Thursday, August 25, 2011

Chromaphobia

In response to my last post about the challenge in selecting a rug for my baby Nina's nursery, reader Kim wrote,

"Overwhelmed! I cope by picking one that is -- don't hate me Rachel -- black and sand (for my deck) and then resolve to use colorful pillows and cushions for pops of color. In my defense, I am not a designer, as you know."
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Here is Kim's rug.

I love the idea of outdoor rooms, so bravo to Kim for exploring this under-used space. But this also got me thinking. Why is it that people are so chroma phobic? I can understand if someone's taste runs towards the understated. Perhaps if they felt saturated hues were garish. But what about those who love bright vibrant hues, but shy away from them anyways?

There's even a book, aptly titled Chromophobia, (I am presently reading), investigating its origins. The author argues that our fear of color  is essentially "a fear of corruption or contamination through color - lurk[ing] within much Western cultural and intellectual thought. This is apparent in the many and varied attempts to purge color, either by making it the property of some "foreign body" - the oriental, the feminine, the infantile, the vulgar, or the pathological - or by relegating it to the realm of the superficial, the supplementary, the inessential, or the cosmetic."(source)

So, the question begs, with all the bright colors of outdoor life (flowers, greenery, colorful umbrellas, tableware, etc. why go blah?

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Koko Company has a wild selection of modern, funky outdoor rugs. If you can't go wild outdoors, where can you take risks?

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Dash and Albert has an outdoor line, too.
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Looking for more earthy tones? A more "ethnic" look(for lack of a better term)? Pottery Barn has some nice selections
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As I just happen to know that reader Kim's outdoor area is covered, she could even go with something funky like these trompe l'oeil floor mats from Urban Outfitters. I love the playful turning of "rug" on it's head. Woven polyester, and machine washable to boot.

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or my new favorite rug company, with their indoor, outdoor rugs- so cute!

Here's a company dedicated exclusively to outdoor rugs (thank you Apartment Therapy for the link)
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Looking to really go eco friendly? Mad Mats are made from high-grade recycled polypropylene from sources such as water bottles, plastic milk and soda bottles and and other kinds of packaging.

So, why the fear of using saturated, vibrant color?


5 comments:

unifiedspace said...

Oh no, I just read your blog and have bought Chromophobia on amazon- as if I needed yet another book on colour.....my amazon "habit" thanks you for the heads up! Interesting blog as usual.

bevans said...

I really like the idea of the outdoor rug. I checked out the Koko company collection and I also found some similar outdoor rugs here

tianode said...

Beautiful Collection !!! by Revathi

Ali la Loca said...

I'm currently in a class at California College of the Arts called Chromophobia. That book is our main text. All very interesting stuff.

beauté magazine said...

Beautiful Collection .. i love it