Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Favorites: a prologue

I've been mulling a future post in my mind; it's got me thinking about all sorts of favorite things.

I've always been a color junkie. I can clearly recall, as a college freshman, flipping through the J. Crew catalog and imagining with glee my ideal job: penning the color names of the clothing items within. Persimmon, periwinkle, mango... ahhhhh. To a newly independent small-town girl, those adjectives cried out to me; they spoke of experience, worldliness, and wisdom.

(I still think it would be a fun job. I'm long past fitting into many of those swank, slim clothing separates, and I still find most of them out of my price range. Perhaps the catalog employees get a discount on the plus-sized leftovers at season's end?)

Anyway. Color. Some colors are so closely linked to an item that said item becomes the color itself, and vice versa. Think of peony: it will forever, for me, represent that rich, deep, fragrant pink of the June bloom. And hydrangea—could there be a more perfect lavender-blue shade than the amazing tint of those wondrous bushes, grown in perfectly acidic soil?

There are so many color words that are what they are. Ivory, ebony, jade, turquoise, sky, sand, moss, and coffee. Wonderful, many-layered words that evoke not just a sight but also a scent, perhaps even a sensation.

My favorite? That would be dandelion, without a doubt. The flower, the crayon, it matters not. That amazing, heaven-breathed yellow, color of midday sunshine, of amber daydreams... It is simply the best.

But I love another color, too—and this one is a more recent love. It is known by many names: oxblood, aubergine, eggplant, burgundy, raisin, bordeaux. It's represented nicely by the curvy vegetables shown above—and just as well by a pair of well-loved penny loafers. It's a distant cousin to brown, but more valuable, more rare, uncommon. It's also related to purple, but the relation is subtle, not obvious, and all the ghastly showmanship of purple has no place in the world of such a breathtaking shade. It can function as showpiece, or as accessory. It can ground a room of lighter shades, or it can own a room of dark drama. It can stand in as a neutral, can warm a corner, can hold up well under wear and tear.

And oh—by the way—it looks absolutely fabulous with dandelion. Did I mention that?

What is your favorite color, the one that makes you smile, that inspires redecoration or new outfits?


Facie said...

Mel: Can I just say if I have not before that you are one of the people I admire for so many reasons. Let me count the ways: you are great at budgeting, saving money, and finding a bargain; you are a wonderful cook; you are organized; you are crafty; you are a talented painter; you instill discipline in your son; and you focus on what matters most. I just had to say that as I read your post and saw that pic, reminding me, once again, of all that you are good at.

As for color, purple is my fave (though I don't think of it as ghastly!), from a light lavender to a dark plum. Unfortunately, I probably have about a dozen purple items in my closet b/c I love the color so much so I end up buying various blouses, shirts, and sweaters. When it comes to home decor (something I am not good at, not that I have the money to worry about it), I really like that popular lightish green color (celery? asparagus?) accented by taupe. Boring, I know, but I could never go bold in my house.

You have inspired me to check out color names at crayola.com.

Mel said...

Well, goodness, Facie--I hardly know what to say! Thanks! Seriously. That's one of the nicest things anyone has ever said to me.

I don't hate all purples, just the cheesy "purple polyester pantsuit" purple; there are many pretty shades of that color. Plus, you look better in that family of purples than I do (blue eyes vs. brown) and I think we always are drawn to colors we wear reasonably well.

I also like celery--we had a similar but more yellow version in our old house (dining room). very pretty. and there's PLENTY of taupe, beige, cream, oatmeal, etc. in our home--easier to match to! : )

crayola.com, eh? I'll be heading there, too. fun!

p.s. Facie--I meant to say several posts ago that I think just doing shopping, errands, and laundry is a big home-care responsibility and saves the other family member(s) hours and hours. so, even if you don't love housework or housewife tasks, you don't have to be great at them and embrace to make a huge difference for B. it's just not the most satisfying or respected work... : ( maybe 2011 will be the year of the reviving economy!! hey, it's possible.

chris h. said...

I have been a lover of green since I was a child. I just painted my office Pottery Barn's "Pale Olive" and love it...a springy green that looks great with both black and white. Also love celery (would love kitchen cabinets this color), sage, celadon,lime, pine...just about any shade of green! (By the way, I once painted my bedroom Vibrant Violet (a deep dark purple--it was beautiful and restful) and painted my dining room (different house) house two different shades of purple. A neighbor I didn't particularly care for took one look at it and said..."Oooohhh, fashion risk!", which endeared her to me even less. (She also looked at the family room and said, "Well, this room is coming along nicely." Did I mention she wasn't a favorite of mine?)