Sunday, February 1, 2015


I want my home to celebrate the blue-and-white color tradition. New, old, traditional, vintage or folk, if it’s blue and white I love it all. You might ask: Why blue and white? Why not blue-and-green or red-and-white or some other combination? Well, I’ve discovered that a focus on blue-and-white is a very positive influence in my life. When I see blue-and-white around me in my personal space, I feel harmony and confidence.

Our pro-high-tech, consumerist society is plagued with industrial chrome, plastic grays and glossy black, colors which reinforce human-inspired activity and complexity. Color therapy research indicates that the combination of blue and white is a very special one that represents simplicity, sensibility, and aesthetics. To achieve harmony and simplicity of spirit, we need to rediscover the colors of our natural world.

The combination of blue and white can help us rediscover our true roots in nature. The blue signifies blue sky and the sea and symbolizes fidelity and serenity. White is the color of clouds, stars, and candle light and stands for purity, new beginnings, and unity. When combined, blue-and-white creates a sense of completeness and aesthetic harmony. And , as far as I'm concerned, all that adds up to domestic color therapy. That’s why I want the bulk of the things I acquire, make, and display in my home to include these colors.

As I’ve pursued my predilection, among other things, I’ve finally found a set of mismatched vintage dinner plates, saucer plates, and cups that make up my blue and white table collection. I like to see all the ways that the different dishes coordinate. And collecting disparate dishes is much less expensive than heading out to buy a complete set. They’re more interesting, too.
Mismatched blue & white dishes add charm to an informal table.

Perhaps my preference for these colors at the table has to do with my fond childhood memories of Blue Willow plates. Also, I have always been drawn to traditional Japanese home decoration and applaud their simple and dignified homes. Over many centuries, the combination of blue-and-white has been a strong element of Japanese style in home and table decoration. (Of course, the Japanese aren’t the only people to emphasize blue and white, and the folk art of many countries has a blue-and-white tradition.)

So, I’m always on the lookout for blue and white finds at the thrift stores. But I’m willing to go slow. I can’t just throw out or give away a lot of things just because they aren’t white or blue. What I’ve done up to now is add some blue-and-white things to my home – for example, some curtains and sheets, a tablecloth, napkins, dishes, and a few small accessories. As you might imagine, I'm also doing my best to emphasize natural materials - wood, stone, cotton, ceramics, etc.- at my house.

So, here’s my recommendation. Try out the power of blue-and-white in your decoration and see if it doesn’t help you to have a more complete and harmonious home. Choosing these colors should also help you find the strength to focus on your personal causes. Obviously, domestic peace and harmony depend on something more than blue and white house decoration. You must also simplify, de-clutter and clean your home.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It's genetic. My kitchen is blue and white and, as you know, has been for 45 years. I like the English china and the more traditional look.