Are you willing to envision your 2018 to burst with colors? Or would you prefer the safe route of same old same old? For many of us comfort zones are important, those invisible barriers we create to limit our lives to what is comfortable and known to us. However if we embrace changes in life, and they do come with regularity, our experiences may surprise us with greater and deeper personal growth.
Doors and Social Norms
Let’s take doors, for instance, since those are tangible and something we see everyday when we leave and come back to our homes. Most of us have doors that are colored white or brown, or something similar in tint. In other words, we go for neutrals because it’s safe, acceptable, and within the social norms. “From a sociological perspective, social norms are informal understandings that govern the behavior of members of a society” (Marshall, G. Oxford Dictionary of Sociology). In other words, doors in the Philippines are neutrals like white or brown because society has dictated that those are the acceptable colors.
When you travel, you will see how other people live their lives, and how social norms change from culture to culture. That’s what makes the world so interesting.
Watch this video:
What I’m trying to show here is that we don’t need to follow convention, especially with regard to our condos, houses and other personal spaces, offices too if we have any say on the matter.
Colorful Doors in a Condo Development
A niece with offbeat tastes wanted the developer to paint the door of her new condo fuchsia. The developer obliged.
Weeks later, she got miffed when she found a neighbor’s door painted the same color. Today, her corridor looks like this. She’s still at the “grrr” stage 😁.
So you see, it just takes one to overturn the norm. Norms, like averages, should not be reasons for us to conform. Let’s find out which colors appeal to us, then let’s feel free to express ourselves with our own unique hues.
Make 2018 the year that we discover our personal styles. Let’s start with our doors.
“Gifts of time and love are surely the basic ingredients of a truly merry Christmas.”
― Peg Bracken
How would you like to spend an intimate date with your special someone without having to brave the Christmas rush? No need to travel bumper-to-bumper to go to a restaurant. No need to elbow your way into an overcrowded establishment that is more often than not so noisy as Filipino restaurants usually are.
Why don’t you do something specially romantic and prepare a divine dinner date at home together?
You can really stretch out the anticipation as well as the time together – from discussing and deciding on the menu, to buying the ingredients, to cooking and baking, to setting up the table, to sharing the meal prepared with love.
Prepare appetizers and side dishes beforehand, chill the wine or beer or poison of your choice, and while the main course is baking in the oven and the soup is at a slow simmer, freshen up and slip into something comfortable and sexy. That goes for both of you 🙂 When you’re done with that, dim the lights, light some candles, turn on the music, set the table.
When the food is on the table and you’re sitting across each other, deepen the conversation and the flirting, and bring in the romance in spades. For the new couples, get to know each other better. For the older ones, get to know each other better.
There are some things that belong together, like ham and egg, needle and thread, song and dance, hugs and kisses. I’m sure you get my drift. The same is true with colors. There are just those two that belong together, and
we’d like to expound about those color pairings one by one (or is it two by two 🙂).
Black and white, you can’t get more basic than that. Perhaps because the combination is primal, it is very powerful and dramatic.
If you want a timeless and elegant color combination, go for black and white. Stark and pure, these would look apropos of a minimalist style. This combination can be very graphic. When you want to showcase shapes and lines, the color pairing of black and white acts like a backdrop that allows for vividness in detail.
Taken to an extreme, it can look harsh and grim, even desolate. And we’d never want to have that for our homes. So here are five ways that you can soften the dichotomy.
The Many Faces of Black and White
Scientists have a lot to say about black and white. They question whether these are colors at all, whether these are found in a rainbow or not, whether light is absent in black or whether white is the sum of all colors. Chemists would argue that these are colors because black and white paint are the result of pigments and molecular coloring agents.
Not only scientists have something to say about black and white. Even philosophers, religious figures, or sorcerers attach meanings to these colors. Cultures also have their beliefs about it. In China and other Asian countries, white is for mourning and used in funerals, but in some Western cultures, white means purity and used for weddings.
Ted Grant, father of Canadian photojournalism who has had 65 years of recording notable people and world history, has this to say about black and white,
When you photograph people in color, you photograph their clothes.
