The Shape of Color

When we think about the science behind color, chemistry is our go to field: the chemistry of paints and dyes, the history of minerals and pigments.  But we rarely think about the shape of color. Structural color is an entire field of research that study’s things like iridescent butterfly wings and nano scale silver particles.
Iridescent wings of the Morpho didius butterfly via Wikimedia

To start out we need a good explanation of  structural color . For that lets hear from Wikipedia: “Structural colors are colors caused by interference effects rather than by pigments. Color effects are produced when a material is scored with fine parallel lines, formed of one or more parallel thin layers, or otherwise composed of microstructures on the scale of the color’s wavelength.” So differences in surface structures can change the colors we see just by reorienting the light that hits them.
Scales on a butterfly wing via Wikipedia
Here is a great example. Above is an image of the scales of on butterfly wing, but when we look even closer we can see that each scale is a lattice work on the scale of wavelengths of light. When light hits this surface it gets reorganized, a process called interference. When this changed light is then seen the colors are the result of the surface architecture alone. 

Nanoscale Structure on a Butterfly wing scale via Wikipedia
Another beautiful example of structural color is the opal. The iridescence we see is the result of a particular kind of optical nanostructure called a  photonic crystal which effect motion of photons just as the butterflys lattice scales do, only with opals the hue changes as the angle if viewing changes. 

Opal via Wikimedia
Color is an ever present force in our world, perhaps sometimes so omnipresent as to be ignored. But when we see the amazing variety of solutions nature has found to produce color, it becomes new and interesting all over again.

– Emily Eifler, Writer, Colour Studio
– Jill Pilaroscia, Principal, Colour Studio

Spring has Sprung

Via Apartment 34

Now that spring is upon us, the official season of rebirth and renewal,  we here at Colour Studio  are encouraging you to  think about bringing lush greens inside to chase away  winter blues.  As we scurry about with spring cleaning, going through the back of the closet and the mystery boxes in the garage, we can also be thinking about a fresh coat of paint or changing a few accents. And where better to start than a bit of spring green.

The Energy Hotel via Plastolux

In the Fung Shui tradition, green is the color of renewal. It gives our spaces lively energy and helps to nourish health. Green is strongly recommended for the bathroom as it provides a purification and new beginnings.  But if a major paint job in not what you are looking for there are great temporary seasonal changes in color  that can make your space feel new all over again.

These beautiful indoor plants via Saídos da Concha on Flickr

Plants are always a great thought for green in spring. We can scrub and sort all we want this spring cleaning but these lovelies enliven our space and clean our air! According to Laura Pottorff of Colorado State University plants such as English ivy and others remove common indoor pollutants such as benzene, formaldehyde, and trichloroethylene. Its amazing how dirty our indoor air can be, and how a few very easy changes really help clean it up. You can read more about her research here

Via Apartment Therapy

But plants are just the beginning. What about seasonal accents and artwork. Maybe switching out a rug and a painting is all you need to reawaken you home or office. Even if you don’t want to shell out for a new rug you can make your own. There is a great tutorial for the rug below over at Craft.

Via Craft

Even the smallest decor, like a vase, candle holder or pillow is a great candidate for seasonal ration. With fresh spring greens subtlety can work better than over the top.

Via Hit Decor

Take the green wash in this mostly white teen bedroom or a French take on green living in the Kitchen.

Via Perene and Home Designing

There are a world of ways to expand the green highlights in your home. Make a big change or a little one, everyone deserves a new beginning this spring.

– Emily Eifler, Writer, Colour Studio
– Jill Pilaroscia, Principal, Colour Studio