Everything from our phones to our brooms can sport refined designs and splashes of color

Good morning my dear friends!

While at High Point Furniture Market a couple of months ago, I had an inspiration as well as an observation in regards to everyday things: Basically, they don’t have to be bland. In fact, everything from our phones to our brooms can sport refined designs and splashes of color. Remember how computers all used to be beige and then came the iMac? Look what happens when you suddenly have attention to design combined with an array of delicious colors to choose from. Mundane tasks suddenly make you smile. We have grown to love the energy a product has when it is dressed in an interesting shade.

An early innovator in this color trick was Mary Kay Ash, founder of Mary Kay Cosmetics, who started rewarding her top sales representatives (Mary Kay Career Car Program) in 1969 with a pink Cadillac! We all recognize Kerry Buskirk toodling down the street—without even seeing her lovely face—because of that distinctive pink car! When someone takes the time to readjust the color of something it makes a huge difference. Think about it: Don’t you find yourself far more apt to take note of functional everyday items when someone has taken the time to give you beauty with that function and, yes, dressed them in color?

A bike that beckons

This brings me to a product I spotted at the market that was just the cat’s meow: A bike from Martone Cycling. This amazing bike—a brilliant fire engine red from the frame to the tires to the basket and chain—was parked in the window of a showroom otherwise dedicated to furniture. The red spoke to me and I could hardly focus on anything else in that showroom. I fought the urge to take it for spin in the crowded hallways, and I will always regret not doing it! That bike has haunted me since I arrived back home. I just want it! That little kid who longed for that new bright blue Roadmaster bike in first grade reappeared in my longing for this red bike. Even at 61 this surprises me the urge I have to own this bike. It’s the design that so completely enchanted me—the pure wonderful, elegant, luscious design.

Being the snoop that I am, I decided to find out more about this bike. It turns out, the bike is the brainchild of Lorenzo Martone, a fashion PR person in New York. Like so many gutsy people in New York City, he rides a bike because it is cheap, environmentally friendly and efficient. But he found the typical bike was not congenial enough for the “city biker,” so he recreated the style and most certainly the color choices. This bike actually comes in five colors, but each has a red chain—which is brilliant because you know it’s a Martone bike even from far away. On a personal note to Lorenzo Martone, I say bravo for having the fortitude to create what you couldn’t find.

A chance to mix it up

Let’s take a peek at another example: When the Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer was released in a rainbow of colors, did it not give this versatile product a new, fresh and imaginative look? Simply displaying one of these beauties on your counter is like showcasing a fine sculpture. Ending crawling around on the floor, digging into the back of a bottom cabinet to pull the mixer out to use, color made it presentable. Astonishing things happen when everyday items are doctored just a bit with some design allure. Everyday kitchen tools become our favorite things to use—all because a smart creative person gave them a facelift with something so simple as an unexpected color.

Aside from the mixer, let’s step into the kitchen and see what wonderful and functional design changes we can make. Pots and pans looking a little on the sad side? Display a collection of French blue and daffodil yellow over the island or above the stove for function and splendor. Toasting in your ho-hum toaster not making morning sing for you anymore? Look for toaster beauties decked out in crayon colors by Dualit, Bella, kMix or Cuisinart to name a few. You can now find flippers, sifters, measuring spoons and cups in amazing colors, and if you can’t find the color you’re looking for, gorgeous, you aren’t looking. All these colors and designs make every task tastefully delightful! Plus, you can’t really call these changes splurges: If you have something that works just fine, but you long for an exciting aqua coffeemaker, find a new home for the old and rejoice in the new sassy coffeemaker that now sits on your counter.

Surrounded by color

Consider Ethan Allen and as well as other furniture companies that have started offering mind-boggling paint finishes. Sitting down to a breakfast table of turquoise surrounded by orange chairs is all very achievable! And the pleasure of having these pieces come in your home to live is a joy because, quite frankly, color brings joy!

We all understand the pure gratification of repainting a room: Suddenly every aspect of the newly colored box gives your spirit so much! If you’re not ready to paint, maybe consider a large piece of art or a banner hung from a rod for a blast of color. Or, if home repairs are on the horizon, boy do I have a treat for you. Tool boxes and tools are all dolled up just for you. I am telling you, you will squeal with delight at the colors tool boxes, tools and even a hammer come in today.

I think you get the point—color your spaces with a splash of unexpected hallelujah hues and you will be the sunshine of your own world!

“ HYPERLINK "http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/a/allenklein285040.html"Your attitude is like a box of crayons that color your world. Constantly color your picture gray, and your picture will always be bleak. Try adding some bright colors to the picture by including humor, and your picture begins to lighten up.” —Allen Klein

I will be here next week to chat. Now go pull out some crayons and have some fun!