But when you photograph people in black and white, you photograph their souls!
Vantablack: The Blackest Black Material on Earth
I just saw this incredible innovation on CNN:
“Touted as the darkest man-made substance in the world, Vantablack is so uncomfortably black the human eye can’t quite decipher what it is seeing.
It is thought to be the closest thing to a black hole we will ever experience.
That’s because Vantablack is not a color, it’s the almost complete absence of color.
…Part of the appeal of Vantablack is that it absorbs 99.96% of the light that hits its surface.”
Vantablack is made up of carbon nanotubes, one billion for one square meter, that are spaced perfectly apart. Creatives around the world are going gaga over this material, with architects at the top of the list.
SM Home started with their Christmas preparations early, and came up with four holiday hues: 1) Classic Charm, 2) Contemporary Luxe, 3) Modern Opulence, and 4) Pretty Whimsical.
Here are some living room paint ideas from Boysen based on the holiday hue Contemporary Luxe.
Gold and silver — their gleam add such a luxe vibe to any Christmas tableau. Who wouldn’t want that gorgeous glitter to help make your holiday season shine like no other? Very fitting for festivities with family and friends at home.
‘From angels bending near the earth to touch their harps of gold’ to ‘silver bells’, those are the sparkles we’d like. No frost, no snow or ice to glisten in this country, but who cares? We can always bring some of that into our homes with all the bells, balls, baubles and tinsel available. Add fairy lights for more sparkle, and you’ve got that Christmas ambience going full blast.
It may be fake or faux (para sosyal pakinggan) but honestly, as long as it makes us happy, we should go for it. If you want as much gold as the Yamashita treasure in your home, go! Or as that slogan says, “Shimmer and Shine, let Silver be mine!”
DIY condo painting is something Danica embraced when she moved to Cebu for work, and that’s what you can do too to make a home you really love. Whether you rent your home or own it, you deserve a space that fits your personality. After all, your home is your nest, your sanctuary, the place you go to so you can rest and re-energize.
How can you make your private space your own when you’ve just moved in? You can have your own familiar things around you. For a bigger impact, you can also put your stamp on it by changing the colors that surround you. It’s kind of like having the same kind of vibration inside you and outside you. Colors can do that. And paint, which is affordable, quick and effective, is the tool that you can use to get that coherence.
Danica went the extra mile by giving the old, tired-looking furniture a new coat of paint. If you’ve smartened up the walls, then give your furniture that pizzazz too.
Wouldn’t you just love to wake up to a new day in a place that is really home?
SM Home started with their Christmas preparations early, and came up with four holiday hues: 1) Classic Charm, 2) Contemporary Luxe, 3) Modern Opulence, and 4) Pretty Whimsical.
Here are some living room paint ideas from Boysen based on the holiday hue Classic Charm.
In keeping with Philippine tradition, Christmas jingles started in September, the start of the BER months when anything Christmas seen or heard is a Filipino practice that we find utterly normal, but which other cultures find terribly quirky.
I find it so nostalgic and heartwarming to hear Nat King Cole sing “Chestnuts roasting on an open fire…” months before Christmas day. Never mind that we neither have chestnuts nor open fires…well, maybe in Baguio. Chestnuts roasting on open fires just really go well with jingle bells and sleigh rides in this beautiful tropical country with average temperatures of 30°C, especially when you start hearing carols in September!
For a clean and fresh look, light neutrals give your bathroom that appealing ambience, very fitting for a place where you do your bathing rituals.
Light neutrals are also safe backdrops for white bath fixtures, chrome or brass fittings and glass, and would give the illusion of space. The purity of porcelain, the gleam of chrome and sparkle of glass against a light neutral background also give a feeling of understated luxury.
For those who rent, you can easily banish any dingy feeling that the bathroom gives you by cleaning it thoroughly first of all, then by applying a coat of paint.
Disclaimer: These colors may not exactly match actual paint.
Tip: Nothing dates a bathroom more than colored fixtures. Choose white lavatories, basins, and bathtubs because not only is white a classic and will never go out of style, but it would also be easier for you to unload the property should you want to sell it. New homeowners usually want a neutral canvas to begin with to imprint their own character on the space. The same is true with the color of walls.
