In thumbing through magazines and perusing home decor blogs, I read a lot about the value of neutral colors. White, black, brown, and all their shades and tints such as grey, beige, tan, and taupe make wonderful backdrops for any color. Finding just the right neutral can seem like the Holy Grail of decorating.
I was fascinated, though, by something I noticed after I hosted a birthday party for my youngest son. I found these great napkins to use at his party:
The napkins were a perfect fit and match for my green napkin holder. I bought this napkin holder at Christmastime. It came filled with red and green Christmas napkins.
I didn't pack the napkin holder away with my Christmas things, though, for it's about the color of a Granny Smith apple--very springy, very cheerful. As I was putting it away after Lee's birthday party, I noticed how well these cheerful striped napkins would go with it:
But then again, these soft flowered napkins looked good, too:
And this robin's egg blue print wasn't bad, either:
So then I started experimenting with the napkins in my drawer. (I have a thing for napkins--have you seen my napkin drawer?) Imagine how great these would be for a Cinco de Mayo party!
And these would be wonderfully refreshing for summertime:
But my green napkin holder could go more fallish, too, like with this leaf print:
Or with these autumn fruits:
You could use this green napkin holder with more than just springy, summery, or fallish colors, though. Look how well it pairs with this cool paisley print:
Or with these feathers:
Or with these printed beauties that Melissa found for me:
Or even with these pretties I bought to remind me of my 25th anniversary trip:
Can you believe that every single one of these photos features the same green napkin holder? Even though it's a bold, vibrant green color, it pairs well with all these different napkins.
As I pondered the versatility of my simple little napkin holder, it struck me that although green is not a neutral color, it functions like a good neutral: it mixes well with many different colors, allowing those colors to take center stage. Green's not a neutral color, but it is a wonderful backdrop color.
I think I know why this is true. Take a look outside. What color do you see throughout the natural landscape? Green, green, and more green--all different shades and tints of greens, serving as a beautiful backdrop for the vibrant hues of flowers. The natural landscape includes an amazingly diverse palette of colors, and all of them pair beautifully with various shades of green.
And of course, serving as a backdrop for all the colors of the earth is the beautiful blue of the sky. I don't have a blue napkin holder to demonstrate this, but the same principle is true for blue as for green.
So if you're thinking about colors for your home, remember that you needn't be limited to neutrals to use as backdrop colors. You know that adage "Blue and green must not be seen"?? I say that's nonsense! They worked pretty well in the hands of the Master Artist!
What "background colors" are your favorites?
**Special Note: If you're looking for just the right colors for your home, check out Kristin's blog: Favorite Paint Colors! It's a wonderful resource!**