Color me softly



Essay by our guest designer ELENA KARTSEVA, Moscow

People are afraid of colors. It’s a lot more comfortable to live in the world where grey is new black and to feel that you are very sophisticated. And yet despite all of it – the “barbies” are coming in various shades of pink combined with acid green.

“Barbies” are also afraid of colors though. They just want to be noticed and their acid palette is shining bright among different “greys”. Meanwhile they consider pink as a new black and they are incapable of breaking through the frame.

“Isn’t it too bright? Can one really combine these shades together? Isn’t it childish?” – I am an interior designer and I hear these questions very often. Moreover now I live in a place where the weather is grey 6 months in a year. Minimum.  I mean it: no sun at all, no grass, no leaves, and even if there is a snow it’s also grey because of the air-pollution. And the houses are grey as well. That’s why all black-and-white photos are considered “highly artistic” here. They can make even shit look chic. Sorry.

I love minimalist interiors and I love Kelly Hoppen style and combining white with white can be really posh and trendy – no doubt about that.  The only thing I can’t accept is that bright colors are either for circus or for kindergarten.  I am sure that one can put blue, orange and violet in a room and it will neither look nor feel crazy.

By the way, how can we agree on (and distinguish between) the different types of blue and orange when we have it only in our imagination (if we have it at all). Have you noticed that even in the paint-shop for every 10 schemes of different beiges or greys you get only one of ochres or turquoise? We are used to see green and red together only in traffic lights – and one needs a lot of discussion to start thinking about classical England or roses or strawberries.

For me colors are emotions. There are people that can express themselves with colors even better than with the words – to show happiness and shyness, passion and anger, pain and calmness, anything – even boredom if they wish so. And the bigger the used palette is the better.

Meanwhile different types of color-psycho-therapies are getting more and more popular. One can even colorize a personal aura with the help of some computer program and then to buy special colored bottles that suppose to normalize his/her life. Or to pay enormous amount of money for some artificial rainbow sessions that suppose to give an inner harmony and peace. And people really do that.

Maybe it’s time for furniture shops to advertise a purple armchair or some terracotta wall-paper as a remedy? And family doctors should give prescriptions for blueberry curtains?



About a year ago I took this photo in Moscow. Grey atmosphere with some

red pixels of the traffic lights, green spots of the signage… How perfectly it

fits to Elena’s emotional observations. I never met with Elena (unfortunately!)

and got her essay just few weeks ago via email. And such a coincidence… Call it “fate”.



3 Responses to “Color me softly”
  1. Dmitry says:

    Very nice piece, I enjoyed reading it, even though I’m not an architect or an interior designer. It is very well written and touches on the right subject – “color” emotions that could very well be applied not only in interior design but in everything around us these days. Too much grey is around us indeed.

    As for using more colors in interior design, I myself even got tired of ordinary colors we always put on our walls in the house and last time we decided to try to put new color pallets on our walls. Our house is full of blue, yellow, greenish, brick and even has red…and it does bring different feeling and we never missed our “grey”.

    Thank you Elena for a great piece and you Albert for sharing it with us

  2. mmanion says:

    I love color too and agree that most people are afraid of it for fear of seeming “childish.” Currently I am working for an interior decorator which is where I stumbled upon my adoration for all things vividly hued. My education is in architecture (and end goal is to be an architect, despite the gloomy forecasts) and am interested to see where this color addiction finds itself in my work.

    Great blog, I can’t believe I only discovered it today!


    • Albert says:

      It feels good to be discovered 🙂
      You have a very cool blog as well… I have no doubt you will succeed in your professional career.
      And hey, great respect to your military family. God Bless. (Take it from the guy who was in the army & saw the real war not only on TV news.)

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