Color Can Expand or Recede

by Kelly DuByne on October 20, 2014

Submitted by Marlie Bilbruck-Boerger

I love color! I love color! I love color!

I love a colorful wardrobe.  I love a colorful home.  I love colorful food.  I am constantly taken aback by all the various colors offered up by nature in every season.  I find the constant presence of color comforting and I miss it when it’s gone.  Color can exhibit a huge variety of abilities—one such ability is that different colors can appear to expand into a space while others seem to recede back.

I recently experienced this phenomenon while looking for a new color to paint my fireplace area.  I wanted something that would encourage a sense of warmth and conversation while creating a true accent in my living room area.  The fireplace was a deep taupe-brown that played well with the natural quarry stone and high-gloss white mantel, but it needed a little ‘oomph’.  I had in my mind that I really wanted something in the red family and after much searching for just the right one I settled on a Behr color called Red Pepper.  It’s deep with a brownish-orange undertone while remaining a definite red.

I was prepared to have the fireplace standout more, but what I was not prepared for (yet am delighted about) is just how much it now seems to come into the room (for lack of a better way to explain it).  The fireplace has always been a nice part of the space, but until now it really had no presence.  The addition of color has transformed it.  The fireplace is now amazing and, in the words of many of my friends and family, ‘striking’.

The taupe receded and the red expanded.  The dimensions of the fireplace did not change.  Nothing changed about the accessories I displayed on the mantel.  The lighting remained the same.  The only change was the color and in changing it I changed the entire impact that the fireplace had on the room.

I encourage all of you to add some color to your homes, offices, wardrobes and meals.  We are humans and have the ability to see millions of variations of colors for a reason—we are attracted to them.

Here’s a little exercise.  Mentally picture a white plate with a pile of mashed potatoes, a baked chicken breast and some cauliflower on it.  Got it?  Okay now picture a yellow plate with a beautiful piece of red-meat-sauce layered lasagna and a green salad on it.  Which meal are you most drawn to?–The colorful one, right?  The same is true for our homes.  A little color goes a long way.

Yes-there are people who have an aversion to color and like to stick to white or beige, but usually it’s not so much that they don’t care for color as much as they are fearful of committing to it.  But that’s the beauty of paint; it’s not much of a commitment.  It took me about an hour to paint my fireplace and, although it was a small project and space, it had huge impact.  Worst case scenario is that I hated it once I got it done.  If that had been the case then it would have only been an hour or two more to repaint it.

Be fearless in your decorating and try a little bold color in your space.  I must warn you though it may be a little addicting.



Searching for the Color of the Year

by Kelly DuByne on October 7, 2014

Submitted by Marlie Bilbruck-Boerger

It’s already October! That means we are only three short months away from the end of 2014!  It also means we are three long months away from 2015 and a new Color of the Year.

Since 2000 the Pantone Company has selected a Color of the Year.  Well, actually, they select an array of about 10 colors that are prominently being used in fashions coming out of Paris, Milan, New York, etc. and from those they narrow it down to one.

Once this list is released (usually around September of the current year for spring of the following year) then companies start to look at the list and decide which colors they will be manufacturing their products in for the next year.

Now more companies than just Pantone do this, but Pantone is one of the largest, most sought-after, and the one that has the ear of the majority, if not all, of manufacturing companies both domestic and international. It is also the company that is picking color for everything not just wall paint.

This year Pantone’s color of the year was Radiant Orchid—a beautiful pinky purple hue that is reminiscent of English garden foliage and conjures a calming sensation deep in the soul.

Last year the color was Emerald and the year before that Tangerine Tango—both bold hues that I’m sure polarized public opinion, either you loved them or hated them.

The colors are chosen using influencers (i.e. designers, media, artists, etc.) and trends.  The combination of these two perspectives combine to give them a road map of where they feel color is headed.

This year Pantone has put together a beautiful color palette that veers away from the shocking brights of the last few years and lends itself more to the calm and subdued while remaining rich and saturated.

Kelly DuByne of Distinctive Interior Designs and I recently took up a challenge to see if we could accurately predict the Color of the Year based on our own research (the actual 2015 Color of the Year won’t be released until closer to the end of 2014).

After independently perusing magazines and the web and paying special attention to the Milan, Paris and New York fashion weeks, we were ready to reveal our color choices to each other.  We were both to pick three colors and then narrow it down to our top pick.  Of our three colors, we both chose a blush/almond/taupe color as well as a dark blue/denim color, but our top picks were not the same.

Kelly’s top pick is Toasted Almond and mine is Lucite Green (both pictured below along with our mutual pick of Classic Blue.)

The Color of the Year sets the tone for so many different things.  Interior design is influenced by it as is the color that products such as mixers, cars and computers will be manufactured in and so much more.

We are excited to see which of us is correct (I hope it’s me!), but no matter which way the coin falls we know that 2015 will be a year full of beautiful color and we can’t help but be ecstatic about that.


These graphics were taken from either or

Pantone 2015 color picks


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