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Colour Me Caring

As much as I said that I don’t decorate, colour is very important to me.  It matters… everywhere.  Not just in terms of house decoration.  For instance, with clothing, I cannot think in certain colours, so while I may wear them to a party, I would never wear them to write in. (I am very much like Beckett: “any colour, so long as it’s grey.”)  Even if all I am writing is a fluffy little blog post like this one.  I only like to wear black, grey, and navy blue.  I can sometimes handle wearing brown, but it’s really hit or miss.  Almost everything needs to be solid — one colour — except that I have a lot of comic book t-shirts.  I am never as productive wearing a comic book t-shirt as I am wearing a solid coloured shirt.

I picked a lot of the paint in the house mostly because I have big feelings about colours whereas Josh has normal feelings about colours.  Our living room is a deep red that Josh calls “the steakhouse.”  My desk is in the living room, and I like being surrounded by red walls.  My favourite red is #CC0000.  Yes, I know the hex code of all my favourite colours, and I have an app on my iPhone that allows me to point my phone at any object and get the hex code for its colour.  Yes, I’m well aware of how all this is making me sound.

My downstairs bathroom is orange.  Orange is my favourite colour, and I actually wanted the living room to be orange, but Josh put his foot down and told me that he could only handle a small amount of orange.  So it went in our bathroom.  My favourite shades of orange all have an undertone of brown for balance.  My brother refers to our downstairs bathroom as “peeing on the sun” because there is a heat vent next to the toilet, and combining it with the orange walls makes one feel as if they’ve entered a ring of fire.  This, by the way, is a perfect orange (#CD661D).

By the way, every wall is coloured with paint.  I can’t stand wallpaper.  I can’t stand prints or designs or patterns on walls.  Just flat colour across the surface; matte finish.

Upstairs, we have morose shades of violet and pale blue in various rooms, all with a grey undertone.  It’s the only way I’ll allow a pastel colour anywhere near my life: it has to have a grey undertone.

Because pastels make me ill.  As does neon.  As do certain shades of yellow, except those with orange undertones.  Turquoise, aqua, a large chunk of the purple family except for plum.  Though there are exceptions to all those statements if the colour comes at a certain time and place, especially in relation to other surrounding colours.  For instance, I can’t stand the colour ultramarine (#120A8F), but I had an office that had an ultramarine carpet, and that carpet in that particular office made me so happy.  Though if you put that exact same carpet in a different space, I probably wouldn’t have liked it at all.

There are books I won’t buy simply because I don’t like the colours used on the cover. (I have been very lucky to work with publishers who work around my colour requests.)  The same goes for kitchen equipment: function doesn’t matter if the colour turns me off to cooking.  And a lot of my food phobias have to do with colour — namely, white.

Where do you fall on the colour-love spectrum, with 1 being indifference to colour and 10 bring excited/bothered by colours?  And, since I told you mine, what is your favourite colour?


1 Catwoman73 { 03.25.13 at 10:29 am }

Orange is my favorite colour as well! And I love your ‘perfect orange.’

In our last house, we had a red dining room, a yellow kitchen, green master bedroom, peach nursery, blue spare bedroom (sorry- I don’t know the hex codes…)- there was colour everywhere! We moved to a new house last fall, and now, our entire house is the same shade of neutral beige. Quite a change. I can’t say that I was happy with having colour everywhere- I felt very claustrophobic. But I’m not exactly thrilled with the bland palette in our current house, either- we definitely need to spice it up a bit. So maybe I would be around a 5 on the colour-love spectrum. When we do finally get around to painting, it will probably be accent walls and accessories in bold shades- I’m not a fan of pastels at all.

Clothing-wise- I am not affected by colour as much as comfort when in comes to being able to get things accomplished. I could be wearing a fluorescent green and yellow striped sweater, as long as I’m warm enough, and it’s loose enough to be able to move around comfortably. As you can imagine, I practically live in sweats.

2 loribeth { 03.25.13 at 11:04 am }

I actually had a colour consultant from Benjamin Moore come in before we last painted (several years ago now). I told her we weren’t too adventurous in terms of colour & she didn’t push… we wound up using mostly basic beige, but various shades throughout the house (one in the living room (Bradstreet Beige, I think?) and another in the hall & stairwell, another in the two upstairs bedrooms & a sort of peachy beige in the master bedroom that pulled out a colour from our bedspread). She did suggest a very pale shade of olive-ish grey-green (called Camouflage) for the kitchen, with Natural Linen on the backsplash (which we have been meaning to tile forever). I generally don’t like green in the kitchen & I never would have picked this myself, but I like this — it looks great with the dark wood cabinets & wainscotting — & I actually wish we’d gone just a touch darker. The bathroom is more of a beige pink. And the basement is peach, but I’d like to repaint down there.

