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Winston Churchill 1874-1965, British Statesman, Prime Minister
Leigh Hunt 1784-1859, British Poet, Essayist
Marc Chagall 1889-1985, French Artist
Kermit the Frog
When you're working with color it is important to understand the temperature of the lighting source not in terms of degrees but in terms of whether the light given off has a yellowish, warm light or a bluish, cool light.
As a general rule most standard incandescent lights send out warm light while flourescent lightening generally ranging between a very cool bluish white to warmer pinkish hue.
Companies like General Electric continually are developing products to 'make colors "pop" in a way they don't with standard incandescent bulbs.' Their Reveal bulb uses the earth element neodymium in the glass. When these bulbs are lit, the neodymium (the reason the bulbs are blue) provides a pure, clean light by filtering out most of the yellow. When you remove much of the dulling yellow cast common from ordinary incandescent light bulbs the colors in your room are truer and the surface textures are more defined.
Philips has a product they call Natural Light that provides a quality of light that is similar to natural daylight. This type of light is close to spectrum lighting which is a very natural white light.
If you are wanting to create a mood in a room even if its just for a party or event you might consider color=altering LED lights which can often be controlled with the flip of a switch. Philips has just such a product that let you be the 'life of the party'
We've called them hippies then yuppies and now boomers but one thing that hasn't changed is that there has rarely been a dull moment for the members of a generation that continues to reinvent themselves as they move into the second half of their lives.
Their energy for changing the world often waned as they climbed the corporate ladder but maturity has seemed to open their eyes to just how hollow success can feel if it doesn't add value to the world or support the greater good.
For many aging boomers the desire to recapture the magic they felt as teens when they believed that anything was possible and that they could change the world, is influencing how they design their homes and the world around them today.
When it comes to color Boomers are recapturing their love of color. Remember the patched bell bottoms, brightly colored bandanas and love beads of the 60's? The colors this crowd loves now are just as varied. No matching sets, no selecting conservative colors for resale value and no more plain vanilla.
Is this a revival of their technicolor dream? Well not quite. For Boomers that prefer to reinvent rather than redo simply copying the rainbow brights of the 60's would never cross their mind. While they still desire a full spectrum palette the colors are more refined, complex and personal.
This is a generation that wants to rewire rather than retire and for many that means decluttering, simplifying and downsizing into smaller but no less luxurious surroundings. They still want to have it all on their own terms. Should we have expected anything else?
We are in the process of remodeling & redecorating the interior of our home. I am going bonkers over trying to pick out a soft yellow color to put on the walls of our Kitchen, Dining Room, Living Room & Hallway. These rooms have an open floor plan so I feel its best to keep the color the same in these rooms. I want our home to feel warm & friendly and I have always wanted to paint it yellow, but the colors I've sampled all seem to be too bright. My husband insists on Benjamin Moore paint, so if you could suggest a yellow paint to try from BM, that would be perfect. Thank You So Much!
Choosing a perfect yellow is not as easy as you might expect. Yellow intensifies when painted on walls more so than many other colors. What looks like a soft hue on the small swatch can appear much brighter when covering the entire room as it seems you have already experienced.
I recommend looking for a very pale gold rather than a yellow. While yellow invites friendly conversation around the dinner table, I think the soft glow of a golden hue would be a better choice for your living and dining rooms because it has a more sophisticated look. The soft gold will still be warm and welcoming in you hallways and kitchen.
Without knowing anything about the style of your home, your families personality or the lightening I prefer not to give you a specific color to use but can point you to a few of the Benjamin Moore paint colors that have worked well for me in the past. From their collection of historic colors #HC-5 'weston flax' is a wonderful light golden yellow, and #HC-6 'windham cream' is a soft yellow that is a tad warmer. Colors from their standard paint collection you might like are #302 'you are my sunshine' or #309 'ambiance'.
Since the same color can look completely different depending on the natural and artificial lightening I always recommend sampling the paint and looking at it in your home at different times of the day. I have put together a special report specifically outlining the steps to take the beautiful color vision in your head and see it on your walls. Click here to get the special report: 'Sample Your Way to Paint Color Success'
When it comes to naming colors sometimes a perfect descriptor comes to mind almost instantaneously and sometimes I ponder possiblities for hours or days. Either way my thought is always on how well the name conveys the character of the color and how successfully it will link the color to something positive in the minds of the customer. You can image me raising an eyebrow when I see a well respected paint company like Farrow & Ball using names like Dead Salmon, Arsenic, Monkey Puzzle and Clunch. This inquiring mind had to know why.
