The Art of Color


More than style, texture or pattern, it’s color that does the real heavy lifting in design. That’s why picking the right shade of almost anything is such a big deal. And the reason why we so readily shrink from throwing in a jolt of violet or electric blue even as our instincts say, “Ah, just go for it.” We’re that skittish about making a mistake. We think: “What if I end up having to live with something I hate—for years!?” So we back off from the radiant and turn to the reliables: chilly whites, medium blues, wishy-washy yellows, browns. And what we end up with looks OK, sometimes even good.

But those drop-back efforts pale next to what’s going on in the harmoniously hued North Davis home where Luis Guarnizo and Krystyna von Henneberg live with their two teenagers, Eva, 16, and Pablo, 15. The house was built in 1987. Luis and Krystyna bought it in 2001 and remodeled in 2011. Color was always a big part of the plan. “Luis and I are very decisive and, fortunately, we agree on most things,” Krystyna says as she stands in the living room surrounded by japonica, tangerine, cobalt blue and acid green. Luis’ compelling and lushly colored paintings draw the eye up and around the light-filled space where every detail of line and color has been expertly composed and executed with extraordinary precision. “I think scientists will prove, not too long from now,” Krystyna says, “that bright colors really do make people feel happier.” In the meantime, you don’t need a scientist to feel your heart lift or your mood lighten as you drink it all in.


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