Why use colour and a confession about Cyndi Lauper

It’s not that I hate white, but the extensive use of it in private homes certainly can bug me. The white walls originated as the preferred background for the presentation of contemporary art in galleries and art museums. But even the most serious of exhibitors have by now successfully introduced colour to their walls.

So why is it so popular still in private homes, why-o-why is it deemed the “safe” choice for walls in a Nordic home?

I struggle to understand how a white home can make for comfortable living, and I love few things more than a comfortable, lush home. I will allow white in it, but only as a contrast to make my much beloved deep, dark colours pop.

I use white sparingly for one thing because I have two young, very social boys with constantly sticky fingers, and short of following them around with toxic cleaning aids whenever they play/eat/have their friends over, or generally just exist, there is no way I could manage to keep a white home white.

But not being entirely spotless is more than fine, because entirely spotless makes me think of small children in uniforms with stern faces, about to explode with built up anxiety. Like the Von Trapp family before the singing nun got to them.

White isn’t anywhere near practical. I do not have the time to clean my entire house every day. I doubt anyone does. I hope not. I would also argue that an all white home is boring. Boring because using one colour only, leaves you with a one dimensional home. Our homes should reflect who we are, and none of us are one dimensional.

Find your True Colours and revel in them. Most of us will come to experience that sometimes life takes a turn for the overwhelming, and we may then prefer it if it had less colour. But reality is not like that, and better to embrace all aspects of life, than to fight against or pretend that darkness doesn’t exist.

A colourful home lifts the spirits and feels like it’s giving you a good embrace. Technically speaking white is the absence of all colour, something which does nothing, except bounce the light around in all directions, sometimes even making you squint. Indoors.

An all white interior, even one that is masterfully put together with lots of textures and layers and contrasting surfaces, will never feel truly inviting. Especially not if paired with sleek lines and understated midcentury modern furniture, which is something I do believe in.

An all white interior may however make you feel exaggerated hostility towards your friend who’s there to show off her Duracell bunny of a toddler with a popsicle, or her new puppy with the very large paws. And that kind of feelings towards visitors that are less than perfectly sterile, doesn’t really make for a home or a home owner to fall in love with.

The falling in love bit is not to be ignored. Not everyone finds it easy to transfer warm feelings and deep loves onto interiors. Or even to remember what those loves are in this busy day and age. But the big love is what it’s all about. In the 1980s (yes, totally aging myself here) I loved few things more than dancing around to Cyndi Lauper’s music. I actually still love to do that.

Lauper’s ballad True Colors has not lost a beat in the years that have passed, if anything I love that song even more today then I did back then. Because as my darling green friend Yoda likes to say, with age wisdom comes and a deeper understanding of what important in life is, and what not is.

Do show your true colours, oh DO!

Celebrate your life’s ups and downs. Bring in the deep colours, the inky greens, the tranquil blues, the dramatic glossy blacks, the cognac coloured leather, the soft sheepskins and the shimmering metallics. Work with the shadows, bring into your house whatever colour floats, and I mean REALLY floats YOUR boat, and not your pretend hipster colleague’s boat.

Bring in colours and textures and contrasts that makes you lower your shoulders and breathe like a yoga instructor as soon as you set foot in the door. I will return to this statement several times on this blog, because what we want in out homes is not trendy, but lived in atmosphere. And atmosphere needs colour.

Cyndi Lauper sang it best. And I sometimes take her too literally. Check out the following image. It is of the exact same room as the featured image for this post, only this is before I added colour and styling:

2 thoughts on “Why use colour and a confession about Cyndi Lauper

  1. Found it on Finn.no… 500 NOK for the pair. Saved the NATO-logo from getting painted over, as I bought them off an interior designer planning on painting them to get rid of the “worn look” (whaaaaaat??). Probably needs the ring around it to be the proper NATO-logo, though. And the nightstand is likely older than the logo, so probably (sadly) not vintage NATO. Although should not have revealed that, should have fed you a fake story about something much cooler.

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