Learning about the origins of the name Dead Salmon took nothing more than a look at the Farrow & Ball website where it says that "The name comes from a painting bill for the library at Kedleston of 1805, though in fact analysis suggests that the colour is far closer to No. 21 Ointment Pink. Dead Salmon as depicted here is rather more 'tired' in character than it once was." I'm not certain how something can be any more "tired" than being dead but I understood their point. Ointment Pink is a warm neutral color that does look slightly more "lively" than Dead Salmon.
It became clear that like the company itself the color names were steeped in tradition however even with all of my experience in color I still had had no idea what hue Puzzle Monkey or Clunch might be.
Clunch is described as "Neutral. As in the chalk stone building blocks used in East Anglia. A very versatile off-white." Hmm, are the building blocks themselves known as clunch? It turns out that its not the blocks themselves but the material they are made from; a very soft limestone that can be very fine and white similar to chalk and is sometimes found in chunks. Not sure exactly where it might be found or that I'd recognize a "very versatile off-white" chunk of clunch even if I did stumble across it but at least now I know the reason behind the name.
So why would a dark gray described as "A typical 19th century estate colour which has, like so many successful
colours, endured the generations" be called Monkey Puzzle? While I might have suspected the answer was rooted in nature I had no idea that Monkey Puzzle was a type of pine tree. Native to Chile and Argentina this conifer found its way into the rare plant collections of England and it is thought that the name came about in the 1880s when an Englishman commented that the tree would certainly be a puzzle for a monkey to climb; not that monkeys would have ever encountered this tree since I don't believe they inhabited the same native soil nor do I recall ever hearing about any monkeys swing through the trees of the UK. I have no idea who the gentleman was but he must have been someone important otherwise I'm not sure anyone would have repeated those words no less used them to name a tree.
I didn't have to see the paint chip to know that Arsenic was a name for green. Perhaps a name that wouldn't make it past the PR or marketing departments in most U.S. companies but one that historically has been associated with this color because arsenic was used in the manufacture of green pigments. Schweinfurt green was an emerald green used in a wallcovering that in its day was very fashionable yet very deadly color. The green pigment had a high arsenic content making it extremely poisonous but unfortunately many people who spent time in rooms covered in green wallpaper died of arsenic poisening before the problem was discovered. Not a bad color perhaps but certainly an unfortunate association.
While researching the color names I saw many comments about how witty the Farrow & Ball color names were and I had to wonder whether any of these writers would have said that had they understood the historic background of these seemingly clever names.
The one exception might be an observation that Angela Voulangas, a graphic designer from Brooklyn, NY shared on her blog a couple of weeks ago. She gave a very entertaining explanation of why a drab olive green is called Dauphin:
“Dauphin,” I realize in hindsight, is given a very elliptical explanation: An earth pigment colour in the early 18th century school of ‘drab’
First, “school of ‘drab’” is just so... perfect, so Edward Gorey... second, how does one get “Dauphin” for a khaki olive brown? After some investigation, I see perhaps F&B are too genteel to explain that the color ‘caca-dauphin’ became fashionable when the much-longed-for French crown prince was born to Marie Antoinette, in the 1780s. Ah, Dauphin's Poo.
Now that's witty.
Last week I wrote about the partnership between Pantone, a color system that is used in a variety of industries but isn't a household name to most consumers, and Fine Paints of Europe, a paint company known more widely to professionals than to consumers as well. It is my understanding that this and other alliances that Pantone is forming are focused on getting their brand in front of and recognized by the retail customer.
I have now had an opportunity to learn more about the the new paint line although haven't yet sampled it. What I'm wondering is how many retail customers are going to be willing to pay over $100.00 for a gallon of paint. Granted Fine Paints of Europe touts high quality and I do believe that their paint has a depth of color that is not easily acheived with most standard brands. This is a tremendous advantage to someone like me that needs to put on three or four coats of standard paint before I feel satisfied with the depth of color however I know that most people think I'm crazy because they can't immediately detect the difference between two coats and four coats of paint.
This week the Washington Post did an article (excerpted below) that questioned the high cost of the new Pantone paint line.
"There's nothing more expensive than cheap paint."
So say the folks at Pantone, which is escalating the paint wars with the introduction of its first retail paint line selling for what comes out to an astonishing $133 a gallon...
...While most American paints sell for $19 to $45 a gallon, Pantone's Dutch-made 2.5-liter Euro gallon (a smaller can than the American gallon) made by manufacturer Fine Paints of Europe costs $85 to $95. A fan deck of 3,000 colors is $165.Pantone touts the durability of its "filler-free" product, saying a proper Pantone paint job could last 12 to 15 years. Lisa Herbert, executive vice president of Pantone, says the paints are aimed at the high-end homeowner. "They are for someone who really wants high quality. The finish is very luxurious. It would take six coats of an American paint to achieve the brilliance and saturation of Pantone paint."
