My clients know more about themselves than anyone else; therefore, I think of them as real color experts. I'm just the guide guiding them through a path of discovery, empowerment, and possibilities. It's a journey that requires them to get in the passenger seat. Sometimes they call me when they've hit a color roadblock, and I help them figure out how to go around it, change course, and carry on without fear of the unknown or things going wrong. 

More often than not, the roadblocks they think are not the ones that are holding them back.

Such was the case with a couple stuck with what to do with their home. They planned to eventually blow out the fireplace wall between a small galley kitchen and a large living room/dining room area with high vaulted ceilings, making it a great big room. Over time the couple couldn't decide if they wanted to invest the money, have the hassles that come with an extensive remodel or sell and buy a new home. 

 When they decided to sell, they couldn't find a home they could both agree on. Tired of living in a state of indecision, the wife called me and asked me to intervene. 

"It's the fireplace," she said.

The minute I stepped through her door, I could see why she thought the fireplace wall was a roadblock. The wall was surfaced over with dark, rough cedar, featuring an oval-shaped forest carving above the fireplace. The warm tones in the hardwood floors and the high contrasting white walls made the wood look even more drab and dark. 

My client was smart, witty, and modern. She loved color and whimsicality. She was humored by kitsch designs that resulted in poor taste and, therefore, highly appreciated in ironic ways, such as the oval forest carvings.

She had well-founded reasons for buying this house. She loved the 1960's modern vintage vibe of the architecture and the California Dreaming pool in the backyard, which reminded her of the one she grew up in SoCal. She grew up in Southern California, and the color baggage she collected over the years fit the house like a glove. 

"I began unpacking her color baggage and telling her there was still a lot of life left in that fireplace wood wall. I asked her to scan around the room as I pointed out an abundance of subterranean dark browns and warm yellows in her "baggage." Specifically her fabrics and art. Then asked her to imagine a perfect shade of deep yellow sunshine. "Think Pendleton blanket," I said. 

Suddenly she could visualize her colorful abstract art popping off against this yellow, moving the attention away from the dominant fireplace wall. We discussed how this yellow would bridge the wood beams on the ceiling to the hardwood floors and bring in to focus the woodsy lush green view outside the windows. When I left, I told her she could always paint it out when she was done painting the walls if she still didn't like it.

Her road ahead became sunshiny-clear. 

The change she had been looking for came in a certain kind of yellow. It was the last color on her mind but precisely what she needed. 

Yellow is a color associated with happiness and optimism. Physiologically speaking, it stimulates the logical part of the brain, instigating thought and curiosity. Yellow is also the color of our third energy center, the sacral chakra associated with our will and personal power. Low energy symptoms include difficulty setting or maintaining boundaries, co-dependent patterns, and an inability to make decisions.

In the middle of painting her walls, my client was so excited she called and asked if I wanted to stop by and see the results. 

I couldn't wait! 

Her radiating sense of hope greeted me at the front door. 

The fireplace was no longer the focus; she was. A deep sense of synchronicity hummed throughout in perfect harmony. You could feel how delighted she was and would be every time she walked in through that door—from now on. As the two of us fawned over the transcendence of the space and the moment, her husband walked in. I asked him how he felt about the room's astonishing transformation. 

He answered, "I hate yellow."

Three months later, she left him.

It wasn't the fireplace.


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