Holey-Moley Holi Color

Here in Chicago they make our river run green round about now, for St. Patrick’s Day. But what’s spectacular about that? It’s only one color. I’m far more interested in the explosion of Holi colors happening now! Want some?

Handfuls of Holi Powder

If you haven’t heard of it yet, Holi is a Hindu festival in India that’s full of fun and frolic and the throwing of bright colored powders and colored water.

Holi Festival 2012 in Spanish Fork Utah

With all the color and action and the spectacular visual spectacle of the event, naturally it’s a draw for photographers. How do they get so close but keep their lenses clear of powder?

Photographing Holi

Some year I must be in India for Holi! But it’s not celebrated only there. It’s becoming more common in college towns. Maybe it’s becoming like the newest Burning Man or Coachella – an event for younger folks to see and be seen at.

Holi in the U.S.

I say it that way – for younger folks – because I’d dearly love to crash a Holi party at a college campus! But as a 40-something, that would be really ridiculous now. I try to imagine a Holi party on my street and all the 40- and 50-somethings in my neighborhood whooping it up and throwing powder and turning all technicolor. Makes me giggle. Because we are conformed into being so corporate and careful at this age, would anyone do it? But anyone of any age can participate in India without looking ridiculous.

If you don’t want color thrown all over you, you can still throw some color all over your dining table for some fun! I did a guest post for masalamommas.com all about using bright Holi colors in your dining room – check it out!

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How to Avoid Regretting Paint Colors in Your Home

Despite making a huge swatch of the color, a wrong color is on some walls in our house. And what’s worse is, we paid people to paint this wrong color on the walls! As penance, I’ve lived with the color for a decade.

I made several major mistakes that you shouldn’t make when choosing color:

  • Let myself get pressured by the contractors to “hurry up” and choose a color – like, “we need to know first thing tomorrow morning.” Actually as the timeline shook out, they didn’t need to know for days. Our uneven walls (they were like “Ruffles with Ridges”!) needed a lot of sanding and prep and there was wallpaper to remove in many rooms.
  • Did not move the big color swatch into all the rooms where the color would be painted.
  • Did not view the color in the various light it would be in – indoor evening lighting and natural light through the windows.
  • Did not view the color in the morning, afternoon and evening in the various rooms because the natural light changes.

Yes, numerous paint color-choosing sins were committed. If recommendations were followed, we might have had the”coffee with a lot of cream” color we wanted. Instead, most of the time on most walls, the color looks like a slightly pukey yellow with a green undertone. It looks like my walls are feeling seasick. It’s really, really off from the sophisticated look I wanted. No one looks sophisticated when they’re really seasick. No one wants to paint their walls a color that reminds them of unpleasant things. Like phlegm.

If you want to avoid kicking yourself for making wrong choices like that, check out the list of tips to choose paint color at BH&G. They may sound simple, but they are right. Some might sound obvious, but do not think that you are above them. (As I did, ahem.)

How to Choose Paint Color You Won't Regret

Another site I really like is Maria Killam’s blog about choosing color. If I had known about her “understanding undertones” advice years ago, there would be no icky green lurking in the background of our walls. She also did a post about pinky beiges and how you might wind up with something that looks pink when you didn’t expect that. I can’t find it right now, but that’s the kind of info you can find on her site. She describes how colors can deceive us and what to do about it.

I’ve been thinking about the subtleties of color more lately, because the yellowish/greenish cast on walls around here should be dealt with. I’ve served my time. And the honey oak trim and floors around our home need to become less orange. So as new color choices are made, we want to make the right choices.

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Color: A Teal Treat

Of all the jewel-tone colors, my fav is teal blue – a very deep blue-green color. It’s richer than turquoise. Turquoise is lighter and bluer, like the blue of the summer sky is in it. Turquoise is happy. Teal is moodier. Teal is murkier and more mysterious. I’m not sure what that says about me that I prefer teal over turquoise?!

Right now a closet in our guest room is being transformed from a dingy dirty white storage space, into a really luxurious Indian-Moroccan patterned nook. I decided to not be shy with the color. It’s teal. A real deep dark teal. Like these images …

This is from a waterfall wall made of petals by David Harber:

Waterfall Petal Wall by David Harber

Here teal blue covers the walls of a whole room, thanks to Anthropologie:

Teal Color Room by Anthropologie

You can get a touch of teal on your table, in some “Ibiza” bowls and plates from Z Gallerie:

Ibiza Bowls and Dinner Plates from Z Gallerie

A dose of teal blue from Harper’s Bazaar Spain edition:

Harper's Bazaar Spain

It shows up in a decorative mail box in Travancore, South India. If our mailboxes were as pretty as this, maybe we’d want to send real handwritten letters just to visit the mailbox:

South India Mailbox

Textiles from Nagaland in India and Burma are usually black, red, yellow and white. But here is an embroidered Nagaland textile in teal blue, via Saffronart:

Embroidered Nagaland Textile via Saffronart

I have a tip for you if you want to buy teal blue paint. Be sure to check paint chips in natural light! The yellow tinge of indoor lighting can add some green to a blue paint chip. So your paint chip may look teal in the store or under lamp lights in your house. But the actual paint color may not have enough green to really be teal. I had some paint chips that I would have sworn up and down were really truly teal. But when the lamps were off and the sunlight was streaming through the window, they were not green-blue. They were just blue. One chip was truly teal in the natural light. So check your paint chips in natural light before buying paint.

For more of this color, visit my Pinterest Board full of teal blue:

Follow India pied-à-terre’s board Color – THIS Blue on Pinterest.

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Subconcious Inspiration

This image caught my attention back in the earliest days of Pinterest (like that was even that long ago!) and it showed up in my Pinterest feed again today:

Grand Traverse Country

It’s an abandoned building, but the crackled paint and wallpaper layers are still beautiful. This image really captured me. Maybe it’s the unusual colors. Seeing it again today, I wanted to know more about it. Through Google, I traced it to a Flickr photo set of images by Jason Rydquist, of an abandoned rural homestead on a Hannah Road south of Traverse City, MichiganThe green and yellow scene is a bedroom. 

About a year ago, I photographed a piece of green painted carved wood from India, against moody yellow and green printed scrapbook papers. The feeling is similar:

Carved Wood from India and Scrapbook Papers

Carved Door Wood from India and Scrapbook Papers

I don’t remember recalling the photo of the abandoned house while doing this, but you never know, maybe it was lurking around in there somewhere. Sometimes we’re drawn to certain color combinations. Sometimes we like the feeling of certain patterns. With the millions of photos on Pinterest, I think it’s worth noting if an image stands out enough to be remembered. If it does, there must be some extra attraction or reason for us to remember it.

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