Thursday, December 20, 2012

Why Not Use Color Year Around?

I was looking around from my sickbed in the den today and noticed that I hadn't moved my wild clock and the even wilder crazy quilt trays when we decorated for Christmas. The "monster" that belongs on the wall in the living room had also been plopped down on this as well. Suddenly it hit me. Look at those colors. Reds and blues, greens and yellow, oranges and purple and just about every other color in between.

It got me to wonder, why do we suspend our color sense for a month every year and then return to the same, and often drab environment we call home? We have no trouble letting red and green, the deadly opposites on the color wheel, run riot in our homes during Christmas. I will never forget the director of my Journalism School telling us this very basic lesson. I then created an ad with these very colors and got an A. He was a surprised I would do it and had to admit that it worked. It wasn't a Christmas ad either.

Is it that we find the colorful too, well, colorful? We need drabness to quiet our lives? I can remember the first trip we took to Denmark to visit a couple that we have been friends with now for over 30 years. They took us to a mall to show us what they were like in Denmark. I couldn't get over the use of color. I mean COLOR! My friend said that in Denmark merchants needed to use lots of color to get people to buy. In America, on the other hand, they needed muted colors to "calm" them down to buy. Really?

That could explain a lot of things. Our world here in the states is often drab. You look at a parking lot and it is filled today with black, silver and white cars. Not a few but nearly every one. The red or burgundy ones stand out in a sea of cars resembling asphalt. I can remember in the 50's when just about anything goes. Oranges, yellows, reds, teals, pink. Who can forget a 1956 Dodge that was black, white AND pink? Or the glorious orange and white Oldsmobile with a matching interior?

Homes here in Southern California are frequently drab too. Tans, beiges, maybe a muted yellow or green and if it is another color, well, people stare and not necessarily with admiration either. Many housing developments have a proscribed color wheel that gives you the "acceptable" colors to paint your house. Its, drab, drabber and deadly dull.

Now, I don't believe that you need to have red, purple, poisonous green or cobalt blue walls everywhere, but I do think that every room needs a spot of color. Something to focus on. How many hours do you spend just admiring a Christmas tree? It is literally a cacophony of colors. We set it in a special place and make sure the lights are on so that all can see it and admire it. You admire it at that time, why not use color the rest of the year as well?  Doesn't every room in your home deserve the same treatment?

Its a thought. After the holidays the monster returns to the wall, the Santas will be taken down as the rest of the wildly colored monsters return. There is not drabness in this household.

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Happy Holidays!

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