The carnival parade in the small Mediterranean town of Mijas flashed before us.
We were bewitched by the costumes, the cheer and the colours.
Intertwining blues and silver, splashes of gold, sensational reds all gyrated against a backdrop of ageless stone and stark white houses.
People leaned over wrought-iron balcony railings, yelling to friends and smiling through the rush of horns and singing.
|Kenton Friesen, Business Edge|
|Brightly costumed citizens parade in front of brightly coloured homes during carnival in Mijas.|
Puddlejump back to Canada from almost any sunny winter destination and a distinct lack of colour welcomes travellers home.
It’s as if local homeowners grab inspiration from the sandy, salty streets of winter – stealing shades of beige and leaping into the bold world of taupes and off-whites. (It’s a wonder our flag isn’t white and cream.)
And Big Business follows suit, with commercial buildings shouting the praises of all things colourless and most things bland.
Paint a large building in bold colours as did the Delta Edmonton South and the Manhattan Lofts, and
commuters and pedestrians travel by with question marks creased into their foreheads.
“Why that colour? What were they thinking?”
The barrage of new highrises in the city testifies to the conservative colour schemes, most evident in the Three Tower development on 109 Street and 102 Avenue.
The obvious exception to the monochromatic rule in this land is the advertising billboards posted along the city streets and the ever-present golden arches
shining like the sun on street corners.
Advertisers understand the
psychology of colour. Paint a restaurant
yellow, and customers will gobble, gobble. Paint an eating area purple, and people will start thinning around the waistline.
But at home, Edmontonians seem to prefer to leave
Exteriors are kept neutral for resale (with perhaps a hint
of colour to add a tint of
Interiors remain neutral to match the furniture – and the furniture is neutral so as not to offend the neutral throw rugs.
Walk into a furniture store determined to buy a living-room set other than in the blacks or browns, and the salesperson will likely question the choice.
“You may like the periwinkle now, but in five years it may be out of fashion and you’ll hate it. We happen to have the same model in beige . . .”
The nomadic nature of the western world is reflected in our architecture and colour choices, and there are few Magrath mansions built in Edmonton, even if residents have the cash to do so.
Flipping houses in today’s hot market is lucrative and addictive, but there’s no reason to live in a mono-coloured home merely in anticipation of a sale sometime in the next few years.
Even cave-dwellers painted on their walls, and, as Edmonton interior design diva Cheryl Gyllespie preaches, coloured paint costs the same as white paint and is the cheapest thing to change in a house. Think about the usages of the rooms in your home and the personalities residing in them.
If it’s a passive household with no desire to ruffle feathers, stick with beige (and white on the ceilings).
To be daring, add a mocha feature wall.
But if there are adventurous spirits, let the walls reflect them (and the stucco and roofing).
Try tangerine in the home office. It’s the hippest orange out there and will establish a cheery and optimistic aura.
What about red in the bedroom. Pick a red, any red . . .
Or yellow in the kitchen, and wake up to the sunshine every morning.
Who knows, attitudes may take a subconscious leap in the right direction and the boss may allow a change of wall scenery in the office (naturally a choice between a striking blue, to speak of trust and
stability, or a Coca-Cola red,
to increase sales).
Alas, interior design magazines and TV shows may take the colour thing to an extreme, screaming eclecticism and over-the-topness.
Somewhere in between the worlds of checkered pink and orange bedroom walls and never-ending earthtones is where most of us belong – if we take the time to discover our real hue.