With color on my mind, this past weekend I cooked up a dinner party and menu with a color theme - the red, white and green of the Mexican flag. Inspired by the cookbook, Frida's Fiesta's - Recipes and Reminiscences of Life with Frida Kahlo by Marie-Pierre Colle and Guadalupe Rivera, I've been experimenting with the recipes and themes in the book. A very beautiful cookbook, the photos and stories are inspiring. The recipes. . . well, they remind me of my abuelita's (grandmother's) recipes, something very important is missing from most of them. The missing item is usually an ingredient, amount or technique that ranges between crucial to the success of the recipe to a minor taste problem. Maybe the recipe editor had more to do with this than Frida did, but nonetheless, reading her cookbook reminds me of my abuelita's passionate artistic temperament (she was a concert pianist and gifted chef). The recipes that my abuelita gave me were always more of a suggestion than a solution.
Landscape artists often refer to the color combination of violet/purple and green as "Nature's Lovers". Not only do purple and green look good together on an artist's canvas, they can look amazing together in your home. From soft gray violet to deep amethyst purples, painting your walls your favorite shade of purple will go with more colors than you might think.
Mother Nature was giving us a lesson in whites along with a reminder that the borders we humans put around our cities, states, territories and countries are invisible to her. During those moments I spent looking at the subtly colored layers of white snow, white became my new "green".
Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month is an opportunity to celebrate the beauties and gifts the heritage of Hispanic culture as well as to acknowledge the mosaic of cultures that make up all of the U.S. The irony for me being an acculturated Latina born in Los Angeles is that I know that though Anglos from many cultures have representative crafts saturated with color, like Polish paper-cuts or Scandinavian tole painting, American Anglos will often focus on the colorful aspects of Mexican American visual culture while ignoring most of the subtle colors that are part of the same mix. To this day, there are no Latina visual artists licensing their decor lines at the supported level of acceptance any of the above Anglo artists have achieved.
Have you ever painted your house and when it was done, wondered why the paint job didn't look as good as you thought it would? Changing paint colors doesn't have to be a complete re-do. With a few strategic changes of color you can get the look and pizzaz you want by changing only the colors or areas that make the most difference, rather than repaint the entire exterior of your home.
Some interior designers and color forecasters are touting gray as the new "it" color -- the color that is guaranteed to update your home. I've read pieces claiming that the color gray is calming and will soften the mood of any room. Don't believe it.
Though we may have a good idea of what we like, getting into the heads of our clients and guiding them to know what they like is a bigger challenge. We are not privy to the experiences they have, and even if we were, the tendency within ourselves to relate to the client through our own story influences our perceptions. The way any of us respond to a color is the result of our experience, good or bad. Everything we see, hear, feel, smell and touch informs our color perceptions.