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Carolyn Warrender - Color Style: How to Identify the Colors That Are Right for Your Home

Color is one of the easiest, fastest, and most effective ways to use feng shui. This excellent book is divided into three sections: Understanding Color, Living With Color, and Discovering Your Colors. In the first section we are introduced to the ideas of Johannes Itten, the Bauhaus color pioneer. We learn about tint, shading, tone, and which colors are complementary, or harmonious, and why. Itten's concept of warm and cool colors is an important basis for this book. The other important concept is the division of the color wheel into seven distinct palettes called Natural, Air, Wind, Water, Fire, Earth, and Mineral. Thirty-six pages are devoted to exploring those palettes individually. Along the way we learn about the properties of color, and how color affects us --- making a room seem larger or smaller.

The second section starts off with these lines: "The inherent character of any home is its primary asset, regardless of scale, age or location. That character may have been concealed for decades or centuries due to clumsy or inappropriate renovation, poor use of available materials, and more often than not, an unimaginative use of color." This section is a detailed room-by-room guide through the entire house. It is wise, well-written, and rocks! The third section has a very cool questionnaire your element (according to her system.)

Many people want to be bold and imaginative with color but they hold back because they don't trust their sense of style. Warrender informs, empowers, and embolds the reader. By the end of the book you are ready to combine colors innovatively and confidently.

One thing I adore about this book is that she has extensive commentary on the photographs. A photograph without thorough commentary leaves the reader wondering "Where's the lesson?" Warrender delivers lessons galore! This book is a superb learning experience and can unleash tremendous feng shui potential.

One final note about the craft projects that she interjects in the book. The one on page 87 "Create an Instant Library" (a faux library) leaves me cold. However the craft project on page 79 is a sure-fire feng shui winner: "Creating Space in a Narrow Hall." It looks gorgeous and stops chi energy.

Abbeville Press, New York, 1996, (800) ART-BOOK, www.abbeville.com, 0-7892-0255-7, 128 pages, color photographs and drawings, hardback, $24.95

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