Sunday, April 29, 2012

On White.

I have recently created some Colour Ideabooks in my Houzz profile, to collect beautiful images gathered by Colour families. Today I'll begin showcasing White.

Traditionally used in neutral colour schemes, the use of whites was a predominant trend  in the 20 th. Century, between the 50's and the 70's. Considered by some to represent purity and cleanliness  and thought to be an ideal background to colourful decorating items and effects by many Interior Designers, Colour Expert Frank Mahnke devoted a chapter to White in his book "Color and Light in man-made Environment". The Chapter's title was "The Case Against White". There Mahnke argues why, "on a psychological basis, white is sterile" and is not recommended in Hospitals and Old-age Institutions. It seems that we humans need sensory variety in our homes and this can be introduced with the help of colour and the use of texture and patterns (wallpapers, textiles). On the contrary, the predominance of white can become boring and tedious in the end.

There are other issues with white: in contrast with bold colours, it can lead to eye strain, as it requires  "extreme adaptative changes from light to dark".

Being highly light reflectant, too bright whites can cause a distressing glare. This is why, according to Mahnke, white should not be used as a predominant colour in Interiors:

On the other hand, Design Writer Linda O'Keefe has devoted a book to White in Design. There she states that "White has the ability to pull everything together in a way that is kind of seductive". A timeless colour, it endures Seasons and Trend changes and never dates. As she says "all begins and ends with white"...

What do you think on this Colour Trend?
And if I can help you in some way, please contact me!

Isabel de Yzaguirre,
La Colorista.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

"Mona de Pasqua", an Easter's Catalan Traditional Cake.

Today I want to present a Catalan Easter's Tradition to my international friends. It is a sweet and colourful one. It's about a cake we call "Mona de Pasqua", Easter Mona. The traditional one looks like this:

It is a sweet cake that was eaten togehter with boiled eggs, chocolate and a kind of dried pork sausage that we call "llonganissa". The name comes from "munus", which in ancient greek meant "Present". Or maybe from the arab word "munna", which means "food for the mouth". The Mona is known by its name since the XV th. century. It meant the end of the fasting period previous to Easter.

Un parrain offrant une mona à son filleul. Vers 1865-1866.

This evolved to the current Mona, which can be made with butter,candied fruits and chocolate. And it is usually decorated with colourful feathers and yellow chiks.

This tradition is specifical to Catalonia and Valencia. There, the Godfather  or the Granpa used to give the Mona as a present to Godsons  and Goddaughters or to Grandchildren on Easter's Day. And it was eaten as a dessert on Monday's Easter familie's celebrations. 

The Egg seams to be a symbol of the Resurrection of  the Earth in Spring. It is found from Catalonia to England to Ukraine. And we can relate it with the tradition of Easter Eggs in Northern Europe and USA.

Isn't this a sweet tradition? I hope you will love to know about it as much as we do.
By the way,I hope a resurrection of colours in Spring.!
Happy Easter to everybody!!!

Isabel de Yzaguirre,
La Colorista.