow? The wildly colored cars of my childhood, so reverently restored to probably better than new status, have been replaced by black, white, silver and grey cars. Look in any parking lot and its pretty boring.

Anyone daring to buy another color is told that they have to consider the resale value of the car. If I like it, I'll most likely keep the car until it literally falls to the ground.

The world around us is filled with color. I've noticed the past few days on my morning walk that the fruit trees have seemed to burst open almost overnight. Reds and pinks, and white dot many of the trees on my morning walk. The magnolias have already pretty much come and gone.

However, you better not pick too different a color to paint your house today either. Gone are the flights of fancy Victorian home owners used to paint their homes. Here is California it had better be off-white, tan, beige, something in that range. You might use a pale green but again, rarely anything resembling the rich, strong and often deep colors of Craftsmen homes of the early 1900's.

We have decided to be safe. Witness the number of people, especially men, wearing black. It doesn't offend and is actually easy to wear. I remember seeing a closet where other than the dress shirts (though even some of them, everything was black. You can get dressed sleepwalking!

Be daring. Wear some color! Put an accent piece in your home. Wake up a dull room with an accent of color. If nothing else it gives guests something to talk about, and you to enjoy. Color is around us everywhere, why not use it as well?


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