Colors have power but which colors will help you heal?
I have clients of all kinds. Clients that have new homes, old homes, homes that need to be staged and even clients with Historic homes that need a very specific color palette.
Every now and then I have clients who have special needs when it comes to color. They are hurt, sick, depressed or suffering from some type of loss in their life and need colors that will heal them or even change the energy in a room. These have been actual requests from clients but how does this process work? Let me share with you some personal stories of people who’ve been helped with the right color choices for their home.
This is really such a huge subject so here, I will just be touching base to start to help you understand the thought process behind this amazing service. To start off with, we can all agree that when we see colors, some of them have a profound effect on us right?
For example, how do you feel when you see this painting? We first look at the swans and say “Oh how beautiful” and perhaps have a slight smile on your face. Now look at the colors. There’s blue, purple, red, yellow, green and orange. There’s really just about every color under the rainbow here. So which color or colors in this painting are responsible for making us feel good? The answer is more than just color, it’s memories and emotions.
BLUE: Let’s look at blue. Blue as we know has several meanings from the positive calming feel we get from a coastal scene or it can be the opposite feeling of mourning or despair when we “feel blue”. Having said that, would blue be a good choice for someone who has sadness in their life? Which emotion, calming or despair, will be felt when this type of client looks at blue? With blue as the #1 hue to have in the home, this question should be addressed first before anything else. Can blue be in your home?
GRAY: Now let’s talk about gray for a minute. Gray is still such a strong color trend in the home and I shuttered when this hue came into town. Not everyone can have gray in the home.
For the most part, when we think of gray we think of gray days, rain, sadness, lifeless, lack of color, being old, a feeling of coldness and even just an overall feel of emptiness. It’s really not a color that when you see standing alone you say, “Oh how pretty that color is!” Are some grays nice? Absolutely but this is one hue that I really have trouble with using in the home as the main color. Why would anyone want all that gray in their home? How does that home look on a rainy day? Is there any energy in that home with such a lifeless color? I guess some people find it “safe” to decorate with after all, just about everything goes with gray especially black. Yuk!
NOTE: See how I just reacted to gray and even black? Not very positive right? For some reason, gray and black just urk me to no end. Why is that? Did I have a bad experience with gray at one point in my life? Does it trigger a memory that I’m not aware of? Do I remember all the funerals I went to when I see black? Perhaps something unpleasant happened to me on a rainy day and I associate all grays with that feeling. See how this works?
I realize that is an extreme stretch but I’m just trying to make a point. Some people react to blue this way, or to yellow, green – it could be any color at all! It’s my job as a Color Expert to search for these reactions when I meet with these special needs clients and weed out the colors that CAN’T be in the home thus filling it will colors that should be in the home.
If I discuss color options with my client and see any strong reaction to any particular color, I have to analyze (yes sometimes I’m a Color Therapist) and take note of what colors not to use.
Gray is not a color that symbolizes joy, life or happiness. Is gray a smart color choice for a person who suffers from depression? I say no. Not even the most beautify gray, for example, Benjamin Moore’s Gray Owl. Great color indeed BUT on a subconscious level, no matter how clean or crisp your gray is, it’s still gray.
There are always loopholes to using any color in the home. Of course you can pair this gray up with an orange, yellow or green and change the entire dynamic of the home AND how it feels to the client. When you start arranging colors to alter feelings, you begin to start mending or healing a client in a very specific way. But really, how do we do this????
Let me share another example with you. I had a client who lost her nearly full term baby girl. She called me up in tears only three weeks after the loss to help her get healing colors in her home. “I just want to feel happy again!” she said. I booked her immediately.
When I arrived at her home, I spent the first 15-20 minutes listening to her and just causally chatting about her situation, why she wanted to change ALL the colors in her home and then devise a new color palette for her without asking her what colors she wants. Totally backwards from a regular consult.
While she was talking I walked around the home with her, noticing the colors she already had in her rooms. I noted the dark blue accent wall in the living room that not only didn’t match the home but felt like you just walked into a brick wall (being Sensitive helps pick up on these feelings) so that color was out.
The main floor was basically colorless, Contractors Beige I think. As we went upstairs, we went into the would be nursery, with crib unassembled and pink on the walls. Now we know that pink is out of the color palette because it would just trigger a really bad memory if I were to add it somewhere in the home. She was ok with repainting the nursery.
The Master bedroom was just a blank. She had no idea what she wanted and her husband just wanted her happy so he didn’t care what color we chose as long as it made her smile.
I looked on the bed and there was a duvet cover that was given to them as a wedding present. We chatted about the duvet cover and I saw how she lit up when we did. I chose one color from that cover and made it her bedroom color. She may not be aware of it but on a subconscious level, she will pick up that “feel good moment in time” at her wedding and love her new bedroom wall color.
The consult when on and she eventually said how she loves peach so that was her office color. Her guest room was opposite that so it had to match AND could not be any blue or anything with a pink undertone. A yellow based green was chosen and for an instant, made her smile – the color was working!
Anyway, the consult when on and she wound up having the home painted shortly after I left and she loved it! Did it completely heal her hurt? That hurt will never be healed but it made the place where she lived, where this horrible event happened to her, a home again where she could be happy and continue her life. All with the help of the right color palette.
That my friends, is the start of how to heal with using the right colors. It’s a combination of listening, paying attention to details, opening your heart and just trusting in the little voice inside you.
People are people and color is just paint on the walls. Combine the right colors with the right people and magic happens in that home because color has that power.