Another way to look at color

There have been many theories about color and how it relates to our moods, psychology and reactions.

Our minister during a sermon titled “Are my wants Crowding out my needs?” spoke about Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. Here is the explanation:maslow

Color can be looked at as a way to identify where you are on your spiritual path. It is simply another way to analyze ourselves.





Exercise #3 What Colors resonate with you?

Color, some people are afraid of color on the wall in their home and others are all for color, color,  color!

I have written about Life Style, how to get clear about the lifestyle you would like. Color is one of the elements that helps to denote a lifestyle. If I say ” I want a home that makes me feel like I am in the Bahamas every day”, then my home will be filled with the happy colors of the Bahamas. If I say ” I love the sophisticated life style of  New York City” then my home will be filled with neutrals, simple bold patterns and large expanses of similar materials.

The central core of a lifestyle is you. Color is part of your “Kit of Parts” to create your lifestyle. Here are some questions to ask yourself to assist you in making these decisions. What colors do you look great wearing? What color is going to be a wonderful back drop for you? Look at your wardrobe, pick out the items you wear most. Look in the mirror do you look great in the color? Most likely the answer is “Yes”. We do gravitate to colors that compliment our coloring.

Side note: If you are a striking grey haired vibrant woman with sparkly blue eyes, you probably do not want to be in a home that is golds, yellows, and browns.

Color is a huge element of the canvas we are calling “Life Style”. Look at the magazine cut outs that you did in Exercise #1. What are the colors? You may have a few preferences, then go to your wardrobe and match up your clothes to the colors. The predominate colors are what will work well for you, use that to develop your color scheme.

There are other elements to consider, some of them are: amount of light coming into the space, what you want the space to feel like, what is the use of the space? These are a few of the questions a good designer will be asking.

Another approach is to look at nature. Enjoy the inspiration photo’s I have included by Jim Ewing.


Spring Clean UP

I do not know about you, but I get an itch to clean in the spring. This year my studio is my first focus. I need assistance to stay on task. My neighbor, who is the best person to assist me in this troublesome task, was willing to come over.

Today was the day to start on the studio. We actually have one section cleaned out. Some items were boxed for yard sale, some for garbage and others (the hard to let go pieces of art by my son) went into the memories box. My favorite part of today is when my neighbor said” Okay these old tubes of paint that I went through, really are dried up and they need to be given to your husband so that you will not go back through them” Here is what I want to know, how did she know that I would do that?

It is so hard to let go of little dabs of paint that could make a piece perfect..I am not sure if I am an artist but I do certainly hold onto items like all these items have a potential for an amazing collage, card or painting. Letting go, is an effort and I have to keep telling myself, that it is freeing..

Happy Spring

Happy New Beginnings

Happy Easter to allmissionsanmig

Exercise #2

What I have been talking about “Life Style” is important at any age. It becomes even more important when you reach retirement. So when you fantasize about retirement what comes to mind? Columnist Gary Peterson wrote”Waking up to the sound of the surf? Watching snow fall from your rustic chalet? Zipping the golf cart down the block, for a round with the boys/girls?”

These are such strong visuals that I had to repeat them. I have a few to add to the list ” Waking up to the sounds of horses nickering for breakfast? Watching the sunset on a tidal river in the South? ” The list goes on, what is  most important is, what resonates with you. We all have only one life to live, how do we want to live it?

Exercise #2

This is from page 45 in Denny Daikeler book ” What color is your slip cover”. Start by laying or sitting down in a comfortable spot. It is suggested that you record this meditation and play it back to yourself or have someone read it to you.

Close your eyes…feel every part of your body…relax completely into all those parts…notice your breath as it moves in and out… follow the breath in a very relaxed way… let go of your challenges, errands, activities of the day.. move into total awareness of all the sounds and feelings in the room… begin with your feet , relaxing the toes then the soles… relax your ankles… let go all through your calves… relax around your knees…up your thighs, front and back…let your pelvic bone hang loosely at the end of your spine…relax the small of your back…relax around each vertebra, staying with each until there is no tension…relax around the shoulder blades… relax the shoulders, allowing them to lower and rest on the floor… relax your fingers… the palms of your hands…your wrist… let go in the lower arm…all around the elbow… relax the upper arm…relax the muscles in your neck, allowing them to hold no tension…relax the base of the skull…around the ears…across the forehead…down the nose…behind the eyes…in the cheeks…around the mouth…relax your heart…totally let go….Now see yourself lying in a sunny, soft grassy field…soak in the sun…enjoy its warmth…Now allow a second image of you lift out of the first and slowly walk down the field. . notice a path. . follow this path for a while…are there any trees?…notice a pond..take it all in…come to a bridge that crosses a stream at the end of the pond…notice what the bridge looks like…follow the path on the other side until you see a hedge… follow the hedge until you find an opening…go through the opening…there in front of you will be a house…go up to the front door…notice the door knob or handle…notice the type of door…open the door slowly and go inside…You are in a room just beyond the front door.. notice all of its details…then move to the next room…what room are you in?..notice all of the details…what does the ceiling look like?..the windows?…the woodwork?…the furnishings, if there are any?…Go on to the next room…notice a book shelf there, with lots of books…go over and chose three of your favorites…what are they?…Now notice a desk in the room..on top of the desk is a portfolio with your name engraved on it..what do the letters look like? …also on the front is a word that describes you.. what is the word? Open the portfolio and see what is inside… now notice a figure coming toward you…the figure has a gift …what is it? …Move away and turn to leave the house..close the door behind you.. follow the hedge notice if it has changed…find the opening and come out on to the path…As you cross the bridge, notice if the pond has changed in any way…continue on along the path..what are you wearing?…return to the relaxed first figure of yourself…join it..slowly return to the room, counting from  five to your eyes.

