Monday, August 3, 2009

In Appreciation of the Color Orange.

By Gerry Wendel, Groovy Reflections Founder and Team Member

Take a trip back to the “Brady Bunch era”, when sunny, happy, flower power colors led the charge in fashion, furnishings, and fridges. Quick, what’s the first color you remember from that time? Orange

Okay, perhaps it wasn't the most prominent color of its time, but may be the most memorable. I’m saying this now, but a few years ago I would have responded with yellow. Or maybe avocado. Almost any color but orange.

I’m closing my eyes and imagining a Sears catalog from 1971. Let’s go shopping for kitchen artifacts! 
Page 529: A canister set with cheery, cartoonish mushrooms in green, sunshine yellow, and orange.
Page 384: Screaming orange vinyl upholstered club chairs. They’re a neat compliment to that smart, startling white dinette table, ready to make that corner nook most attractive for serving up those micro-rayed suppers! Why not throw in a harvest gold refrigerator plus more brown than necessary, and the room is rockin’!

Well, trends come and go. And sadly, orange probably suffered the most when feel-good sunshine colors faded away. It just simply vanished. However, I couldn’t help noticing that orange has slowly made a bit of a comeback, quietly weaving its way into our lives, and winning some admirers. Yes, styles and colors do come around again, some sooner, some later.

As for me, I always hated the color orange. But then something happened. Maybe I was inspired by these kitchens of yore or maybe it dazzled me through fashion. Suddenly, I was buying a blouse that was orange. No, not peach. Not coral or salmon. Not washed out pastel. 

Orange. Loud and proud like a ripe, juicy tangerine.

My yet-to-be discovered obsession became worse. I realized I needed a warm tone to liven up the green, blue and purple that was taking over the décor of my home. Fabric! Curtains, with orange, white, chartreuse and, yes, even a shade of avocado. I fell in love with that material, bought a $100 sewing machine, and began stitching straight lines. My dining room came to life! That started it, about five years ago. The room finally felt complete.

It didn’t stop there. An orange stirring spoon with a cut-out smiling face for the kitchen. Orange pillows scattered about. Orange accent tables for the patio. More shirts where yummy citrus tones are the featured hue. No orange pants yet, but it could happen.

But I hadn’t yet started shouting out “I like this color” to the world. Orange. Somehow it crept into my subconscious. I had no clue what had happened to me until I was tagged on Facebook for the list “25 things about me” back in February. My #1: “I have learned to love and embrace the color orange”.

Whoa. Nothing like getting hit between the eyes. You’ve heard it here first; my passion for orange officially came out of the closet that day.

Tastes change. What was positively revolting one day can be seen as pleasing and energizing the next. Orange. It represents vibrancy, and shows off all its glowing glory via tasty fruit, sunsets, basketballs, “uranium red” Fiestaware, marigolds, cheddar cheese, pumpkins, the packaging of the perfume Happy and cape honeysuckle. Oh yeah, and the front door of my house.