If you’re the type of person who spends a pretty good amount of time every single day planning (read: plotting) her OOTD, chances are you usually zero in on a single piece of clothing or accessory that would be the icing on your full outfit, in other words, a fashion accessory that would make great eye candy.
Imagine that socialite in an all-black ensemble, elegantly clutching that It Purse in deep velvet red…or what about that celebrity in a baby pink dress that she matched with ruby-toned stilettos? Your eyes will definitely be drawn to the purse and shoes, because, well, their colors pop.
So what’s the point in all these? If you can spend a considerable amount of time visualizing your OOTDs, then it actually makes perfect sense to seriously strategize how you want to create dramatic looks in your own home, that is, by carefully choosing an item in your home’s specific area, painting it dramatically, and turning it into a stand-out accent piece.
Try these painting DIYs for those eye-catching interiors.
Seeing beige, brown, and white doors can be a daily occurrence, so why not level up your entry’s welcoming powers and color it bright! Orange, red, green, yellow, or a lively kind of blue will certainly increase the attractiveness of your entrance or exit. In the past, I recoated my ordinary-looking white back door using excess red paint, and what a difference that made. From a shy, self-effacing door, it made a loud statement, “Come through me, there’s so much more to see!”
In a room filled with muted tones of neutral-colored walls and furniture, a cheerfully colored seat can be a welcome sight for weary souls. Check out which area of your home needs a quick facelift, without necessitating repainting of walls. Repainting a plain-looking chair with a vivid color can work wonders.
Skip the whites and light-colored hues, and be bolder with your kitchen cupboards. Play up your kitchen cabinets by experimenting with adventurous colors. The kitchen after all is no place to be meek and timid with the visual vibe. A lot of cooking happens here, so let your dramatic cupboards complement the flurry of activity.
Vibrant TV Wall
Remember the time we used to place our TVs on humdrum racks or tables? Well, gone are those days. Boost the experience of TV viewing by providing your telly with eyecatching and buzz-inspiring backdrops.
Kid-magnet Study Table
Ever wondered how else you can make studying more exciting for your child? Just like that automobile bed you bought your son, where he gets his oh-so-lovely naps, why not add some pizzazz to his place of study by splashing his table with his fave color? Your daughter currently in love with pink? By all means, treat her to a pink study table. She will thank you for it. Who knows, the thank-yous might even come in the form of better report cards.
These are minor color transformations that do not require too much cost nor time. Amazing how a little color change can go a long way, and be pleasantly surprising.
Imagine if you were colorblind and you were not able to see the colors around you the way most people do. Imagine if you could not distinguish violet, lavender and purple because they just look like different shades of blue, or if you confuse red with black or dark grey.
Color blindness is a condition that prevents people from seeing color the way everybody else does. Around eight percent of males and less than one percent of females are estimated to be colorblind.
How would this affect daily life? Think of driving and having to find a method to “read” traffic lights, or finding it hard to know if a fruit is ripe or not, or having to navigate this handicap if you want to be a fashion or interior designer, an artist, a policeman, or a pilot who has to maneuver a plane using complex cockpit instruments.
Visible light is a spectrum of color that most people can perceive. When light hits an object, it absorbs every color except for one that it reflects back, and that reflected color is what our eyes can see.
Colorblind people have defective retinas which hinder them from seeing certain shades in the color spectrum. One of the most common forms of color blindness is the red-green deficiency. It’s not a literal kind of “blindness” because colorblind people can still see these colors, but not in the way most people can. A common example would be seeing colors in faded shades.
Aside from the red-green color blindness, there is the blue-yellow color blindness, and the rare complete color blindness where people don’t see color at all.
There isn’t any cure for colorblindness, but technology has been able to help some people cope with this condition. A fairly recent invention is the EnChroma glasses, which use light filters to remove the shades between red and green. This way, colorblind people with the red-green deficiency can distinguish the two colors more clearly.
While the glasses only work for those with red-green deficiencies, it is certainly a big step towards helping people with color blindness.
