Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Snowspirations: some praise for white

All this snow is making me like the color white again. I actually hate the snow - it's completely cumbersome with a non-walker and another child barely tall enough to peer over the drifts that line our driveway. But, it does make me think that the next place I inhabit and change will have more white in it. OK, I'm too much of a color addict - maybe not white-white - but certainly a light and muted palette. The snow, while annoying as a physical barrier, does provide some visual inspiration. Lighter, whiter tints illuminate and lift. My red room fantasies remain - for darker, interior spaces - enclosed dining rooms or powder rooms, vibrant colors and intense hues still reign in my book. But where we can use available light, lighter lifts and enables a more cohesive space for larger rooms.

I also like white and lighter colors because, like a great volleyball setter, they enable interesting objet and artwork jump out at you. This is why galleries use white for their walls, obviously, but you need not paint your walls white to get this same effect. I'd suggest using the lightest tint on your favorite art work to really make it pop on the wall - and connect it to the rest of the space.

Also, white and light colors really draw attention to texture, which is often overlooked when there are so many competing colors on walls and other large pieces in the room.

At the end of the day, light colors can be a delight, not a bore. This is no way my being complicit with the tired and frankly annoying sales advice given by the real estate industry to paint "light and bright" for any house on the market. True, lighter colors on walls make the spaces appear larger, because light reflects and seems to expand the boundries, not bring them into focus, as is the effect with say, a red room. However choose wisely - an interesting muted grey, a pale taupe, a bitter-lemon-yellow - test those walls and bring some snow inside, and not just on the bottom of your boots.

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