Awaken the Neutral Schemes with Color!

December 10, 2010


I LOVE this statement…”The craving for color is a natural necessity just as for water and fire.” Fernand Léger – Pantone just posted this quote and it comes on the heels of two very coincidental client meetings that I had today.

One began early with discussions about an ongoing project in a newly transformed contemporary interior carved out of a rather ordinary traditional tract-style home. Big points go to the client, who in this case, knows what she wants and has a great eye for design and finding what she knows will make her happy. The basis however, is NOT about color, it is all about neutrals. We have designed a scheme specifically tailored to her requirements that is calm and serene, edgy and crisp, balanced with interesting fabrics for texture against the otherwise smooth hard elements of glass, wood flooring, painted walls and chrome accents -yet neutral (per her) thus far.

We discussed a possible painting that will bring bold color and from which accents will be derived. But even with that intention, it seems unlikely or unwanted that a boldly colored fabric be used on the upcoming chrome-framed bench along the dark chocolate coffee table, framed with brushed nickel of some metal inlay and framework, and across from the slightly iridescent simple cross-weave fabric on the custom settee with an open back up against the new, low to nearly the floor, uninterrupted fixed glass picture window. “Why?” you ask. Because the idea of the neutral is so her and the option to accent on the whim of a mood or change of the seasons suits her spontaneous tendencies.

So, accent pillows that can be tossed on the settee in any manner of color, pattern and texture, or as bold fuchsia orchid now sits in the center of the round glass dining table surface, a future woven throw draped as an accent – this is the way that the starved for color room will receive it’s lifeblood of color – like the “natural necessity just as for water and fire.”

The second meeting today that coincided with the theme of this observation was a humorous comment about a brilliantly colored open-weave Brazilian lace camisole that I was wearing today about which my client chided me – “I love what you’re wearing – must be the inspiration for the colors in our bedroom.” To which his wife smiled and chuckled because her desires for soft, restful colors of pastel to neutral have been decidedly expressed. The idea of bright, bold colors is in diametric opposition to her vision. Yet, with that in mind, her prized possession in her room is a boldly colorful and incredibly realistic oil painting of a larger than life bouquet of flowers screaming of hot pinks, blues and chartreuse (photo below is NOT that painting – but an illustration of another bold piece of white roses by Federico Leon de la Vega inserted into a neutral scheme) – like the “natural necessity just as for water and fire.”

It seems that even the most determined people wishing to create an interior environment of neutral colors and softer tones crave the undeniable exhilarating punctuation of bold colors. The calm must be awakened with the life affirming inclusion of color!PD Federico, Beth's roses 083

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