Today, I am thrilled to introduce to you Kelly Berg, interior designer, color consultant, writer, and all around lovely lady based in my neck of the woods, the San Francisco Bay Area. Many of you may already be familiar with Kelly from her insightful comments on Hue, and her own fantastic blog, Arte Styling. Vibrant and vivacious, I am delighted to know her.
Kelly began her design career in Los Angeles as a set decorator and stylist working in the mediums of TV, print, and film. She has worked with celebrities including Reba McEntire, Emeril Legasse, and Tia Carerre and has developed and produced projects for HGTV, The View, and Soap Talk. Arte Styling, established by Kelly in 2003, focuses on interior design and color psychology with the mission to inspire individuals and organizations to express their authenticity and truest vision. Kelly holds a B.A. in Interior Design from the Design Institute of San Diego and is a member of the IACC-NA.
Stuck in Neutrals
Getting Over Your Fear of Commitment
By Kelly Berg
There is a lot of confusion regarding “neutral” colors lately. Especially when it comes to our living spaces. Everywhere you look, designers and home experts are coveting these non- committal hues. But the deﬁnition of neutral seems to constantly be in ﬂux. And when it comes time for selecting the perfect paint colors for the home, many homeowners are left feeling perplexed and overwhelmed. Before we all reach for the latest and greatest shade of beige, perhaps we should delve a little deeper and ask ourselves what exactly are neutrals and why do we want them in our homes anyway?
Let’s start with the deﬁnition of “neutral” colors.
Stir article , is that beige, and all of its incarnations, was popularized by builders during the post World War II housing boom. Because aluminum and vinyl siding materials were quick to fade they “began painting the siding in softer shades, blanketing the cities and suburbs in whites, beiges and grays” leading to a sort of “numbing effect on our society.”
So when we use “neutrals” in our homes are we, in a sense, stuck in the 1950s? Not necessarily. When most of us talk about using “neutrals”, we are usually referring to the desire to have colors in our homes that are both ﬂexible and relaxing. We are not trying to recreate the 1950s. But somewhere along the way - with a little help from those mid-century suburban builders - we have developed a very inaccurate belief that to have ﬂexibility and relaxation in our homes we are strictly relegated to beige. Nothing could be further from the truth.
No? That sounds rather ridiculous, doesn’t it? And isn’t nature the ultimate representation of ﬂexibility and relaxation? Nature doesn’t care about being “neutral”, and neither should we.
So, perhaps it’s time to clear up all this confusion and simply banish the word “neutral” entirely from our color vocabulary. What do we need “neutrals” for anyway? “Neutrals” were created out of fear. Fear of offending. Fear of committing. Fear of making the wrong choice. Fear of standing out and being different. But who wants to live in an environment built on fear? It’s time for us to
all say no to “neutrals” and happily embrace the hues that nature intended.