Karen Wight -- No Place Like Home

April 29, 2001

I love color. I consider color to be in the same category as icing on

the cake and cream in the coffee. A great color for the walls, a pillow

or a throw can be the pizazz that a room needs to look complete.

Color and I have always had a good relationship. It's easy for me to

go to a store with a certain room in mind and be able to choose fabrics,

bedding and accessories. It's important to note this, because my husband

is color-challenged and doesn't distinguish between shades of blues and


greens, or reds and oranges. He is one heck of a handy guy, but I'm the

color meister.

Have you ever gone to the paint store to get color chips and wondered

where they come up with the names? Right now on my desk, I have color

samples called "The Good Life," "Misted Pollen" and "Honesty." If I had

to guess by the names I'd say I was looking at some shades of yellow or

gold. These names are attached to various shades of blue. Go figure.

The color in my kitchen, family room and hallway is "Capertree." This

color does not resemble a caper or a tree or a caper bush (there are no

trees). How did they come up with "Capertree"? I sometimes wonder what

the color-namers eat for lunch before they assign labels on the color


One strip on my desk has "Columbine Valley," "Veronica," "Fairfax" and

"Glendora." I think this person must need a vacation. Another color strip

includes "Pekoe Tea," "Dried Basil," and "Romaine." Someone was hungry.

I like being master of my own destiny and mixing my own colors. I

invested in a set of universal tints years ago and have been a custom

color girl ever since. A little raw umber here and sienna there, and I

find that I can mix the best color for a room.

It's so hard to calculate color from a tiny strip of paper. Tester

patches are the only way to get a real sense of color, and with my tints

I can make subtle changes.

Colors look different in the morning, afternoon and evening. A room's

lighting, or lack of lighting, affects color. When I am choosing a color

for a room, I paint several samples on the wall. I have had rooms look

like a virtual patchwork quilt with various tester shades.

Whenever I think I have gone too far with my color obsession, I think

of my friend Jeannie. I have found my color-perfectionist equal with


Jeannie is, among many other things, a balloon artist. I asked her to

come up with a trio of colors for the home tour signs. (And by the way,

if you haven't bought your ticket for the Harbor High Home and Garden

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