Do All Colors Go Together?

I was in Island Quilter, the best quilt shop in the world (in my humble opinion), on Friday and a lady was trying to figure out what color yarn to use to assemble her knitted squares into a single piece.  The knitted squares were in a variety of colors (more on this in  a bit), and so, especially since she was wearing a vibrant purple suit, I suggested purple.  Her immediate reaction was that that wouldn’t go with her bedroom.

That got me thinking about whether I thought there were colors which don’t go together, and I realized that anything I actually consider a color (I do not handle beige, white, brown, black, neutrals, etc well at all) I would put with any other color and in fact do on a regular basis.  For me, a color needs to be bold and definitive, with no questions about what it is.  And my home and life reflect this.  My favorite color spot in my home is where a pink wall and magenta baseboard meet up with a yellow door and baseboard with a green half bath close by on one side and a purple closet on the other, and a blue bedroom beyond.  Well, I’m sure you get the idea.

We all color our worlds differently and that works really well.  I would not like it actually if everyone did as I do as that would become boring.  And the reality is that I have a mild form of color-blindness so that I am unable to distinguish colors which are close or colors which are faint, and hence my need for bold colors.  I recently purchased a hot tub (yep this is relevant to color) and they recommend testing the water for a variety of things such as ph using strips which you swirl in the water and then compare with the handy color chart.  Well, I have now signed up for valet service so my tub will be checked monthly and drained and refilled three times a year for a variety of reasons, but one of the biggies is that all the colors on the chart look about the same to me for all the things I am supposed to measure.  I can tell the difference between the bottom and the top but I cannot see the gradients.  I remember having the same issues in both high school and college chemistry, and my father used to yell at me that this beige didn’t even come close to matching that beige (he was big into neutrals).

A friend painted a magnificent portrait of my cat Sasha and I just got it framed.  As I was picking out mat and frame colors, the difficulties I have with distinguishing subtleties surfaced again.  The store owner first picked out a variety of mats which she felt would be good, and I am sure they all would have been, but after eliminating all the (by my definition) non colors, we settled on a lovely purple which looks fantastic with the portrait (Sasha is a black cat).  Then the frame selection, and again, I was offered many choices.  I suggested orange (once we decided that none of the greens would work because they caused detracted from Sasha’s gorgeous green eyes), and there were in theory lots to pick from, but most of them simply didn’t look orange to me.  They looked like rust or brown or whatever, but not orange.  Finally we found a bright orange that I liked which also worked very well with the painting and so now the portrait of Sasha sits proudly on my bright pink wall and looks fantastic.

Sasha Painted by Cynthia Zheutlin

My colors are bold.  My quilts stand out for a variety of reasons, but one of the main ones is my use of colors and as far as I am concerned all colors go well together, so I was able to respect (if not understand) the lady in the quilt shop’s statement, but I still think given the variety of her squares (which were primarily what I believe is called earth colors, including sage and some kind of yellow, etc,) that the purple would have looked magnificent.  I left before she’d made a decision, realizing that my input would not have been helpful, and I’ll ask Paul or Anja later on what color she finally settled on.

Do you have strong color preferences? Does color play a major or minor role in your life?  Just wondering.

5 responses

  1. My favourite colour is purple. Orange is a close second for non-clothing stuff.I have a really hard time coordinating colours, though. I tend to wear a lot of black pants so I can be sure that they aren't clashing with whatever colour of blouse I'm wearing.I'm very impressed by people who can throw together a complementary outfit (or room, or entire house!) with several different colours in it. I love artistic flourishes and really wish I had that skill set! 🙂

  2. Wow, that's an old account. Not sure why I appeared as "The Preacher's Kid" in my last comment. 🙂

  3. LOL! You can comment however you like and yes, the internet is weird sometimes. Purple is also my favorite, followed by orange and then pink! I have never been one who could throw together a complementary outfit and in fact was told repeatedly throughout most of my life that my choices didn't go together. I finally just gave up and I wear whatever I like whether it "goes together" or not and in fact I spent a number of years deliberately mismatching shoes and socks (Converse hi-tops and Birkenstock vegan sandals) as an act of "defiance." But now my wardrobe is simply comfortable and it is hard to find pants esp. in colors, but there it is. My home more than makes up for it. As always, I really appreciate your comments! Have a lovely evening!

  4. I love purple, too. I used to have a room with a purple rug and lime green drapes. Usually there's an abundance of deep reds in my rooms because red makes me feel calm and comfortable. In our current house, the rugs are all red Oriental types but the furniture is quieter than usual — gray, subtle green, natural wood, but with intense throw pillows. I was trying to go for a quiet look, but of course I had to add color. I will eventually have lots of color on the walls in the form of paintings. I'm not sure I've ever seen a house quite like yours but I imagine it's very exotic and beautiful.

  5. Thanks, Andrea! Good to have you stop by and your home sounds lovely! I like that you find red a calming and comfortable color–I do the same with pink and I think usually reds and pinks are considered active. Anyway, nice to hear from a fellow color lover! Have a great day–our weather in the PNW is certainly fantastic!

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