#34 - Mr. Kyle's Dramatic Areas of Saturated Color

#34 - Mr. Kyle's Dramatic Areas of Saturated Color

leslie
Oct 23, 2006

Name: Mr. Kyle
Location: San Francisco
Type: Rented Edwardian studio apartment

Why I use color:

Color was one of the easiest ways to introduce my aesthetic sensibility into my "stuck with white walls and grey industrial carpet" rental apartment. Using dramatic areas of saturated color in the draperies, furniture, and bed clothes draws attention away from the mediocre architecture and lackluster finishes. Every wall has at least one picture to hanging, or mirror to draw the eye. . .

. . .Since all of my color is concentrated in belongings I can pack them up with me, or easily swap something in or out at will. I chose furniture and colors that were saturated but towards the slightly more somber side. Despite the variety of color, everything is within the same tonal range and meshes well and is cheerful without being eye scorching.

2 good color tips:

1. I personally like richer colors that are a little less than fully saturated and tinted slightly so they are darker. These kinds of colors if used as part of the entire color scheme of a room produce a romantic and sheltering feeling for me, but darker color schemes need to be enlivened by several different lighter and darker accent colors applied to architectural elements or details to keep the room from closing in.

2. Try to choose things that will develop a natural and pleasing patina over time. For example, even though people complain about cleaning velvet, if it is a good quality it will age very well over time and its color will develop subtle shifts in tone that dance in changing light. Likewise with polished or ebonized wood.

2 good color resources:

1. Old master paintings. I really love the colors in old paintings because they are built up of many layers of pigment and oil medium. The resulting colors are a lot more rich and visually satisfying than those that come from flat synthetic pigments. Artists and designers were taught a much more sophisticated and nuanced use of color and their interrelationships before everything went exclusively to primary and neutral colors in the 20th century.

2. Vintage and antiques stores, the more stacked and piled high the better. I'm always finding inspiration in old things. The great thing about a huge heaping antiques mall or flea market is that you get to see a lot of things in a concentrated space from so many eras juxtaposed in ways that you wouldn't encounter in other sources.

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