#22 - Martina's Colorful Sanctuary

#22 - Martina's Colorful Sanctuary

Oct 19, 2006

Name: Martina
Location: San Francisco
Type: Condo. 2 bedrooms. 2.5 bathrooms. 3 floors. Owned.

Why I use color:

Two driving forces here: a. growing up I was an artist, and b. mother did a great deal of remodeling in our family home, and much of the effort tended to center around color. Hues/tints that are woven through a room are very important. I can remember growing up, my room was a sunny yellow with lots of cheerful accent colors, while my parents' bedroom was a forest green (very cool/calming), and even as young as 5 the change in color just moving room to room had an impact. . .

. . .It is no different today. Home is our sanctuary, and so it has to serve a number of functions: as inspiration, as refuge, as hearth/gathering place to share stories/ideas/food. Although architecture/shape and available light are important ingredients, I would rank color as part of the recipe as well. One could have the most beautiful space that had all of the right ingredients, but with the wrong or improper use of color, the potential exists to negate the positive of the others.

2 good color tips:

1. Know what your colors are (i.e. what works for you).
You may see a layout in a magazine or a window presentation and think it's lovely, but fundamentally, do you love the color? Sure purple and yellow are a very energizing mix, but if fundamentally you don't like yellow or any of its neighbors in the color spectrum, then painting a wall or room yellow in your house is probably not the best idea (especially if it's a space you tend to spend a great deal of time in). Color fads come and go, but knowing what colors you like, and how to mix them to create energy/harmony or evoke a mood never goes out of style.

2. Don't be afraid to use color. Especially on walls.
So many folks drive by the rule that leaving everything white allows for flexibility/change, etc., but with paints today, it's easier than ever to put on a coat or two, change your mind, put another coat on until you get to the color you like. And sometimes, as strange/crazy as something sounds, you give it a try and it ends up working so much better than you could have imagined (it's just hard to visualize at that time). Our orange walls in the living area/front of kitchen are an example. We love the color orange, and really wanted to do 'something' with it apart from pillows/furniture. A friend suggested painting just an 'accent' wall, (not everything). Not so sure at the time, but we went through lots of orange paint chips, and finally decided on a color and on the two walls. And we absolutely love how it has turned out.

2 good color resources:

1. Pantone. As an artist, I haven't lived without Pantone color chips for the past 15 years. The website has a nice 'color of the day' chip always displayed (nice for ideas).

2. Your local art store. We consider ourselves lucky having Flax and Utrecht and all manner of other art suppliers available. And just walking in to browse its amazing the inspiration you can find on the color front by just perusing the paints/pencils, even exotic paper selections. Typically the inspiration goes way beyond color, but it's a great starting point.

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