“Red can have many meanings”, my granddaughter informed me as we drove to the skating rink. “It can stand for love and tell people that you are happy and excited or even passionate. But red can also mean anger.” Her younger sister joined the conversation, “It can also mean danger as in fire engines or stop signs.”
The conversation continued all the way to the arena while we discussed how blue is associated with sad but if you wear turquoise or cobalt blue (like their grandmother) that it can make you feel and look happy. And of course green makes us think of Spring and new beginnings. I don’t remember what triggered our conversation but it was interesting to see how quickly a five year old and an eleven year old could engage in the meanings associated with color – on both an emotional and physical level.
But children aren’t the only ones to be affected by color.
As we near the end of awards season we have all been made aware of the colors that the celebs chose to walk the “red” carpet. And watching the entertainment shows we’ve listened to the commentary about Nicole Kidman’s emerald green dress at the SAG awards and the stand-out yellow-hued attire of Reese Witherspoon, Maisi Williams and Viola Davis at the Golden Globes. However, white was still the most popular color on display at the Oscars, followed by many neutral shades.
Color is a significant factor when we watch for trends – from season to season – and year to year. Every season we see the effect of color in fashions on the red carpets, runways and in the shops. It even influences our sporting attire and pegs us as “in-trend” or “out-of-date” type of people.
Home decor colors
Color also has an impact on our homes. Paint and furniture are seen as trendy even if they fall mostly into the neutral zone. Are we in a beige period or a grey one? Certainly accessories in every part of the home can be aged by their color. That is why even a room with neutral walls and furniture can be given a complete “makeover” and updated with the change of just a few simple accessories. Add a few new colorful toss cushions, an area rug in a new fashionable tone, a new up-to-the-minute lampshade and some candles or flowers to match and you can transform a room from an over-tired yesterday look to a chic simulation of today’s home decorating magazines. Even a kitchen can be updated by a red retro kettle or a new amethyst colored Brita Pacifica pitcher on the counter.
Color’s cosmic energy
You will want to do this type of change on a regular basis if you believe what Dougall Fraser says. He is an author and cosmic coach “who specializes in interpreting the color energy around all of us“. Nathalie Atkinson, of the Globe & Mail, described Fraser “as a sort of psychic guide to the rainbow”. She also said that “Fraser considers the soul’s spectrum of hues and posits that color has spiritual qualities, then focuses on techniques to diagnose one’s needs, and activate color’s energy. He offers meditations on colors that enhance, restore or rebalance.” Fraser offers more of his color wisdom in his book: “Your Life in Color”.
I agree with Fraser that color has spiritual qualities and I think my grand-daughters do also. That is why they could see that colors – and the names we give them on the palette – elicit or portray emotions. This gives us something to consider when we get dressed in our favorite blue suit in the morning, hoping to exude confidence. Or when we are trying to decide whether we should freshen the living room and re-paint it with Benjamin Moore’s Color of the Year.
Is their a standard color for happy
Nathalie Atkinson’s article in the Globe and Mail was called “Color me Happy”. However she never told us what color that would be. For me – it would be red or turquoise, or maybe fuchsia. All of those colors will make me happy – but it does change – depending on my mood.
What is your “happy” color? Where would you use it? If you were an artist, would you buy extra tubes of that color? Or would we guess that it was your happy color by strategic sprinklings of it throughout your pieces? Do you have a “sad” color too? Is it like Benjamin Moore’s Shadow or more like the soft, dull sky before an icy winter storm approaches? How does color affect your mood?