We’re doing some rearranging and redecorating at our house, and one of the changes coming is moving my “office” space to the attic room. I’ve been thinking a lot about the vibe of the room. What makes a room conducive to scholarship?
In searching for an answer to this question, I immediately begin thinking about color. I enjoy reading about color theory and feng shui and comparing my own experience of color with what different philosophical systems have to say on the matter. As a kid, purple was my favorite color, although I noticed that, by the time I was in high school, most of my wardrobe was blue. After college, a friend commented that I look really good in red.
That remark had a subtle but noticeable impact on my wardrobe as reds and dark pinks made their way into my closet and dresser. A seminary pal helped me appreciate the power of orange, and living in New York gave me a new appreciation for black. I’ve also become fond of brown, especially when it’s warm and chocolately. Having excised much of the blue from my palette, I’ve been reintroducing it here are there.
While the full spectrum of colors fuels my creativity, I’ve gravitated toward orange, purple, magenta, and black to set the tone for my new workspace.
In feng shui these are fire and water colors so I will need to be sure to balance them with other colors and objects that represent the other elements (wood, metal, and earth). Fire is characterized by activity and enthusiasm, but unchecked it can consume everything around it. Water represents learning, arts, and primordial mystery; it can also be pleasant or violent.
Other color theory systems describe orange as the color of vitality with endurance, purple as the color of good judgment, magenta symbolizes harmony and emotional balance, and black represents what is hidden, secret, and unknown. I like it.
photo | “Nasturtium” by Mayank Sharma | CreativeCommons License: CC BY-SA 2.0