In this section, you will find articles about the use of color within various industries. Click on the RSS icon to the subscribe to our Color Articles feed in your newsreader.
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Not only is white transforming the outdoor landscape in many parts of the country at this time of year, but it can also become a wonderfully flexible color for breathing new life into your indoor design. Now is the perfect time to take a second look at the simplistic beauty of white.
Decorating colors are as changeable as the season or the current fashion fad. In recent years, the popularity of the "green" movement translated into numerous earthy decorating schemes. Retro color palettes also found their way into many homes. Other designers have played with chocolate-pink or black-gray color combinations. However, if you look closely, you'll see that white has never totally vanished from the scene, and now, it appears to be regaining some of its status both as a powerful neutral and as an exciting, energizing accent color.
Pantone may have just recently announced Emerald as its new color for 2013, but Benjamin Moore is offering more than 200 shades of white paint to suit every taste. Traditional best sellers such as Navajo White (PM-29), Linen White (PM-28), and Ivory White (925) are being joined by three new popular shades: Simply White (2143-70), Moonlight White (2143-60), and China White (PM-20). Why so many variations? Today’s white paint colors can include a hint of green, pink, or blue undertones for the perfect match to the rest of your decorating scheme.
Today, more than 75 percent of the women of the United States and Europe are regularly changing their hair color. Some wish to appear more fashionable or youthful. Others imitate the hairstyles of their favorite celebrities, the trendsetters of the modern world. The "graying of America" remains unpopular with middle-aged women and men, and today's easy, do-it-yourself home kits are an ideal solution. Still others try to restore original hair color that has been damaged by illness, medical treatments or other causes. Whatever the reason, it has never been easier to permanently adjust your hair color or to try a temporary new look.
Changing your appearance by changing the color of your hair is not a new idea. The Babylonians, Egyptians, Greeks and Romans all used animal or plant matter to alter their natural tresses. The ancient Gauls and Saxons dyed their hair and skin startling colors to instill fear in their enemies on the battleground. By the Middle Ages, red hair had become associated with witchcraft and was a condition to be dreaded and hidden. Elizabeth I, with her long curly red tresses, changed all that, and henna treatments suddenly became popular and fashionable hair treatments.
Henna is still a popular, chemical-free choice for today's woman. Since naturally red hair-color occurs in less than one to three percent of the population and is generally limited to natives or descendants of Australia, Ireland, Scotland and the United Kingdom, everyone else must resort to products such as Rainbow Henna, Natural Expressions Henna or Clairol Professional Jazzing in Red Hot hair dye. Unless you are Katy Perry, "carrot top" red is out, but copper, bronze, strawberry blonde and auburn are popular choices because they add warmth and gentle color to the area around the face.
The traditional red and green colors of Christmas have a long and rich history rooted in both paganism and Christianity. To celebrate Saturn, the god of agriculture, Romans set aside the days from December 17 to December 25 as special holidays. Exchanging greenery such as holly and ivy was a way to wish one another long life, peace and good luck. Early Christians chose to stamp this tradition with a more spiritual emphasis. They renamed it Christmas as a mass for Christ, and red became the sacred color associated with His sacrificial life and death.
Throughout the years, green, the color that represents life, nature, peace, eternity and the hope of the future, has been important, especially to families trying to survive the harsh conditions that winter brings. Whether this has meant decorating a house with palm branches in Egypt, bringing in an evergreen Christmas tree in Germany or stringing green garlands across a fireplace mantle in Vermont, this color is a reminder that the earth may appear asleep, but spring and reawakening are just a few short months away.
While red is an important symbol of Christ's birth and death, it also reminds the world to celebrate His selfless love and sacrifice. Holly berries, the red robes of church bishops, and red apples on the pine trees of medieval miracle plays were the forerunners of Rudolph's red nose, and Santa’s familiar crimson suit. In Mexico, the beloved red poinsettia is a common Christmas decoration that reminds families of the star that hovered over Bethlehem so long ago. The red amaryllis and Christmas cactus also bring this beloved color into the season. In Argentina, red and white garlands are hung over doorways during November and December.
If you want a quick and easy way to revamp your home, why not think about turning some old, boring furniture into a quirky new design feature? If you've got an ancient chest of drawers that could do with an update, get some tips on how to transform them here.
Before you get out the paint or stencils, make sure that you prepare the surfaces of your drawers first. That means removing any existing or flaking paint and sanding down to create an even surface.
Rather than just slapping on a simple coat of paint, you can customize your drawers to create a unique feature using one of these different painting effects:
Ask any school child where the custom for our American Thanksgiving celebration began, and the answer will be "from the Pilgrims of Plimoth Plantation in Massachusetts." It is an established fact that in 1621, a group of 90 Wampanoag Native Americans joined with this fledgling British colony to celebrate the goodness of God in allowing them their first successful harvest. For three days that fall, food and sport were the main attractions. Grateful hearts and songs were raised by the New World settlers.
While Florida, Maine, Texas and Virginia have all laid claim to earlier Thanksgiving services, our familiar images of that first celebration are drawn from the Pilgrim experience as it was immortalized in a letter sent to England by Edward Winslow. In any case, in 1941, Congress permanently established the fourth Thursday in November as a day to celebrate our many blessings.
For most Americans, Thanksgiving is also a celebration of the wonderful, warm colors and aromas of autumn. Brown is the dominant color. Think of golden brown turkeys roasting in ovens across the nation and browned breads slathered with melting butter. Brown, especially rich chocolate, is also a popular decorating color. While grays are currently gaining in appeal, browns can be very inviting as a neutral, calming backdrop to the other warm colors in the fall palette.