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Moody Blues...Speaking of Color, not the Group



Good day to you! The title for this blog may have caught your eye initially, but it is not about knights in white satin. We will talk about white satin another time and drop the "k" as we talk about nights, as in sleeping... Anyway, by "Moody Blues" I am referring to those deep blues on the color spectrum; deep dark ocean blues, blues with a lot of black or red or green in their base. These blues are not for those afraid of a lot of color depth. These blues are strong because of the saturation of color needed to give them weight and character. To appreciate their qualities, it is worth getting specific about these particular blue hues because the color BLUE has endless levels. For this little conversation, the focus is on just the deeper blues and we will call them "moody". I recently took the color quiz offered by Lori Weitzner (her book, Ode to Color, was mentioned in a previous post; visit her website to take her quiz). Surprisingly, my answers revealed that I am drawn to deep colors versus lighter ones. I just want to note that I believe this to be true and my house is filled with deep tones...BUT, my walls are varying shades of white! Deep color hues show up in our wall art, pillow fabrics and lamps! Still, when it comes to the color Blue, I agree with the results 100%. In one of our previous homes, the guest bedroom was painted a deep deep navy blue! It was fabulous...so much so, I used the very same color in the next house. Deep colors don't refer to "feeling gloomy", but rather lend a sense of introspection. If you know and enjoy the grandeur of the houses of kings and queens, check out what colors you find in manor houses and royal residences. Their "gloominess" was lack of electricity, hence no lights! Deep hues tend to give off a "royal" atmosphere appeal. Think royal robes (scarlet, red, purple). And, deep colors create somewhat of a mysterious energy too. I could go on and on...this is so fascinating a subject. But, we cannot go on like this forever; this blog will turn into a book. I digress...


It is believed that color emits certain feelings and that we relate color to life experiences. I agree with this! Because I am a color addict and love to experiment with color, I have read a number of books on the subject. A color theory course I took years ago suggested that we absolutely are affected by color. And, it is through a process of understanding what color represents and how/why we are moved to like or dislike certain colors. In my own business, when meeting with clients to determine what color(s) they would like to incorporate into their interiors, I start with a color "quiz" to help them discover what those colors are. During my initial meeting with a client, each is given a set of 12 squares of colored paper, representing the colors on the color wheel (thanks Issac Newton!). The client is asked to select four colors that would be considered their favorite "go to" colors. The second set of four colors selected would be representative of their "secondary" choices. The remaining, or last set of four colors, represent colors they don't care for or dislike altogether. Once collected and spread out, I then talk to them about each group. The first group of "favorites" reflect colors that make them happy and could be ones that offer a connection to something positive/happy; perhaps from the past. The second group of colors (the secondary picks) speak to the idea of color that emits a sense of "grounding". Another word to suggest grounding might be security, peaceful, comforting or restfulness. The last group is always fun to talk about as these colors represent repressed feelings; not necessarily coming from a bad place in our psyche; more reflective of colors that are hidden way back in our memories. I'll give you a little story to add some context. It goes as follows:


When I was young (and throughout my life to the present) I found out that I love chocolate! I mean, I love chocolate...everything! I am particular about the chocolate I consume today, because there is definitely a difference in quality (more on that some other time). Anyway, what I didn't like was the color of the wrappers. Do you remember what the Heath Bar wrapper looked like? It was a lot of brown...so was the Hershey Bar...so much brown! I loved 3 Musketeers bars because I liked the colors on the wrapper; same with Kit Kat. One day, a friend offered me a piece of this chocolate bar with toffee (Heath Bar). I truly was missing out; I was so shocked that something so good (and most certainly good for me! ha ha) could be packaged in an ugly brown wrapper. Fast forward a lifetime at warp speed to about 10 years ago; I took that decorating course mentioned above. Not surprisingly, I found out that brown (like those wrappers) was in my third pick of colors. It made so much sense that brown represented that repressed feeling from those candy bar wrappers so so long ago. The next step from that course suggested incorporating these colors into the next decorating project (in my own house) and see what it does for aesthetics and visual pleasure! The challenge peaked my curiosity, so I did just that! I created a master bedroom for my husband and me in brown and cream. The entire room, from paint to carpet, bedding, chairs etc. was finished in these two colors. Rather than color striking out at first glance, the room colors receded, which provided a sense of calm, peace, restfulness. To sum it up, let me just say this about that room; the way I felt in this room was the beginning of a quality of life with color I had not experienced before. And, it changed the course of direction when helping other people choose color schemes in their home! This philosophy has become the cornerstone of my business and why I am so passionate about master bedrooms being the most important of room in a home; And, I believe that color affects us on a very intimate level. To understand what one likes, is drawn to and able to bring forth through a little mental work, will make all the difference in what can be the difference between a room being beautifully done and a room that becomes a part of you and absolutely uplifts your personal quality of life. OMG this is getting longer by the word.....


So let's get back to the initial intent of this post, which is the focus on those beautiful "moody blues". If you want to add warmth and/or drama to a room, lean toward moody blues/hues. Know this though; not every room can handle a deep color. Moody blues are great for dining rooms, library spaces, small bathrooms and even bedrooms. I need to qualify something for those with seasonal depression; I would stay away from dark colors in your bedroom because the trigger for seasonal depression symptoms is: lack of light (specifically sunlight). Dark colors will only diminish any natural sunlight in your bedroom, so make sure you lean in to lighter, airy colors. More on that later. Today is a pitch for the drama of deep moody blues. A few suggestions for you are as follows:


  • Benjamin Moore Newberryport Blue

  • Sherwin Williams Moody Blue

  • Farrow & Ball De Nimes

  • Behr Smokey Blue

  • Edward Bulmar Azurite

  • Little Greene Hicks Blue

These colors are not exhaustive and will vary in depth as well as lean more towards blue or green. So make certain you know if you want a green/blue or a blue/green. There is a difference. The last two suggestions are from paint companies located in the UK and may not be only available in the U.S.. Farrow & Ball is made only in England, but can be purchased in the U.S. They are exceptional paints and offer the most beautiful hues, in my opinion. Behr paint is available from The Home Depot and we recommend it as a great "go to" paint for a very good price. Benjamin Moore is my preferred paint over Sherwin Williams (a very nice paint) because of their wide array of colors that are historically aligned and I just love their "whites".


This was a bit longer than normal. I hope I didn't keep you too long! Until next time...Jeanine


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