Color Advice, Please

One of the things I would like to do this year is change the color of my bedroom at the Hermits’ Rest. It is a shade of chocolate brown that I chose in hopes of making the immense room look more cozy. Here’s a picture of Harvey looking like he’s calling a meeting to order, which shows the color.

Hmm, that looks even darker than it actually is.

What I didn’t do when I chose the color, was compare it to the color of the floor, doors, cabinetry, and trim, which are a currently unfashionable cherry stain. The wall color is more of a “bluish” brown and looks sorta sick to me. (I do not care if cherry and reddish wood tones are not in fashion. They will probably come back into fashion again before I die, knowing how things cycle.)

This photo, from my “shoes I like” blog post, shows the reddish color of the floors (which are actually bamboo).

Plus, this is MY house, it’s a ranch house, and the color looks nice and rustic to me. We’re never moving from here, so resale value can be something my heirs deal with as they rush to sell our hayseed property as fast as their urban-living selves can do it.

Perhaps, off in the background, you can see how the shelves and the wall color aren’t nice together.

I must admit, though, that while I take lots of pictures of things I like (my office, plants, dogs, chickens, horses, renovations), I do NOT take many pictures of my bedroom. I used to not like the furniture or the arrangement, but I like it a bit better now. That said, I haven’t taken a photo of the room in a long time, other than these images of a lamp and dogs.

I like the light-colored window trim with the wall color just fine. Also note that this room contains furniture I bought 30 years ago for my first “grownup” living space, plus a very old swam rocker from my family. There is a loveseat under that sheet, to collect dog hair and get washed often.

So, What New Color?

I want to repaint the room, or at least most of it. I’d like a deep or saturated color, to keep the room feeling warm, and contrast with the light-colored furniture that’s there, under dog-proofing. I don’t need to match curtains, since there are only prayer flags, and I always buy inexpensive bed covers, due to dogs and their propensity to ruin things with their toenails. So, I can get another color.

Our rugs are maroon and brown, which are the exciting theme colors from before. Right now those seem really gloomy to me. We can use them elsewhere, like in the office building, and get happier ones.

Here Are Ideas I Have:

  • Turquoise: that frightens Lee
  • Robins-egg blue: that would let us keep one wall brown (probably behind the bed), since that color goes well with brown.
  • Coral or terra cotta: I like orange, and these are less scary versions of orange.
  • Sage green: I love this color, but I have enough of it already.
  • Buttery yellow: that’s the color of my bedroom in Austin, and I love it (and it has a contrasting milk-chocolatey brown wall that I also want to change. I must have been in a brown period 5 years ago.

Colors to Avoid

  • Red: my favorite color, but not good in a bedroom. Ditto maroon.
  • Pink: I think Lee would go all sexist on that, plus I only like a few shades of pink, myself.
  • Blue other than the two shades mentioned above. I’m not fond of blue.
  • Black: Yuck. I don’t care how trendy it is.
  • White: Nope. Too sterile.
  • Gray: A warm gray might be okay, but I have painted so many rooms gray lately that I’m tired of it.
  • Tan: the whole rest of the damned house is tan.
Before we had any furniture, Lee said this was the most white-folks colored room he ever saw. Yes, that thing I am knitting is getting longer!

So, what shades have I not thought of? And yes, I would LOVE wallpaper, but we would have to re-texture the walls. That costs money, and people starting a new business generally don’t spend money on things like that until there is profit to be had!

A Doggy PS

You may remember that yesterday I posted a photo of the delicious lemon cake I baked and carefully decorated. Sigh. I set it as far back as I could on the kitchen counter, but someone very tall and with a giant tongue managed to find it.

Cake is now much higher up. The empty spot is where Alfred “tasted” the frosting.

We now have to store all bread and other tasty items in cupboards or on the bar. Well, I like things put away, ANYWAY. And I still love Alfred.

Lee tells Alfred he still loves him, in the very tan downstairs open concept room.

Book Report: Red—The History of a Color

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I talked earlier about how fond I am of the color red and how much I enjoyed the session on cochineal, a red dye, last week. So, naturally, the first of the series of color books by Michel Pastoureau I just got that I’m going to report on is Red: The History of a Color.

Beautiful book!

The quality of this book is drool-worthy. Each book in the series is hefty and dense. The paper for the pages is so thick, and the printing is sublime. The illustrations are so interesting that I’ll go back to this book over and over.

Example of one of the illustrative images. This is by Jan Van Eyk.

While I did get lost in the photos, I also learned a lot about how red figured throughout European history. It was the most important color up until the last few centuries, when blue took over. Boo, blue (I guess I’ll be more on Team Blue when I read the blue volume).

My kitchen is Team Red, too.

The author teaches us a lot about how color has been perceived by humans, which I learned from earlier color books, but the focus on red and how it was perceived earlier than colors other than black and white made the history pretty memorable. it turns out names for many colors show up quite late, as the chapter on pink showed.

Pink and red at my house. Also, roosters were revered because of their bright red combs!

I enjoyed learning a lot about how people dressed through European history, and not just the royalty and rich people. Peasants always liked red!

Sapphire points out that her breed had particularly red combs, and eyes.

Any book in this series would be a nice gift for an artsy or crafty friend. A high-quality book on your favorite color that’s also a work of art in itself—what’s not to love? And red’s the color of love!

We Had a Little Spring. Now Chilly.

My friends the blue-eyed grass have returned.

Well, shoot, just when I was really getting into long walks and frolicking amid the wildflowers, a late cold front has driven me indoors. Yesterday, we hosted an event at 11 am at our office. The front showed up right as all the attendees were coming in or trying to find us. A big wind and brief rain surprised everyone, and blew away my meeting signs. March decided not to go out like a lamb after all!

We have a patch of pink evening primrose that is nearly white. It’s striking against the green grass.

But, I did get a lot of flower-viewing, pet walking, and iNaturalist uploading done before the front! It’s a great year for flowers, thanks to the winter rains, so I know I’ll be out finding more to share soon.

Yellow Flowers

The wild and crazy collard green in bloom.

Here’s something I’ve been grappling with lately. Many of the flowers that are blooming right now are yellow. They’re just beautiful, but when I try to photograph them, they are all washed out, making it hard to see details. Luckily, the collard greens I let go to seed (I ate off this ONE plant all winter) look pretty good. Perhaps the blue sky helped.

Poor little glowing flower.

But this ragwort, like many other yellow ones I’ve photographed, looks like a bright blur. I have tried adjusting the color on my phone, but no luck. Suggestions? Get a real camera! Yes, I know.

Just a giant dog, making ripples in the pond!

I’m looking forward to warmer weather soon. I know the dogs are, too. Alfred had a fine time yachting around in the pond on Friday, but I don’t think he’ll try today!

Take care, friends, and don’t forget to like, share, and comment!