REGARDING COLOR IN ROOM DESIGN

 

What Six Favorite Colors Would You Fill In?  Yellow, Blue, Red + Green, Orange, Violet?

What Six Favorite Colors Would You Fill In? Yellow, Blue, Red + Green, Orange, Violet?

Taking time for literary effort in the midst of a bathroom remodel, I put down design thoughts, in preparation for selecting just the right paint for a bathroom’s walls. The bathroom is an upstairs, five- by five-foot personal space.  The tile is laid down on floor and shower walls, and it strikes me as statement tile, as in a statement piece of jewelry, now that I see the many tiles together.  “Statement” in jewelry means that the piece attracts other people’s eyes to the wearer, or has power to evoke emotions, i.e., it is not an everyday ornament.  My tiles make a statement because they have “movement.”  The thirteen- by thirteen-inch porcelain tiles, not shiny but more like very fine-grit sandpaper, are cream colored and sport tan and grey veins running through on the diagonal.  My tile-layer man headed the veins, some effused, more cloudlike than threadlike, all in the same direction.  Imagine how busy my small room could have stated itself had he done otherwise!

Tile having been laid, it is time to decide on wall paint color.  This is a big decision.  I believe the pleasure found in a living space is a result of the harmony of colors and structures amalgamated.  To help me find where to start, I scan through a several-years-old Architectural Digest.  One can count on design inspiration from that magazine.

A quote from the late Baroness Marie-Hélène de Rothschild, the “Queen of Paris” as the press of decades past was fond of calling her, appeals to my design preferences for layers of texture, subtle contrasts of many related colors, and the inclusion of some lustrous metal and solid black:  She said, “I love mixing things together—they always end up in harmony.”

A Medium-sized Pot With Interesting Shapes

A Medium-sized Pot With Interesting Shapes

A Turquoise Not Calling Attention To Itself

A Turquoise Not Calling Attention To Itself

Of course the amount of living space available at her supreme level, wherein the entire globe was her shopping mall, she was probably thinking of ancient materials in 17th-century paired or grouped statues, giant Grecian urns, or tapestries sold from the Massif Centrál of her beloved France, the Netherlands of her birth, or exotic foreign places.  Her station in life gave access to opulent, rare, or exquisitely handcrafted objects and furniture, textiles fringed or tasseled, Indonesian batiks, and more.  Her eponymous style of décor, le style Marie-Hélène de Rothschild, is unvaryingly associated with wealth and richness.  I encourage my furtherance in color insight with the following quote for the day, also copying it to my talented cousin in design, Robbie Hansen, who has helped our family live with good design:  The Baroness said of a newly built chalet, “When I saw it, I said to myself, Now you’ve got to do it up.”  She called in François Catroux, never far from her in such ventures, states the magazine article, and said of him, “I think a designer, no matter how gifted he is, can’t do a thing unless he has a strong personality to deal with.”

The Architectural Digest: The International Magazine of Interior Design, Collector’s Edition, May 2004, where I found the above quotes, has helped me understand what I am looking for in my five-by-five personal bathroom—a comingling of visual excitement presented by my tiles, together with a cream-colored showpiece that is my Ronbow vanity with black-granite top.  Add the unexpected solid-black recessed mirrored medicine chest (yes, these once common then disappeared cabinets are back), and the cozy comfort of a pale  straw-colored, thickly painted wall.  But, wait a minute, there’s a world of change out there, and I could take a risk . . . perhaps I’ll finish with a mid-tone deep grey purple, inspired by my cousin’s dining-room walls.  Admittedly hers are much taller walls, loaded with gold sconces, Egyptian or Roman vases, and an exorbitant chandelier.  Or maybe I’ll search out an Indonesian batik shower curtain for the end splash.  However the outcome,  the big decision of what color to paint the walls has put me deeply involved in the world of color. I am learning, and it reminds me of being in young love—you feel the vitality of being alive and able to select and finally commit.

Purple is a highfalutin color.  It is marketed as causing an intuitive mood.

Purple is a highfalutin color. It is marketed as causing an intuitive mood.

