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Color is Perceived Through Relationships

Posted by Emily Lauderback on

I recently worked with a couple on their kitchen remodel, who also happen to be friends. They are extremely talented with a home that truly reflects their family's spirit: relaxed, organic, artsy, warm, and comfortable. The kitchen is the last space in the home to be remodeled. They've done it all themselves (including raising the entire house and building a new foundation!) in the 15 years that they've lived there, while having and raising their two daughters. Doing it all themselves, of course they've never worked with someone like me before.

Clearly, the hour that I spent at their home with them was a frustrating process for me. I was able to acknowledge it, and we all were able to laugh at it too. The source of my frustration?

I was there to assist them with selecting their Forbo Marmoleum floor, kitchen countertop, backsplash or not, and paint color to work with the new bamboo cabinets he was making himself. The new kitchen will be significantly more open to the living room which has lots of fir trim (reads as orange in color world), wood floors, and Benjamin Moore's Henderson Buff on the living room walls. I brought my samples, ready to create their palette, and make the necessary decisions. Since I like to be efficient and work quickly anyway, I was delighted to do what I do best and also help my friends!

Well, no matter how many times I had asked for the real samples of VG fir and bamboo that would be used and felt that we had a clear plan so I could get to work, I was not seeing what I needed to see. I had communicated in the days before we met that I would need those samples to be able to help them. Yet, when I was there at the house, they did not have them and also couldn't seem to locate them. Instead, they were focusing on asking me their questions about what color to paint, etc.

My frustration mounted as every time I was asked a question, I had to respond, "I really can't answer you until I see everything." While my frustration mounted, I was able to see that my paradigm and how I do my work was foreign to them.

Did I feel that they were ignoring my request? No. I knew I wasn't truly being heard, but it's because they do not have the same experience I do with the energy color produces and how to manipulate it. The only way I know how to manipulate it is to create it and experience it.

Eventually, when I voiced my frustration of not feeling heard, samples were produced! We got out the Marmoleum samples and began to experience them with the fir and bamboo samples. Of course, the clear winners emerged as my friends felt what resonated with them most. As is usually the case when we just take the time to be present with our choices, THE right choice shines through.

We continued with my process selecting the counter top and paint color too. Everyone was in agreement that it was the perfect balance of color and neutrality to provide for a clean, uncluttered, and natural aesthetic. Building off of the predominance of warm colors already present in their home, choosing cool finishes for the flooring and paint in the kitchen were obvious to me. Of course, through the process, those emerged as the natural choice for them too when they saw it and experienced it in relation to the bamboo, fir, and existing Henderson Buff.

Choosing Stormy Monday to reflect the Aubergine Marmoleum created a very light and highly energized relationship with all of those warm yellow and orange tones. Also, Henderson Buff having so much yellow present in it, certainly brought to the forefront the purple depth in the Stormy Monday...soft and incredibly natural! Beautiful. We all saw it and experienced it together, and Stormy Monday was the clear winner! I left my friends feeling confident of how perfect their kitchen is going to be. A true reflection of their home and family's spirit!

That was a week or two ago... I heard from them today that now they are considering changing the paint color because they fear it's too gray.

I must say, again, the difference in our paradigms and how we experience this became obvious again. To me, that color is not gray. Sure on its own, when I look at the swatch, especially with white next to it, it looks like a pretty bland gray.

BUT, I saw it next to Henderson Buff (which is on the living room walls) and bamboo and fir, and I know from that experience that when it's painted on the walls and the kitchen is completed and put back together with bamboo cabinets, that Stormy Monday is going to be an incredibly soft and natural purple resonating and vibrating away in the most delicious way that Mother Nature has created for us and physics explains to us. The experience of color is all about its relationship to what else is present.

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