Pop Goes the Color

15 02 2012

Like many home-lovers, I am enamored of websites that feed my desire to mark my territory.  Bet you all have a favorite or two dozen, too.  While I am energized and inspired (and occasionally overcome) by the content on these sites, I do (as those who know me will recognize as a core trait of mine) take exception to one idea that keeps popping up – the use of the phrase “pop of color.” I’d like to banish this little piece of trite trash from all comments about art, home decorating, craft, landscape, or anywhere else someone even thinks of using it.

I am sure back in the early days, when HGTV was still in kindergarten, when there were not designers/pretend designers/faux designers in abundance on the air and on the ‘net, this phrase actually meant something.  I would envision a pop of color as some truly unexpected but perfect accent in an otherwise muted, sedate, monochromatic, or neutral color scheme.  Nowadays, folks use that phrase anytime there is something colorful within an image!  In a room decorated in complementary colors of blue and peach, the tangerine throw pillow is not a pop of color; it is part of the scheme.  Neither is the brilliant red crocosmia ‘Lucifer’ blossom a pop of color in a garden filled with deep red peonies and red roses!

Just because a color is eye-catching in an arrangement or image does not mean the viewer should exclaim, “Don’t you love that pop of color!?”  What’s so hard about saying something meaningful about the color, instead of that banal conversation space-filler?  If a color combination moves you, why not say how much you appreciate the depth of gold braid against inky blue upholstery; the way brilliant magenta emboldens gray flannel; the liveliness of chartreuse, pink, and powder blue in a nursery?

Color is emotion.  Let’s discuss it emotionally, not with clichés, not as if it were the weather.

Oh, and have a nice day.



3 responses

15 02 2012



16 02 2012
Jean Van Brederode

To me, at least, the challenge is to orchestrate ALL the colors to present the one perfectly to deliver the punch. I have to admit, I am not as good at it as I’d like to be, especially in the home & garden! Now with enamels, that’s a different story 🙂

17 02 2012
Cuzzin Tando

AMEN, Cuz! I’m convinced now that designers use the phrase so they can charge more. Makes them sound official, using lingo like that. I had a pop of color the other day when I picked a huge zit on my ass, and the color was red.
The current catch phrase, usually found in business these days, is “as we go forward.” Think about that, it means time. Uhh….time goes forward whether we mention it’s going forward or not, and I maintain that any sentence containing “as we go forward” works better without that phrase. It’s one of those things that’s understood. Like “YOU” when I say “Get me some coffee!” Obviously you know it means you without me saying “YOU! Get me some coffee!” I mean, you’re the only one in the room, and you *are* my coffee wench after all.
I shouldn’t have to say it at all, I should only have to clap my hands twice….clap clap….means “YOU, go get me some coffee, coffee wench!”
Air kisses, muah muah,
Yer Ever’ Lovin’ Cuzzin’

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