Article by Lynda Young Spiro
How I use Colour to brighten my life
It seems so simple – wear a bright colour and your mood will lift. But how many of us actually do this? I’m a colour evangelist. Using colour allows me to express myself and I have been told that I am indeed as colourful as the clothes I wear!
Just walking down my local High Street, I’m always astounded by the number of women that pass me by wearing blues, blacks or even that funny oatmeal colour. There is a lot of beige as well but nothing that will bring out the colour of their eyes, or brighten their smile.
I’m not suggesting that everyone wears as much colour as I do, because it could be said that I take it to an extreme but I am influenced by the colours that bedeck me. From my shoes, upwards. My morning mood determines the visual cacophony of multi-colours that I will wear on any particular day. I like to wear many differently multi-coloured layers of clothing. It makes me happy and makes me feel ready for the day ahead.
The only time I have worn black for any significant period of time was after my father died. I wore black as a mark of respect for a year. It was a constant reminder of his passing and even now, when I wear black, I am often flung into sadness.
It’s not just the colours that I wear that affect me – I believe it is vital to feature colour in your home, your garden, your travels (yes even your commute!) and your food. It is after all the simplest things that are so often discarded.
My tips for using colour in your life:
- Bright lingerie – how about wearing a hot pink bra and knickers underneath a sombre outfit for all those women who haven’t yet succumbed to the pleasures of wearing colours. Find your inner rebel?
- Get a manicure and pedicure to match the season. Tropical colours in the summer, blues and yellows in the Spring, luscious reds in Autumn and icy silvers in the Winter.
- Drink your morning coffee or tea from a brightly coloured mug. I have my morning coffee from a rainbow striped mug which never fails to make me smile.
- Have a multi coloured rug at the side of your bed – it will be the first thing you see when you step out of bed in the morning.
- Add a couple of “colourful” songs to your playlist when you travel. My favourites include Big Yellow Taxi by Joni Mitchell and Mellow Yellow by Donovan.
- Find inspirations from celebrity life. My style icons include the wonderful Iris Apfel and Grayson Perry. From their clothing to their forward thinking approaches to life.
- Buy Yourself Flowers You could pick some up from your local supermarket or splash out at your local florist. Buy the flowers that make you feel indulgent. I love multi coloured tulips and freesias. Make sure to put them on display where you’ll see them the most and can fully appreciate them
- Surround yourself with art that radiates colour and happiness. Artists whose work I love, admire and am inspired by include Gillian Ayres, David Gerstein, Matisse, Patrick Caulfield, Gerhard Richter and Andy Warhol. You can buy cheap prints and add a frame very easily nowadays.
- Grab a copy of the latest craze – the adult colouring in book. My favourites are the Millie Marotta series. You’ll be amazed at how addictive they are.
- Most of us spend a lot of time at our computers. Why not set a colourful and inspiring image as your wallpaper. It’s an easy way to add a splash of colour to your day.
Our lives are like a blank canvas. So pick up a brush and paint your life with the brightest and most vibrant colours you can find and in whichever way works best for you.
There is Always More to Say by Lynda Young Spiro is out now. www.thereisalwaysmoretosay.com