Musings on Color

Let me just say that I LOVE earth tones. The more beige, gold, and all earthy relatives, the better. But I know that there's this strange and interesting thing that happens with people... that we all develop our own preferences, some of them purely personal and some of them culturally motivated. Gee, who would have thought that we all associate colors with different things?! Sarcasm aside, it truly is interesting and I always love to hear why someone has their favorite color palette (if they have a reason for it). 

You probably remember learning about Primary colors, the color wheel, and ROYGBIV right? Some of us are immersed with this knowledge everyday because of our lines of work or out of pure enjoyment. It's easy to forget that there are actual Color Theories

Take this color wheel for example. There are the basic names for color families, like reds and blues. We can simplify what a color is, yet there are so many tints- 

tint     /tint/


  1. 1.

    a shade or variety of color.

    "the sky was taking on an apricot tint"      (*as Google quotes)

Why do we not have more names for colors? Of course I know it depends on how our language developed and continues to, and in some cases we do have variation. Take the color Periwinkle for example. It's claimed as a blue, yet it does have its own name. Referring to it as blue is not wrong, nor is referring to it as Periwinkle. Some believe that Lavender and Periwinkle are synonymous, though they do have differences. 

As you can see, both colors are somewhere in between purple and blue. But the main point here is that we all decide to group certain things together, and colors definitely fall under that category. The next level to examine then is color association. Why does one person perceive blue to be relaxing when another perceives it as cold? Again, personal feeling and emotion comes into play, but is often combined with cultural traditions. For example, some cultures maintain white as a color associated with mourning and do not use it in the home unless related to those purposes, while for others it is the hottest new minimal architecture and design trend.

Here is a small dissection of this by Apartment Therapy (do I love their photo-guided home and apartment tours!). 

*photo credited to above article from Apartment Therapy, featured from their tour on Melinda & Mark's Creatively Curated Eagle Rock Home.

The bottom line I suppose is that we all like what we like. Sometimes that overlaps with trends and with what other people like. There are certainly classic color palettes for homes, offices, etc. for this reason. But we should also know when to embrace our preferences and break the mold! Part of why I am so passionate about my work, business, and enjoyment of DIY and furniture refinishing is that you can truly create your own dream. Let's all make that our motto for 2016 :).

Happy painting, designing, or whatever it is that you love to do.