I’ve always said my favourite colour was blue, but I actually don’t wear a lot of blue. I tend to wear a lot of neutrals (black, beige, grey) & jewel tones — dark red (with blue undertones), purple, burgundy, fuschia & teal green-blue and dark green are favourites that I wear a lot. Pastels look fabulous on some people, but I am not one of them. :p

I don’t like colours that are too bright or flourscent. My mother always refushed to have yellow in her house, although my sister did have a yellow bedroom when we were teenagers. I’ve seen some shades of orange-gold-yellow that I think would look great in my kitchen or even in my living room (there is a bit of gold running through the cushions on my couches).

3 magpie { 03.25.13 at 11:27 am }

i think i’m somewhere in the middle. that said, i hate yellow and purple together, my downstairs bathroom is a very subtle shade of lavender, i almost never wear clothes with patterns or multiple colors (texture is okay). my dining room is red – and it’s actually wallpaper that looks like paint where the brushstrokes show – which is okay because it reads as one color.

4 {sue} { 03.25.13 at 11:37 am }

I need that app! I’m impaired in the color department – I blame 12 years of Catholic school uniforms. I can’t match, can’t venture away from blue (occasional splash of red to be really daring)… I like to look at pretty colors but am paralyzed trying to incorporate them in my home. (Silly. It’s just paint. But yeah. there it is.)

5 Ellen { 03.25.13 at 11:38 am }

I would probably be a 6 or 7.

My daughters ask me about my favorite colors at least four times a week, so I have a ready answer: blue and pink. I always feel my best when wearing turquoise or aqua, but coral makes me happy, and so does a deep pink. I have a deep pink peacoat that always brings in compliments. These aren’t my “Color Me Beautiful” colors (LOL) — I’m a winter — but I do like many of those, but only to wear, not to live with (jewel tones, navy, pure white, black).

A color I cannot stand in my house: green, in any shade or hue. HATE IT. Also, I tried a bright yellow in my kitchen and felt physically sick after a few weeks. This might be because our house is a little dim, like many Craftsmans, with the reddish-brown walnut trim. My favorite color in my house is the warmish sky blue in my kitchen. I also like a dark goldenrod color in my bathroom and a pale terra cotta (Miami Spice by Behr) in the bedroom. I chose the latter after reading about the importance of warm reds, yellows, or oranges in a Tantric book. ; )

6 Ana { 03.25.13 at 12:51 pm }

(wait, you spell it “colour”, I thought that was a British thing?)
Pretty close to a 10. Certain colors make me want to puke. And context matters. I love wearing orange (wearing a bright orange dress right now), but not on walls. My favorite color also depends on context and has changed over time, and I expect it will continue to do so—for anything-except-walls, I used to love blue, then red, and now bright kelley green. I really just love bright colors. I’d love some bright kitchen appliances, but we have boring black.
The undertones matter a LOT. I actually am not a fan of “warm” orange or yellow, prefer a “cooler” lemon-y yellow (I’d hate your yellow), or a citrus-y orange. But warm red is good. Pastels make me gag, as do “dusty rose” type colors. NO WALLPAPER anywhere ever. We do have un-painted areas of our house (hallways/stairwells that are high and hard to reach but we haven’t gotten it together in 4 years to hire it out).
This is completely all over the place, as an assurance of how worked up I can get over color. And I totally need that app. Searching for it now.

7 Keiko { 03.25.13 at 1:13 pm }

Haven’t even finished reading your post and I already have to comment: “My favourite red is #CC0000. Yes, I know the hex code of all my favourite colours, and I have an app on my iPhone that allows me to point my phone at any object and get the hex code for its colour. ”

OMG – I… I need this app.

8 Keiko { 03.25.13 at 1:17 pm }

My favorite color will depend on what I’m looking at. In general? Probably red. But in terms of clothing? Lapis blue. Cars? Black. (Or a white Aventador, but that’s the rare exception). Cats? Tabby orange. Kitchen appliances? Stainless steel.

It would also appear that your bathroom and my living room are the same color 🙂 In our house, we have very deep, vibrant, saturated colors: deep navy blue, burnt orange, eggplant, graphite grey. Larry and I are both very picky/sensitive to color, and I think it’s largely b/c of his eye for lighting design and my eye for graphic design. Also? We’re big nerds 😉

9 Shelby { 03.25.13 at 2:26 pm }

Hmmm…I think I’m a 7.
Firstly, I lack so much talent putting colors together and navigating an outfit that sometimes I figure I might as well be color blind. My DH is no better. We both look like we’re going to a funeral half the time (mostly because black is always easy to navigate, but also, it’s slimming. 🙂 However, I care a lot about color and while I can recognize when something doesn’t go, I can’t quite figure out HOW it’s supposed to go. It’s very frustrating!
As far as my favorite color-it changes. It used to be red, so my house (at the hands of a nearly colorblind person, mind you) looked like it was dipped in red and brown. I knew it was monochromatic and it bugged me, but I didn’t know what to do about it! In the past few years, though, I’ve had this overwhelming desire to embrace light colors, so now I would say that a light blue (almost aqua) is my color (and as you can imagine, it’s appearing everywhere, except on the walls). I walk into my house everyday and become instantly disgruntled by the lack of color on my walls. It is still the cream color the former owners put on when they were trying to sell it. It’s an overhwleming expense to hire a professional and I don’t trust myself (especially to pick the color), so now I give a little grunt of dissatisfaction everytime I walk through the door. Maybe I’m an 8 after all…

10 Another Dreamer { 03.25.13 at 2:34 pm }

Oh, a 10. I can’t stand white walls, or white surfaces… they work for some people, but I need deep shades of color. My living room is a burgundy with red accents (I want to change it to peacock colored though), my dining room is bright green with light oak and teals. My favorite color is green. But I love blues, purples, teals. I don’t really like yellow or orange that well. As accent colors, maybe, but I wouldn’t be able to live with a yellow or orange wall. It would drive me batty, lol.

