For as long as I can remember, my friends have strongly encouraged me to bring my color palette down a notch. They insisted, bright, bold colors should be reserved for accents or special occasions only. My colors were just too much “there there”. Frankly, I had no idea what they were talking about. What’s not to love about an orange wall, and a red couch?! I loved my major colors! My parents were and are variously partial to bright Caribbean motifs, 1960s Scandinavian splashes and energetic quilted landscapes. My sister, Kathy, is a keen collector of vivid artifacts. Clearly I am in good company, right?
And then my daughter was born.
Austen is a “minor” color gal. She loves her heathered browns, greys, and burgundies. She has more than once suggested that my color selections are “too poppy outie” for her. Apparently we are born with certain color preferences, because I certainly never pushed a particular palette on her. Austen has taught me a great deal about how to combine the neutrals of our world into pleasing arrangements that still leave room for the fantastic (if only occasional) “pop”.
I’ve learned to temper my predilection in our furniture designs. While we do offer some very “bouncy” washi paper screen colors, we also offer a soothing palette of colors that can serve as accents in a neutral-based homescape.
My unrelenting affection for my “major” colors is not truly an impeachable offense in the feng shui of color. It’s just what I like. May you too discover the colors of your heart and never waver in their expression. :-)
My favorite book, when I was first learning to read, was Are You My Mother? by PD Eastman. I pored over that book for hours, imagining the tantalizingly frightening scenes the little bird found himself in. My books were my private world and I coveted them quite deliciously…and still do!
I graduated to more complex books as I grew, but never lost my love of early readers. When I was 11 and my little sister had just turned 5, I started reading to her every night from Busy, Busy Town by Richard Scarry. For those of you unfamiliar with his work, Scarry is the author of many wonderful childrens’ books featuring an impressive array of anthropomorphic animals in a variety of everyday, very human situations.
On one page you might find the downtown bakery opening up for the early morning rush. On the next page you might visit the local school, or drive by your favorite intersection in a pickle car. You might even stumble upon a gusher at the local laundry, or take a quick peek into the Candy Store. Huckle Cat, Mr. Frumble, police Sergeant Murphy, Mr. Fixit, Bananas Gorilla and Hilda Hippo were all favorite characters in the story, but the most striking character had to be Lowly Worm. Lowly was Huckle’s pet and best friend, but most importantly, he was also extremely versatile. Lowly attended school with the Cat kids and did all the usual kid things, but he also found himself in quite a few adult situations. For example, one day you might find Lowly driving a street sweeper and the next he might be lending a hand in the operating room at Busy Town hospital. Lowly was always working to make his world a better place, all the while sporting a fetching Alpine hat!
When I think of Busy, Busy Town it makes me smile. All of us working to make our world work. And I think we can all learn a bit from Lowly Worm…be humble, keep learning, keep doing and make it beautiful.
Ruminations (and the occasional rambling) from Sharon Kirk, designer at auleigh home.