In an ever-present ocean of worn and aged oak, walnut for miles, gray-weathered barn wood siding and white-washed nearly everything, some color might be the cure to both set
yourself apart from the neutral-mad crowd, and offer a more unique individual persona.
How to handle and apply color is always the key to a successful rendition. While bold statements can carry the day, more often a frugal application of color can go a long way. Usually, this means 50% or less of color or colors, then neutralize the balance. ‘Less is More’ is a good design rule to follow…although rules rarely apply, as color is so individual.
This safety glass mosaic art in custom colors by glass artist Ellen Blakely is not installed in the converted brick kitchen above – but it could be. The white glass touched with soft sea foam green in barely there color, then a slightly greener layer, plus that carefully-placed ‘patch’ of pale blue in the composition is more than calming against the intense brick colors and hardwoods. It is just the touch of lightness and relief needed in the warmth-evoking kitchen.
Cooling off warm colors is the best way to balance a space. It is just natural…like the things we see every day. Our eyes are used to seeing landscapes with warm earth tones in-between cool sky and sea colors.
Sometimes color which may not appear at first to be able to live together in harmony and compliment each other can be surprisingly fantastic grouped together. The composition of the Sicis Diamonds glass tile mosaic is a beautiful example. by shift towards the side of the color spectrum where yellow undertones rule, the golds, greens, purples and even pinks and white all have a bit of white in their base color. Whether you side a Rubik’s cube or a Moroccan motif, a room with this color pallet would be immensely inviting.
One way to try out color compositions is to start with clothing. Take a group of ties or scarves and place them, one-at-a-time as a third color and (and texture layer) next to a neutral shirt and jacket. Change out these ‘accent’ ties and scarves to see how they affect the whole composition of the outfit. Some combinations will be ‘meh’, but others will be killer-good. That is the power of color in small quantities – they can enhance or detract, depending upon what they are adjacent to. When we can relax into color, it is both powerful and just pure fun. Since color is life – why be afraid of it?