A Force of Nature

Colors That Surround Us

“Fashion [trend] is a way of not having to decide who you are. Style is deciding who you are and being able to perpetuate it.” –Quentin Crisp

Central Oregon has a natural color palette of its own. Think of our signature views of the blue/gray/white cascade mountains, the dusty green of the juniper and sagebrush on the flat lands, the deep green and brown of the pines, the reds and golds of the volcanic rock, and our blue rivers and lakes offering depth, movement and reflection. The weather influences our style as well. Six months of warmth and six months of cold, both confidently faced and with intention. This is a landscape neither you nor I can change, yet we made a conscious decision to become a part of it when we made Central Oregon our home. This place, this style, these colors are not a trend nor fashion; they are a part of who we are.

Look around our neighborhoods and you’ll notice there is a decided, intentional color palette reinforcing our collective desire to be a part—and not stand apart—of this place. In fact, it’s jarring to come across a home painted in a color that’s out of sync with the landscape.

Local designer Pamela Armstrong uses these priorities for interior color:

• Look out the windows. Create with color a good relationship between inside and outside, reinforcing that this space belongs in these surroundings. Key: Central Oregon is a “warm tone” area. Think golden as opposed to blue. Colors that are described more as “soft” as opposed to “crisp.”

• Incorporate your personal style. High contrast individuals (those with darker hair and paler skin, or lighter hair and darker skin) will often gravitate toward high contrast in their color choices. Those who are naturally more even tone may prefer a neutral palette. Go with it!

• Showcase focal points. Make conscious choices about what is in the foreground and what is in the background. Let that gorgeous mantel get all the attention without forcing the eye to bounce all over the room with pops of color. Or use the color from a favorite vase or painting to help draw attention to that piece.

• Consider the use of the space. High contrast is great in rooms where the space is active—play rooms, kitchens, family rooms, work out areas—yet opt for low contrast in bedrooms, reading rooms, bathrooms.

• Do take your skin tone into consideration for bathrooms, dressing areas and bedrooms. You will appreciate hues that are flattering during those wake-up and get-going moments!

    Decidedly absent in this approach is any attention to the latest color trend. This isn’t to say that those who like to shake things up a bit should ignore what the fashionistas are touting, simply that trend alone is, by nature, incongruous with the timelessness of nature.

    For 2016, the winning colors according to Pantone, LLC, the “world-renowned authority on color,” offer inspiration for fresh pieces to a timeless palette. Choose Pantone’s “Green Flash” to layer with our juniper, sage and pine. Or “Buttercup” as a contrast to mountain-inspired grays. “Fiesta” can serve as a background to showcase river-inspired blues. The latest in a long series of cyan-flavored color trends is “Limpet Shell,” always pleasing as a pop against our warm volcanic rock hues. The remaining six of the top ten colors of 2016 are “Rose Quartz,” “Peach Echo,” “Serenity,” “Snorkel Blue,” “Lilac Gray” and “Iced Coffee.”

    The timeless beauty of nature with a nod to trends—sounds like Central Oregon style!