I was at a luncheon once surrounded by great food, great wine, and great style. Everything was perfect except for the dining room wall color. The hostess told me how much work had been done to get the perfect paint color. It took her weeks. Finally, she found a light taupe she was happy with, which went with everything.
But as the day wore on and the champagne flowed, she began to spill her guts about the absolute nightmare it really was to actually get that flipping color right. She went through several versions matching it at the paint store. The guy behind the counter couldn't get it right. It wasn't the color she wanted in the first place. Still, she settled for it even though it ended grayer and colder than expected.
So then she asked, "What do you think of the color?"
Whether you live in a 5,000-square-foot home with brand-new furniture or a three-bedroom ranch, rooms have both a physical and an emotional purpose. Dining rooms are rooms where we come together to eat and nurture ourselves and others. On the one hand, her home was pitch perfect by House Beautiful standards. On the other hand, we both knew there was an elephant in the dining room. She had just forced me into a moral dilemma.
If I said the color was acceptable, I would put my reputation on the line. If I shared what I thought of the color, I would risk making her feel bad. Our senses can't lie to us like our minds can, so I focused on why the color was a little cold.
"All the red-orange-yellow colors in your floors, cabinets, and fabrics in the room are making your walls reflect purple." As I pointed to all the colors, including the ones in a living room next to a dining room, the more she saw the gray cast as purple, a color she did not like.
The key to a magnetic color dynamic that makes everything in a room tasty and beautiful is how you combine the flavors, much like a full-course meal.
Some flavors are not meant to be served together. Some colors are not either. Sometimes you want flavors to stand on their own, Think steak dinner. Other times, you want to relish a perfectly balanced Acapella of flavors. Think Paella, Gumbo, or Chilly. Color chemistry and connection work the same way. When something doesn't taste right, you know it right away.
Spending time developing a greater understanding of the color experiences and memories that made your life flavorful will allow you to plate the most delicious version of yourself and your life.