Fear of Color: Or 50 Shades of Boring White

October 08, 2018 0 Comments

Fear of Color: Or 50 Shades of Boring White

Where did all the colors go?

I swear, if I see one more interior filled with shades of white and nothing but, I might poke my eyes out.

Somebody, and I’m guessing someone who doesn’t own a pet or a child, decided that all white and off-white furnishings and walls should be the new interior design style. If I were to take my Instagram feed as evidence, this newish style is all the rage . Or Google “interior design” and then click on “images.”

At least there's some taupe in this living room.

The. Most. Boring. Kitchen. Ever.

Like being in a snowstorm. It's blinding.

The most colorful thing in this bathroom would be the bathtub ring.

boring white bathroom

Who started this trend?!

I wonder if, while in the crib, this person was frightened by a colorful baby mobile hung above his or her head. Alexander Calder-influenced nightmares drove the infant into a lifetime dread of color.

Or, in grade school, a mean classmate made fun of her fauvist-inspired outfits, and that was that. The kaleidoscope was out. Better to stick with shades of white rather than to offend. (Discover fauvism if you're unfamiliar with it.) 

But I love color. I love mixing colors next to each other, watching them jig and vibrate, watching them kick up their heels and dance.

Anything white or off-white in my house will eventually be sprinkled with some dog hair. Muddy paw prints tell me that someone’s been rooting around in that bare patch in my garden. So, it’s hard for me to imagine that proponents of the all white interior design style have pets. Or do the owners of homes styled that way have a spot cleaner slung over their shoulders whenever they’re indoors?

I’m sure proponents of that style believe it creates a restful, serene vibe. Like when I take Benadryl to curb an allergy attack.

Some people, the people who create categories for interior design styles, call it the Minimalist Style. It's an apt label: minimal color, minimal enthusiasm, minimal excitement. Maximum boring. 

I hate to be snarky about it. Well, maybe I don’t. After all, take a look at my pattern designs. The RGB color model gives me 16,777,216 possible color values, a bunch of which are not off-white. Even after all these years, I’ve barely scratched the surface of the possibilities available.

There was a moment, in one short-lived design inspiration, I created a Neutrals Collection. I kept dozing off while working on it, so I gave up. It wasn’t me. And, though I’m told I need to design for my customer, I can’t sustain enthusiasm for long if my creative process leans toward off-white layered on top of more off-white, with off-white accents.

And I figure that there are enough fans of bright and colorful out there to make my design esthetic worth pursuing. I’ve recently discovered “boho (bohemian) style” and it’s cheering me up a ton! All is not lost.  The boho style is referred to as a “hippie-adjacent” style, which I think means hippie without all that dumb psychedelic crap, including the lava lamp.

Check out this site, which shows some gorgeous rooms decorated in the boho style.

So, my questions for you today:

1. What’s your relationship with colorful decor? Are you afraid of using color? Here are a couple of sites to help you get over it:

6 Ways to Get Over a Fear of Color

7 Ways to Conquer Your Fear of Color

2. Do you have a color palette in mind for your space? (Do you know what a color palette is?)

How to Pick a Color Palette That Will Pull Your Home Together

15 Designer Tricks for Picking a Perfect Color Palette


And if you're sold on the idea of using more color and want to explore the bohemian style:

A Step-By-Step Guide to Nailing the Bohemian Style in Your Home

33 Spaces That Effortlessly Rock Bohemian Room Decor


And a Few of My Colorful Pillow Covers to Brighten Up a Room

Zinnias and Allium Floral Pillow Cover (Top) and Lantana Boho Pink Floral Pillow Cover (Bottom)

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash


 Tropical Holiday Floral Pillow Cover

Photo by Alex Block on Unsplash

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