DO YOU HEAR WHAT I HEAR?
This is the title of one of my favorite and well-known Christmas carols, but
do you realize that COLOR is also talking to you this holiday season?
While our homes are being readied for this most wonderful time of year, the treasured SOUNDS and SMELLS of Christmas are certainly loved and savored by most of us.
The music or fragrances of Christmas are my love too but this post is about the sounds resonating from the COLORS chosen to decorate for this season or actually any season.
This is especially true in a neutral space as my living room. Just glancing at this photo, what do you hear? It is the extremely loud voice of the red items like the poinsettias. If this room were of darker colors, the voice of the red items would be much softer, perhaps barely even audible…like a whisper.
A theory with many color experts believes for example, wearing a red suit or piece of clothing when giving an important presentation communicates power and self-confidence. It has also been researched that literally painting a jail cell pink can calm an otherwise unruly inmate.
That COLOR theory is used by many experts and non-experts to express an intentional message or to influence behavior is not new news. But I am suggesting that COLOR speaks or has a voice in your rooms or in your homes as well.
The reds used in my studio were carefully calculated to be “a still small voice” in the minimum use of this ususally bold color.
Color can be very noisy when added to a neutral space or those with minimum color like our master bedroom. In this room, the calculated color is merely whispering the message of a quiet hushed vibe to chill or to savor a quiet time of peaceful relaxation.
I believe that walking into our bedroom is like walking into a peaceful sanctuary due to the muted textures combined with ocean like colors.
Another point of discerning where depth of COLOR is appropriate has everything to do with what is the intended underlying message of the volume one HEARS. In other words, red would not be my choice for my bedroom.
Let’s relate COLOR’S voice to our Christmas decorating as you view these examples of how color either loudly dominates or quietly speaks into these lovely rooms. See if you can distinguish the loudness or softness of the voices used in the Christmas decorations of this post.
This room’s sultry sexy voice is over the top ultra sophisticated and effective. In this sophiticated neutral space, using these unexpected neutral Christmas decorations is extremely subtle without shouting look at me.
See more pictures of this beautiful Sophisticated Farmhouse in the Country Living article linked here.
Check out this Festive Farmhouse room in the Country Living article linked here.
Having the knowledge that COLOR has a voice, it is now easier to decide for our own rooms what are the sounds we want our decorations to communicate.
On the cover and inside the 2018 Christmas by Design book by Patricia McMillan is a wonderful example of Shay Geyer’s Christmas decorations doing exactly what she designed them to do. The gorgeous warm golds of the ribbons, garland, and wrapped packages stand out or ‘’speak to us’’ against the luscious blues and greens.
I was thrilled to have our home in this wonderful book as well. One of the photos used was my dining room table setting. Notice how the red items definitely have a voice in this neutral space.
Remember too, candle light has color. The very warm golden glow is on the warm side of the color wheel. By using a lot of candles in various colors, shapes, and sizes, even the most elementary of Christmas decorated rooms become aglow with not only the Christmas spirit but with the hushed voices of the season as well.
We all love the warm glow of candles and Robin Lamonte used candles in a most lovely way! Check out her blog here!
I hope this helps you all distinguish what sounds of Christmas you wish to convey in your very own rooms. Not understanding COLOR’S impact could be the why you often struggle with making your decorations be all that you want them to be. Perhaps it is time to listen to the sounds coming from your decorations. Like any good choir director, only showcase those voices that can sing a tune you enjoy hearing.
My message to you is a loud shout to enjoy your Christmas season like you have never enjoyed one before this year. I know for me this is exactly what I plan to do. XOXO!
Living and loving life together,
P.S. Be sure to follow me on Instagram, Youtube, and like my Facebook page!
Mitzi, I loved this post!!
Thank you Linda!
Some pretty pics here. Love those pendants in your studio, Mitzi. Reds are always a favorite of mine for Christmas.
Thanks and those pendants spoke to me Carla when I was designing my studio. I consider red a neutral all year long .
I love the whole premise of this post, Mitzi, re: color having a *voice.* Thank you for giving me something interesting to consider as I ramp up my own Christmas decorating tomorrow.
And.. your home in Patricia’s book looks lovely! Congratulations on that.
I appreciate your comment Leslie that perhaps you can gain a touch more perspective personally in your own spaces. I love it when something gives me a new dimension for applying design principles especially.
It was a streching experience for me to partipate in Patricia’s Christmas by Design book. How grateful I am to have had that experience.
Great article. Red also inspires appetite which maybe part of the reason we all gain weight around the holidays!
Thank you Mary Ann and as I already commented to you, you were spot on with appetite association! 🙂 Smart lady!
Such a great way to think of color…as having a voice and shouting or whispering. It reminds me of telling my kids to use their “inside voices” 🙂 Colors have a lot of power to determine the mood of a room!
Oh my Janet, every mom can relate to saying quiet down already to our kids. I have felt this way in spaces that are way too loud for me .
Great list! I love the loudness of the red Christmas decor!
Thank you Wendy for commenting and yes, red can be very noisy. Too much of anything is always too much as you so know.
Great post, and you are so right, color definitely has a voice that we should be paying attention to !
Yes Amy, sometimes I just want to ask the designer or homeowner, how can you be at peace in this space? But of course I never do!
Loved your reminder that Christmas decor doesn’t need to shout “look at me!” I also love a serene palette for a soft, sanctuary bedroom!
Thank you Donna for your wise understanding of what my message was in this post. If our spaces have the power to affect our lives, then certainly color choices need to be seriously calculated.
I love how you relate color to having a voice. It is so true! Some just scream while others are soft. I love your studio and your pendants BTW!
Thank you Sheri and I “hear”‘ you!
For me personally, color has a profound effect on my sense of well being. I do miss my studio in my new life in NE Ohio but life is about change, right?
This was very interesting! I love decorating for Christmas with traditional bright reds. Your home is so beautifully decorated and your studio is just perfection! Thank you for sharing!?❤️
Well Susie, I just loved your lovely comments! And you are more than welcome xoxo
I loved ready this as a fan of dressing with color I found it very interesting to see how it’s also incorporated into home decor!
Merry Christmas to you ?
Very cool Nancy that you made this connection from color in fashion to color in our homes. As I have said many times, no space is neutrally benign in the message it conveys.
You’ve given me food for thought. Is how we look never giving a benign message either? Hmmm, I believe you know the answer but how many others really processe what their clothing is saying?