Colors are popping up everywhere these days, erasing the monochrome grays, browns, and whites of winter.
Color lightens the soul. The presence of a favorite shade in a room or a well-loved tint in our clothing can “color” our attitudes.
In Tom Hanks’ short story collection, Uncommon Type, he tells of a man who travels back in time and notices the bright clothing colors on all types of people, not the “black over black” of today. Although I would have imagined clothes more black and white back then than now, I can relate.
Years ago I went to a state accountancy dinner with my husband. I tried to choose the most conservative outfit I had in my elementary school educator closet, but when I arrived it was easy to pick out the teacher in the crowd. The small amount of turquoise on my dress was like a flashing light in a room full of only slightly different “black over black” suits.
When I was leading fourth grade classes years ago, we had a reading challenge this time of year. Each book that a student finished was listed by the reader on an Ellison Press diecut of a book, in Roy G. Biv shades that were arranged in a rainbow arc on the back wall of the classroom.
Our goal was to reach the pot of gold at the end. Once arrived, I told my class that the real reward was the words, phrases, stories, chapters, and books they had devoured – but they also received a gold-wrapped chocolate coin, too.
When I was in college, Color Me Beautiful was embedded in the fashion mindset of the time. My “autumn” mother finally understood why she didn’t look good in navy. My roommate’s muted “summer” wardrobe suited her perfectly, but was not my style.
I was a “spring,” and I loved wearing bright colors. Variations of nature’s blue, green and yellow, with touches of coral, remain my favorites to this day.
We are embarking on a remodeling journey that involves expanding and updating our kitchen, a bath, and the laundry. And we are repainting the interior of our whole house. As much as I love color, I am not good at choosing the right hue.
Fortunately my daughter is a master at this. Her willingness to help us has been priceless.
Still, colors can fool you. My daughter knows this, too. A small sample color chip does not tell the whole story. So, following her advice, we have painted several samples on the walls, in opposite corners of the rooms, which we examine at various times of day and in different lights.
We have painted over some of our early choices, and taken some we thought were good for one room off that list and painted it on the walls of an adjoining room. It is a process.
But we are getting nearer to finding the perfect shades, hues, and tints for our home.
Meanwhile I search the skies for the rainbow after the rain, or for the sunbeam after the storm, that brightens those spring colors that are arriving daily outside.