Life in Full Color

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I recently returned from my one-week retreat in Paris. The City of Light offers much for reflection and the Parisian lifestyle left me with a few interesting realizations.

Upon settling in to my cozy hotel, I marveled at the beautiful antiquities, colors, fabrics and personality each space possessed. It has happened before- I visit somewhere like Europe and once again relish in a quaint room with velvet and tassels, golds, reds, royal blues  -- welcoming and familiar. Such a marked contrast to much of the spare and neutral décor we see at home these days. I do feel there are definitely places for a modern and chic neutral palette but I have lately felt it has become a bit overused and uninteresting. Yawn.  Paris inspired the poignant reminder that the use of color in decor is alive and well, and still rich and gorgeous.

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Our group of 13 ladies loved our amazing Parisian tour guide, Christine, and one of the highlights of the trip was an invitation into her beautiful flat for lunch. This was a surprise when our planned picnic was rained out. Her family had owned the stunning building overlooking the Luxembourg Gardens for several generations. When we ascended the stairs into the top floor space, I was instantly struck by it’s brimming pinks and yellows which felt warm and bright-- we were greeted with crystal glasses filled with sparkling rose' - We all noticed the many heirlooms and interesting trinkets that evoked a strong impression of family, legacy-- home.  Parisians are  proud of their colorful culture and traditions.. I sensed no desire or need to change decor to become "modern," or "spare.”

We enjoyed a delicious picnic lunch (yep...fromage, pain, prosciutto, vin) joined by Christine’s lovely daughter, Capucine. I noticed a guitar in the room and after learning that Capucine is an aspiring musician, asked if she would perform for us. She did! We had a wonderful concert during desert (yep. macarons, pistache gateaux ) and even sang along to George Michael. Christine thanked me and told me it was actually her first time performing in front of a group -and she was so glad it was the perfect one! The warm, relaxing afternoon with fabulous women will always be with me as a wonderful memory.

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I've since been contemplating this theme of color versus neutral palettes in our homes- I’ve been pondering where else I may be missing color in my life.  Not only externally but internally as well. Color is so important to mood and we all felt happy and uplifted in Christine's vibrant and cheerful apartment on that dreary day.  It’s clear to me this is a question we need to be asking ourselves. Not just in the pictorial sense but in the very important metaphorical sense: Where can we add more color to our lives? More that lights us up? More that brings us joy? More that makes us feel alive?

We can... break out the good china and silver, order fresh flowers every week, buy new sheets, add new throw pillows, be a tourist in our own backyard, plant an aromatic (and bright green!) herb garden, start our day with a George Michael playlist, paint with watercolors, drive a few hours out of town for a country-side lunch, or order up some rose flavored macarons from Laduree and bring Paris into our life every day!

And that's just for starters...you get the idea- There are a million simple things we can do to make every day fabulous. How will you capture the spirit of color and brightness in your own life?

The world is your canvas… Paint away.

Color me Happy!

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