While I think the statement that Ms. Herbert makes fairly represents the paint I'm wondering if most people will be willing to pay the premium that goes along with acheiving these standards.
I'd love to hear what you think about the price versus quality issue when it come to paint for your home interior. Is it worth it to you to spend more for the better quality paint or do you see paint as something temporary that you aren't willing to pay top dollar for?
See the previous post on Pantone Paint
Since Crate and Barrel opened their doors in 1962 they have offered fuctional products that have sleek shapes, innovative forms, and up-to-date colors. In order to develop a line that consistently meets the standards they have become known for their buyers must to be tuned into upcoming color and style trends and translate those trends into new products.
Traditionally this thinking has been done behind the scenes and retailers including Crate and Barrel haven't specifically revealed the trends behind the merchandise selected. Recently Crate and Barrel decided to take a different approach and added a section to their website that offers buyers insight into their key trends and shows the merchandise available in their retail stores and online that is associated with each.
For example, Mixed Greens suggest that you "update neutral spaces with a quick add-on in the season's freshest greens" and shows products in a range of gorgeous greens. Dream in a Bold New Color when you "tuck into technicolor with a vibrant new wardrobe for bed" includes rich hues of sage, moss, gold, chocolate, plum and orange.
Naturally this isn't a complete trend resource since not all styles or color trends would be right for their store but sharing the philosophy and trends behind their current product lines is great way for Crate and Barrel to connect with their customers and assist them in finding perfect items for their home.
It's exciting to decorate and once you decide on a color for the walls it is natural to want to get it done right away. Just keep in mind that there can be a big difference between how a color looks on a 2" x 2" square and how it looks on an entire wall.
If you've read my "Sample Your Way to Paint Color Success" report you know that I advocate painting a sample board of the color you select for any room prior to buying all of your paint. Painting a sample board allows you to get a much better idea of how your color will look and you will be able to see how it is effected by the light at different times of the day.
The problem with taking the time to do this is taking the time to do this and making a mess before your ready to start painting the entire room. So regardless of how much sense it makes when it comes time to paint some people get impatient and skip this step.
One company that identified this problem and offers a great solution is C2 Paint Company. In addition to the small paint chips they offer an 18" x 24" poster-sized paint chip perfect for trying that new color without opening a paint jar.
The C2 Collection Ultimate Paint Chips are only $6.00 each which is comparable to the cost of the sample jars of paint offered by other companies and best of all no mess, no waiting! Wouldn't it be great if all paint companies made it this easy?
Click here to receive a copy of my report: "Sample Your Way to Paint Color Success"
Designers everywhere recognize Pantone. Most consumers however aren't familiar with tthe Pantone Color Matching System responsible for making sure that the color of just about everything they purchase is manufactured to the designer's specification.
That is beginning to change as Pantone forms strategic alliances that put their name and products in front of the customer rather just behind the scenes in the hands of designers and manufacturers.
Another parternship was announced today:
Fine Paints oF Europe & Pantone Form Color Alliance
Pantone's wide ranging color palette is used internationally to access color trends, communicate color choices and control consistency of color across every imaginable surface, texture, material and finish.
For more than a decade Fine Paints of Europe has offered accurate color matches to recognized international color standards. As a result of their proven capabilities and uncompromising commitment to color accuracy, Fine Paints of Europe has been licensed by Pantone, Inc.
This relationship between Pantone and Fine Paints of Europe enables designers, architects as well as individual homeowners to specify and match Pantone's color palettes in paint.
Recent comments about the trend for pink:
One of our favorite style trends this season is a dusty pink dubbed "blush" by interior designer Barbra Barry. "Blush evokes lightness and air", says the designer. "I've fallen in love with it as the new neutral- with a twist."- Home magazine (Sept. 2006)
"We're still showing pinks, but they are getting dustier, almost going to old-fashioned." --Britt Bivens of Promostyl
"Fashionable and fun, the pinks of this year range from hues of deep fuchsia, to frosted berry, to sweet, candy pink." --Behr Premium Plus Color Trend Report
"The color you need to know now...shell pink...Rather than feeling saccharine and childish, shell pink is a sophisticated version that both men and women can appreciate. It's more subtle than pure pink, with coral undertones and a lumininescent feel...--Southern Accents magazine (Sept/Oct 2006)
"Pink is no longer an "it" color but rather a new staple. Last year rose gold began to rise in popularity and this season, rose gold watches are coming into their own. And pink is not just for the ladies." --JewelryInformationCenter.org
Photo from Instyle of Dior by John Galliano Resort 2007
Michael James: Art & Inspirations
Victoria Finlay: Color : A Natural History of the Palette
P. Allen Smith: Colors for the Garden
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