Pop of Color

For over a decade, I’ve stuck to neutral colors for my house. Accessories, furniture, paint and dishes only come home with me if they are shades of white, beige, brown, black, or gray. Pieces like this are safe and easy; you always know you can move things from room to room and they will meld well with the other décor. I’ve always been drawn to simplicity.

But over time I realized the biggest reason I’ve shied away from bold hues is because a neutral pallet soothes me. Without a lot of colors in my surroundings, things don’t pop out at me as much and have a way of fading away into the background of my mind, which is what I thought I needed in my life.

Last winter, I had a change of heart. I started craving color.

Instead of grabbing home décor magazines with neutral covers, I went for the ones with bright colors. My Pinterest boards filled with rooms featuring colorful accents and unpredictable shades. I kept thinking it would pass, and I’d be glad I stuck with what I knew and did best: My neutral palette. It had suited me for this long.

But the urge to try something new wouldn’t leave.

I didn’t want to do something subtle, either. I pictured big pops of Kelly green and pink, not just any pink; hot pink.

One afternoon, I bought a green vase that had swirls of green and white. Filling it with bright pink roses, I set it on my dining room table and immediately felt so alive. Then I took down a large painting I had done a few years ago and squirted pink and green paint all over it. It was black, white and gray stripes and I began swirling pink and green paint onto the canvas. I didn’t really have a plan but I couldn’t stop myself.

I took a couple of accents I already had lying around, an antler, a little bowl, and a candle holder and took some hot pink spray paint to them. Next came a silk hot pink throw on the back of the sofa.

My kids told me I was over doing it, but I paid them no mind. I was loving being around color for the moment. It was clear they had been living in a neutral world much too long as well.

I bought a blush pink duvet and shams for my bedroom and ripped off my white blanket that had been at the foot of my bed for years. I spotted curtains that were plastered with huge green palm leaves and bought them in an instant — they were perfect. As I was pulling down the plain white drapes I had made almost 10 years ago, by son walked by my room and said, “Mom, it looks like a tropical island resort in here.”

Good, that’s what I needed in my life: to feel like I was on vacation every day.

Every morning when I woke up, the first thing I noticed was how pretty the bright curtains looked in the morning sun against the landscape outside.

When I came downstairs to start my day, it didn’t matter how tired I was, the painting paired with the bright accents made me smile and gave me a pang of energy. Almost like a jolt of caffeine for my eyes.

I never knew how much color could boost my moods.

And while I’ll probably never have a home with more than a few different colors — and I still adore my white walls — I will always have pops of bright color. It has been a small thing I’ve done to lift my moods and I’ll need it in my life forever.

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