Color/Space Revelations (Revised)


Me and my pup, Lucy, in my newly reconfigured office. Photo by Ray Greenfield

Those of you who read my last post learned this -- our guest room yearned to be a strawberry blond.


Soon after I painted that room, I had the soffit above our bed and our bathroom ceiling painted the periwinkle blue hue that I had created for our bedroom focal wall. To avoid sleeping amidst the paint fumes, we slept in our guest room one night. We brought our pillows with us. When we threw our dusty lavender pillows on the guest room bed, the room came alive in entirely new ways.

Our strawberry blond room with a pop of lavender. Photo by Barbara Clare

Why? Lavender (the pillow cases) and yellow (in the walls) are complementary colors.


What have we learned about complementary colors? They are opposite each other on the color wheel, and when you place complementary colors next to each other, they enhance each other. Against the warm peaches and cream guest room walls, the lavender popped.


Evidently, my blonde room wants dusty lavender sheets!


The Color Outside

Photo left: The deck is the original trim color. Photo right: Painting in process. The top deck floor is the new dark gray and the lower step is the original trim color. Photos by Barbara Clare


Our guest room has a door that leads outside to a little porch. I had painted its floor the exterior trim hue, which is a silvery sage. But I never liked the trim color on that floor. Although the trim color made sense from a design perspective, its light hue meant that the floor always looked dirty. Time to freshen it up!


The porch steps lead to bluestone pavers. I matched the deep gray of the bluestone pavers and painted the porch floor with that color. Not only did the deep hue hide the dirt, it made the floor space look larger because now the bluestone and the porch floor read as one contiguous space.

Photo left: The painting completed. The deck floor now matches the bluestone pavers beneath it. Photo by Barbara Clare


On to space revelations...


Walking My Talk

Recently, a young couple enlisted me to help them choose colors for their home's interior. At the beginning of our session, the husband, Taylor, asked me to give them feedback on furniture and furniture placement as we progressed through their home. When we entered the room Taylor used as an office, I immediately saw that his desk placement was not ideal.


His desk was facing a wall. When Taylor sat there, his back faced the room's entry door. Bad feng shui.


According to feng shui principles, the desk is one of the power spots in your home. Sitting with your back to a door is psychologically unnerving. Why? When people enter the room they are walking up to you behind your back. Also, metaphorically, when your back faces an entry door, your back is to your present and your future. In other words, you have your back to whatever is coming to you in life.


I had Taylor sit in his desk chair and then I walked into the room. I asked him how he felt with someone walking up behind him. Not great. Then I had him roll his desk chair to face the entry door and asked him how he felt. I could see the wheels turning in his head. "hmmm...better..."


He immediately jumped up and started moving his desk. After we repositioned it, Taylor revealed that he had Attention Deficit issues. I knew this configuration would help him focus and feel more powerful. Plus, the mid-tone green we selected for that room is the best hue for concentration.


A few days later, I received this text from Taylor:

So this sounds crazy and I'm not sure if it's in my head, but I think this desk configuration has increased focus and productivity...

Ha! The power of Feng Shui! After Taylor's message I thought about my very own office. My desk was parallel to the entry door, which meant that I was shoulder-to-shoulder with whatever came to me in life. Not as bad as having one's back to the door, but still not the ideal configuration from a power perspective.


I knew this. I had placed my desk there because it allowed me to look out windows on two walls. However, I thought, "You need to walk your talk, Babs. Time for a change -- time to place my desk in a more powerful location." I moved the desk so that I am now facing the entry door. Thanks to my swivel chair, I can still look out both sets of windows from my desk.


The result?


The room felt larger, cleaner, more open, and yes, like Taylor, my mind felt clearer. And I do feel more powerful sitting in my desk chair now, ready to work.

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