Let's start 2014 out with another book review.
Over the holiday season I reviewed seven books, and this last one may be the most fascinating of them all. It's a book I will certainly leave on my coffee table because I suspect we will reach for it over and over again. The mother and daughter author team explores color, the science and psychology of hues and much more...
The Secret Language of Color: Science, Nature, History, Culture, Beauty of Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, and Violet
by Joann Eckstut and Arielle Eckstut
"Color illuminates everything in the universe. How many colors can humans see? A whopping 10 million! But all of those colors that we see aren’t what a bat, a dog, or a pigeon see. Different brains see different colors and, believe it or not, our color vision pales in comparison to that of birds, butterflies, reptiles, and fish"
I love color.
It may be the single reason I decided to become an interior designer. I am passionate for architecture, antiques, fabric, wall coverings, art and much more but to me, working up a color story is the most fun part of the job. While I have my own favorites that I return to repeatedly, I am also aware that my clients may respond quite differently to different palettes, so I explore color on a deep level with each new project. I recently created a muted palette for a client's subdued and elegant townhouse. While it may not have been my very own color choices it worked well for this family who longed to live quietly due to their busy urban life. I appreciate my own pre-war apartment because although it is smack in the middle of New York City, it sometimes feels like an old country house. However, lacks much natural light. I went bold and decorated with rich, vibrant colors in each room, highlighting the space well. With the flowing light bouncing off the ocean in the east end of Long Island I tend to decorate out there with subtle colors with less saturation.
I am smitten with this book...
I am smitten with this book...
All areas of the color spectrum are covered in the beginning, from the physics and chemistry of color and a full description of some of the discoveries, to how our brains register and process the colors we see. The rest of the book breaks down the nuances and stories behind individual colors with wonderful photography. My son and I wound up diving deeper into the book than I had first anticipated. This book marries science and art together seamlessly showing how they work well together, while offering historical facts to boot.
We are taken on a stunning journey about color, while touching on subjects to answer the question "why" -- why is the sky blue? why does using a yellow highlighter help us retain knowledge? why do surgeons wear green scrubs? why and which colors are used in religion? Why do stones look more colorful when wet? Where did the terminology "Yellow Journalism" come from? and more...
I suggest picking up a copy for the designer or artist in your life, or perhaps to add conversation on your very colorful coffee table. Check out their website at
Happy New Year