PROPERTY MAINTENANCE: Ninety-foot Trees Artfully Trimmed

Caring for outdoor property can be richly rewarding.  Our summer of 2011 investment in the artfulness and health of our tall trees proved to be a memorable spectator experience, almost like watching performance art.  For three days, we observed a skilled Tree Crew work to beautify old oak trees of almost a hundred feet in height. The climber deftly pruned the small limbs and foliage, as though the trees were sculptures, and then his ground crew, with ropes and chain saws, gently swung any big limbs he cut onto the ground, sawed them small for carrying, and rid the yard of all debris efficiently.  My husband and I photographed the crew extensively.  I post a couple of photos for your enjoyment.

Pablo, preparing to go up 75 feet in the bucket, then walk out, spikes on soles

PABLO, Tree Worker, Climber

Four men on the ground watch the climber.

"Out On A Limb," but with harnesses, spikes, & manlifts, the meaning changes.

 

I have a habit of searching through a book I’ve had for forty years, Bartlett’s Familiar Quotations, for a poetic turn of phrase.  For this post in patnotes.com, I read a dozen or so quotes listed in the index under the word “trees.”   Nothing interested me much except these sentences by a Japanese writer, Matsuo Basho (1644-1694).  He lived a short life, a fact making these lines meaningful:

“My body, now close to fifty years of age, has become an old tree that bears bitter peaches,

a snail which has lost its shell,

a bagworm separated from its bag;

it drifts with the winds and clouds that know no destination.”


in Anthology of Japanese Literature, edited by Donald Keene (1955)

 

YARDWORK IN JUNE, 2011

I DEDICATE this gardening/yardwork post to my late cousin Sue who kept an immaculate home and patio with flower garden in the Dallas, Texas area.  The loving gardening and yardwork effort was rewarded with the community honor of Yard of the Month.  Needless to say, her hospitality was sublime.  Sue was so pretty, with an alluring humble nature, and a voice that engaged your interest.  She will be greatly missed by her husband, caregivers, and three daughters.  She was adored by her granddaughters, and a help to those coming her way.

SUE

Mildred "Sue," Daughter of My Mother's Brother & Wife, Euell & Blanche

In a later post, you may see a couple of attractive young women’s faces from the forties, as were Sue, her sister Lavona, my mother Louise, her sisters Inez and Eunice.  Others of that era were named Dorothy, Tressie, and Blanche.  I enjoy the sound of those names.

1940s People: Ervin & Tressie, Louise & Glenn

Well-tended Side Yard In Hillsboro, Texas, Long Ago

My maternal grandmother loved flowers! This family line enjoys gardening.

 

 

 In the family portrait below, one I have enjoyed viewing through the decades, Sue is the little girl on the right. Her parents Euell and Blanche stand behind her.  Louise and Glenn anchor the other side.

Ervin & Tressie, Glenn & Louise are also in this shot.

Beulah & Clarence's Family Portrait

 

*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  * 

 

Gardening Equipment:  Waterproof Gloves and Ice Water, Covered

Pleasant colors that attract you and good quality in tools, such as pruning shears, help create enjoyment in gardening and yardwork.  Care of property is a good thing.

Consider these words from Ralph Waldo Emerson:

“When I go into the garden with a spade, and I dig a bed,

I feel such an exhilaration and health that I discover

That I have been defrauding myself all this time

In letting others do for me what I should have done with my own hands.”

 

Shovel and Dirt

 

“Garden” by Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), American, Harvard graduate, authored a book NATURE and other books, sermons and addresses, poems, and more.  An essay “Self-Reliance” is reputed to have once been the most often quoted essay in American literature.  Hmmm . . . does that put him up there at the level of Abraham Lincoln?

GARDEN

Many things the garden shows,

And pleased I stray

From tree to tree

Watching the white pear-bloom,

Bee-infested quince or plum.

I could walk days, years, away

Till the slow ripening, secular tree

Had reached its fruiting-time,

Nor think it long.

Solar insect on the wing

In the garden murmuring,

Soothing with thy summer horn

Swains by winter pinched and worn.