The videos here show success stories with these glasses. You can see how amazed people become when they see these colors for the first time in their lives. It’s bewildering to them since color is not something you can describe with words alone. It helps them experience the world more perceptively, as they become conscious of these colors that they never knew existed.
We often tend to abuse our eyesight in our current, digital world, when we constantly glue our eyes to the screens of our phones.
The ability to see color is a gift that we often take for granted. I know I do. So from now on, I will remember to be grateful that the cones in my eyes are just fine, and try to fully experience the colors that I see all around me.
Remember the teenage character of Kevin Arnold played by American actor Fred Savage in the TV series, “The Wonder Years”? The comedy-drama series was a big hit back then, running from the late 80s to the early 90s. I remember following the series which tackled the coming-of-age journey of a typical teenage boy from the American suburbs. I was amazed at how Savage wonderfully depicted Kevin Arnold’s character, and how the voice-over narrative excellently played out Arnold’s inner thoughts.
A number of scenes in those episodes reminded me of my own childhood. I got so fascinated with listening to Kevin’s inner musings, as it sometimes reflected my own thoughts as a teen. So how is this series related to colors?
What struck me with this TV series was how a person’s psyche goes through a lot of changes as he himself undergoes physical change. Our journey from childhood to adulthood and the experiences that we go through during this phase largely affects who we will become as adults.
When I reminisce about my childhood, I always visualize specific incidents and episodes in full color. Imagine how drab our past would be like if there were no colors. It’s even uncannily funny that when I talk about my childhood with siblings and cousins, and we laugh over a particular mischief, it’s often associated with a color, ‘naalala ko orange shirt ang suot mo’… ‘yung nauntog ka pa nga sa wall, kulay blue pa yun noon!”
Our memory’s recollection of our experiences growing up and its association with colors says a lot about how our behavioral patterns may be shaped by our surroundings.
When we were just starting our young family, the hubby and I made it a point to surround our babies with happy colors. This meant specifically painting our home then with yellow, terracotta and a cheerful kind of green. This color combo worked pretty well with our Mediterranean-themed home.
In the past, parents used to anchor the color of their kids’ bedrooms according to each child’s gender, assigning the daughter to a default pink while the son automatically gets a blue room. Today, young families with babies and toddlers are into more unique color choices. Some of the colors that work well for young children are those that infuse energy and encourage activity to support their developing minds. Like yellow, red is a good choice, if used sparingly or as an accent wall. Too much of red may cause restlessness and aggressive behavior. Orange is also a warm color, and using a subdued kind of orange helps influence friendliness, independence, and confidence in one’s self.
As the kids enter their early adolescent stage, this is where they start learning more about themselves and they begin to gain more confidence and self-esteem. A good color to accompany our kids during this stage is a light kind of blue which can promote intellectual thinking. At the same time, light blue soothes and calms down anxious minds or help ward off an oncoming tantrum. Purple can also inspire creativity, which helps to boost the creative growth spurt at this stage. Other colors that may work for puberty are the moderate uses of orange and pink since these are all warm colors which give the feeling of security.
As teenagers, it will not be surprising to find our children taking part in a lot of various activities in school and with friends. This are their years of peak activity, and toning down on colors may help calm raging hormones and overactive imaginations. Your best bet for bedroom colors are whites, beiges, even tinges of blue and green. These are considered cool colors, and can promote calmness and serenity within your home. At this time, your teenagers are already well-equipped to decide for themselves (and may even assert it), so why not ask them for their preferred bedroom color? A happy teenager always makes for a happier home.
So go ahead and change your home color as your children and your family go through their personal development. Believe me when I say it does its work in providing a fitting complement to life’s ever-changing circumstances
Kevin Arnold’s inner musings resonate, “Things never turn out exactly the way you planned. I know they didn’t with me. Still, like my father used to say, ‘Traffic’s traffic, you go where life takes you’ and growing up happens in a heartbeat. One day you’re in diapers, the next you’re gone, but the memories of childhood stay with you for the long haul. I remember how hard it was growing up among people and places I loved. Most of all, I remember how hard it was to leave. And the thing is, after all these years I still look back in wonder.”