When you have finished the visualization, journal all the sounds, colors, feelings, words, facts, objects, essences, gift and names of books.

There is a lot to interpret from what you write down. You can send your observations to me and I can send back my interpretation or you can purchase Denny Daikeler’s book “What color is your slip cover?” and read pages 46 through 49.




2* C Life Style/Food

For a very long time I have know the cost to the environment and to my health, by consuming meat products. But I ate the meat anyway.  I have wanted to switch to being Vegan and have struggled  to find a way.

Christmas brought me a gift from our neighbor that has helped me get on the path of being a vegan.  The gift “Oh She Glows” cook book, written by Ms. Angela Liddon.

I have started out by using the recipes for breakfast. So far everything I have made, my family has enjoyed and is willing to have time and again. In fact the granola recipe is such a hit they only want that granola. I have made the enchilada’s and no-one missed the meat or cheese.

What I love about eating the food is, I feel better! Then there is the added cost , health  and environmental benefit. So I am treading lighter on the earth, saving money and becoming healthier. I am not sure there is anything I can do that has so many benefits..

My suggestion for this post is that you purchase “Oh She Glows” cook book and give it a try. Let me know how you like it and share some tips..

Happy Cooking


This makes it worth all of the changes I choose to make
This makes it worth all of the changes I choose to make

Is your Life Style becoming clearer?

I have blogged a lot about lifestyle. There are so many ways to slice the topic. I am going to assume that you have got an idea as to what lifestyle you are leading and if you want to make some adjustments.

Now we get to do more of the research. This is when the practical side of programming comes into play. We have just gotten through the “Blue Sky” portion. This part of programming is finding out how you actually use your space now and how you plan to use it in the future.

You might find out in this process that your home is too big, or too small or just right. No matter what you find out there is always a solution. Start your programming process with observing how you are using your kitchen.  Look at how you use the space, how often you are in the kitchen and when you are in the kitchen what are you doing? How do you cook? heat and serve or cook from scratch or something in between?

We will stay with the kitchen for right now since it is the biggest issue in every home. Now take a look at how you move around in your kitchen, are you bending down to get bowls out of an awkward lower cabinet? Work on a time and motion study to see how you actually use this space. Is it for homework? bill paying, cooking, bathing the dog or baby, doing laundry, family gathering? There is a lot to take in and really understand how it works and how you want it to work. Ask yourself lots fo questions and observe yourself and others in the space.

I will give you some time to gather up the research to get this accomplished. Take your time, get this the way you want.

Out door kitchen in France
Out door kitchen in France

I will check in , in a couple of days..



What is influencing your Life Style?

I left my Heart in San Francico
I left my Heart in San Francisco

Again Wikipedia” a lifestyle is a means of forging a sense of self and to create cultural symbols that resonate with personal identity.” Personal identity.. Hum.
We live in rural Oregon, the local personal identity for women is a country shabby chic , obviously not everyone fits this category..But a lot do and love the painted antique chairs, the cute sayings on the wall and ruffled throw pillows.
For me, I am from San Francisco Bay Area, and that does not resonate with me. I appreciate the country, but what is comforting in my home is an eclectic mix of styles. So for me my past of the Bay Area has heavily influenced my preferences.
What has influenced yours?

Happiness is Loving my Life

Have you had a chance to think about the life style that you would like to lead? Was it easy to figure out the life style or do you need a little assistance? There is a wonderful visualization exercise for this from Denny Daikeler and her book “What color is your slipcover?”. page 44 -46. This is one of the best exercises.

Another great way to help you determine your lifestyle is to do go through magazies, cut out only what resonates with you. With all of these great pictures of ANYTHING that resonates with you, glue them into a large format sketch book. This is the best exercise to do, quiet no one to interrupt and indulge into time for yourself. You will find that the lace drapery at the French Cafe, with the art deco chair and a picture of a waterfall in Scotland do truly create a life style.

This is the critical part of the whole process. Don’t cut yourself short

Beech Hill Studio is Online

Here we are our very first Blog post for Beech Hill Studio.

We are a Life Style Design company, blending life style with interior design.

This is a very broad category and as individual as you and me. Creating life styles is really what interior design is all about. Good designers are asking the questions about you, what are your preferences, and observing how you live, then coming back to you with a design that fits YOUR LIFE STYLE, not the interior designer’s life style.

I recently saw an add by WayFair that stated that you would not be called by the style police if you select things from WayFair. The sad thing is that people think that interior design is like the fashion runway.

Certainly there are trends, that is what keeps people buying, but for the most part people are eclectic.  There is the chair from Mrs. Haloran, Victorian, then there is the sofa from Mrs. Fulgham, mid-century modern, and so on..It is the interior designer who can take all of those styles and make them into a wonderful cohesion of design and grace. Truly your life style.websitelaflivrm

Here is an example of a client who loved Asian antiques, art and books and a living room for conversation with a medium size family. This fit beautifully for the clients needs and they enjoyed the space for many years.

Life Style Design is what we are all looking for. Creating the effortless lifestyle that allows for graceful living and enjoyment of family and friends. Over time I will be posting inside design tips on how to accomplish this using tried and true design methods. I will be posting different lifestyles to consider, questionnaires to help you think about what you truly want in a life style.

Until my next post, think about what Life Style means to you..


Maryann Ewing

Beech Hill Studio