[The end]

 

O N   T H E   S U B J E C T   O F   G O O D N E S S  .  .  .

I have in my blog a desire to express interest in the goodness of the individuals in my family.  Being older and in the memoir stage of life, I see the gentleness of the matrix in which I was fortunate to be reared, so long ago, when the times were slower, more deliberate.

PRESENTATION OF AN EARLY 17TH-CENTURY ESSAY

Researching Francis Bacon (1561-1626), scholar in philosophy and scientific method, I found a statement that said he considered his essay writing a kind of gentleman’s hobby.   This English major was reminded (assuming that I learned it in college originally) that Bacon wrote during the Tudor period (1484-1603) and beyond to the changeful Stuart England (1603-1700).  I have enjoyed, through the years, studying the Stuart monarchs, because of our ancestor coming through Edward Hyde, 1st Earl of Clarendon, involved in Charles I’s court.  My reason for including this old essay by Bacon is that it talks of a character trait not much mentioned in this day and time—goodness.  Over the recent years, emphasis on goodness seems to have become supplanted by emphasis on lies, crassness and insults, and violence.  Perhaps there is a strange wake-up call, or skin-thickening hidden benefit, difficult to find.  My first memoir, Beulah, Zelma, Patricia, Ann, came out of a desire to counter this seeming cultural trend and present goodness in family life.  The strain of goodness through one-hundred-sixteen years in four women got a grip on my writerly, reflective self.  Retired from public school teaching, I wanted to be with this material, and the desire has held over several years.

 

OWNING UP TO COPYEDITING BACON’S SENTENCES

Before posting Bacon’s essay on goodness, which I located online, I got rid of a couple of dozen meaningless commas.  I do not know why so many commas were stuck in.  They hampered the clarity of the sentences.  Also, to help patnotes.com blog readers who may tend to jump up for the dictionary, I suggested a couple of substitute words, and they are in parentheses.  All the italics are mine.  This essay goes on longer than many readers would care about, and thus I have broken it in about two halves, posting the first.

Francis Bacon’s essay:  Of Goodness And Goodness Of Nature

I TAKE GOODNESS in this sense, the affecting of the weal (public good) of men, which is that the Grecians call philanthropia; and the word humanity as it is used is a little too light to express it.  Goodness I call the habit, and goodness of nature, the inclination.  This of all virtues, and dignities of the mind, is the greatest; being the character of the Deity: and without it, man is a busy, mischievous, wretched thing; no better than a kind of vermin.

Goodness answers to the theological virtue charity (substitute “love”), and admits no excess, but (does admit) error.*  The desire of power in excess caused the angels to fall; the desire of knowledge in excess caused man to fall:  but in charity (aka love) there is no excess; neither can angel, nor man, come in danger by it.  The inclination to goodness is imprinted deeply in the nature of man; insomuch, that if it issue not towards men, it will take (go out) unto other living creatures; as it is seen in the Turks, (by past reputation) a cruel people, who nevertheless are kind to beasts, and give alms to dogs and birds; insomuch, as Busbechius reporteth, a Christian boy, in Constantinople, had like to have been stoned for gagging in a waggishness a long-billed fowl.  *Errors indeed in this virtue of goodness, or charity, may be committed.  The Italians have an ungracious proverb, Tanto buon che val niente:  so good, that he is good for nothing.  And one of the doctors of Italy, Nicholas Machiavel, had the confidence to put in writing, almost in plain terms, that the Christian faith had given up good men in prey to those that are tyrannical and unjust.  Which he spake (this) because indeed there was never law, or sect, or opinion did so much magnify goodness as the Christian religion doth.  Therefore, to avoid the scandal and the danger both, it is good to take knowledge of the errors of an habit so excellent.

Seek the good of other men, but be not in bondage to their faces or fancies; for that is but facility, or softness; which taketh an honest mind prisoner.  Neither give thou AEsop’s cock (rooster) a gem, who would be better pleased, and happier, if he had had a barley-corn.

[First Half Installment of Francis Bacon’s perspective on concept of goodness]