ColorTherapy: "Dear ColorTherapy..."

ColorTherapy: "Dear ColorTherapy..."

Mark Chamberlain
Jun 2, 2009

Name: Modern Loft
Brand: Ralph Lauren UL32

"I live in a small bright white alcove studio and want to paint it dark — blue, dark teal, charcoal — but my friends all think I'm crazy. What should I do?"

Readers, I've told you a hundred times not to listen to your friends! This furthermore brings up the issue of "cloud vs. cave" (and we'll do a survey on this in the future), which means this person should only be discussing dark colors with other dark color lovers. Enter moi.

The apartment in question is actually in Washington DC. It's a T-shaped studio with the kitchen and bathroom each tucked under an "arm" of the T, but those weren't to be painted. The client had several Oriental rugs in jewels tones and our new color had to frame them properly. We even discussed the possibility of a painted stripe on one wall. After much emailing and back-and-forth I packed my brushes, went down to Washington and we picked Modern Loft. It's a blue that's so dark it stops just short of black, without looking Navy. It has the luster of black velvet, and elevates what could be considered a fairly simple abode into something luscious.

I was just reading elsewhere how black suggests something forbidden, and in a sense that's exactly what her friends were warning against. We added some plum blossoms for a little magical levity. I'm glad we went all the way.

- Mark Chamberlain, interior and decorative painter

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