11 Another Dreamer { 03.25.13 at 2:37 pm }

Oh, and as far as clothing… despite how much I like to be surrounded by color, I usually wear black. Go figure.

12 A Crack In Everything { 03.25.13 at 5:45 pm }

I’m an 8 or 9, but since I’ve never owned a home, my walls are whatever color the owner chose (almost always sterile white). In this place, the bedroom walls are medium gray — another color that I never would have picked myself, but one that I’ve really come to love. It’s so soothing. It also looks great with almost any accent color I put in there (currently a spring green like #d8e79a).

I’ve tried wearing both of those colors, with nauseating results. Yes, context matters!

My all-time favorite is burgundy. It’s earthy, sensual, and warm without being too flashy … yum.

13 Mali { 03.25.13 at 5:49 pm }

I love colour, but I’m not … um … obsessive (sorry!) about it. I guess my favourites are blues and purples. Gem colours. And reds. I have a beautiful red leather couch in our living room, and used to have a lovely big double sized armchair in a deep purple. Our car is a similar colour called aubergine. Our kitchen is sky blue and black – though it is now well out of date and needs a refurbishment. I’m very picky about reds – – they must have cool/bluish tones. I hate an orangey-red, fire-engine red.

I grew up with a mother who hated green. And my school uniform for five years was green. So I never ever wore green. Then I discovered that there are some greens that look great on me. (I have green eyes). Light olives and pale-greens are definitely not my favourites – perhaps though that is related to the fact that my mother-in-law loves them?

I wear probably too much black – but it suits me and everything matches!

Which brings me to the fact that I think a lot of my colour likes and dislikes are actually related to what suits me best – and cool colours suit me. Orangey-reds and yellowy-greens will age me by 10-20 years, or make me look dreadfully ill. Hence my dislike.

So much – as you pointed out – memory and emotion in our relationships to colours. What I love about the comments is that all our favourites are so different – the world would be a much less colourful place if we all liked the same things.

14 Jenny { 03.25.13 at 7:32 pm }

It is well known in some cultures that colors can have a huge influence in your moods, outlook, and disposition, and there is a link to your birth date and your astrological sign. Everyone has a favorite color which is great.

15 Katherine A { 03.25.13 at 8:39 pm }

I’m probably about an 8-9 on the scale. Green is my favorite color, and it depends on the day which one – I love hunter greens, evergreen, sometimes a fresh spring type green with a little blue in it. I occasionally wear olive green, but I think of that more as khaki/beige than actually “green”. I can’t stand most greens with strong yellow undertones.

I really like strong colors – burgundies, deep purples, charcoal greys, reds, cobalt blue, and black. Neon pink actually bothers me as a color, as does neon yellow – I just can’t stare at those without feeling like I want to change them/look away. I’m not much of a fan of pastels, probably because they look awful on me.

16 AMS { 03.26.13 at 10:44 am }

I love color. I want to live in the house from “Benny and Joon.”
I do tend to be a bit conservative in my clothing, but my socks are always bright colors and patterns. I’m also a bit kitschy, so I dream of vintage wallpaper.

Please share the name of the app…

17 Lori Lavender Luz { 03.26.13 at 3:29 pm }

Here’s my perfect lavender: http://www.color-hex.com/color/cda2ec

When I started blogging I was into vibrant primary and secondary colors, like the chakras (rainbow colors). More recently I’ve move more pastel-y.

Our guest room is painted orange. But not the right shade.

And my book cover is a good shade of orange!

I’m probably an 8+. Color means a lot to me.

18 JustHeather { 03.26.13 at 4:48 pm }

I love color!! But you’d never know it from my white walls. My excuse is that we’ve just moved (almost a year ago) and I’ve either been pregnant or with a little one that I just haven’t had time to put anything up on the walls yet. It’ll get there.

My favorite colors are dark green, black and silver. A close second is the combo purple, green and white.

This intense like of color makes me think of my need for fabrics/materials to feel a certain way (I hate it when they snag my dry fingers) and how certain number/letter combinations on car license plates please or displease me. I love looking at license plate numbers. Hubby and I are even playing a game with them.

19 Jamie { 03.26.13 at 11:25 pm }

Ten. I love color! My favorite color is purple. Some days I prefer lavender and others a deep dark plum. However, when I am decorating it depends on what kind of mood, function and purpose I want for the space. Light also plays a role, too. But what I enjoy even more is creating a color palette where the colors play off of each other. Awesome when it comes together with the movement, flow and textures used in the room.

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