By Carleton Varney- Special to the Palm Beach Daily News
Were you a Crayola child?
I know I was, and I believe nearly everyone has been influenced in one way or another by those crayons in Crayola’s distinctive yellow-and-green box.
Crayola crayons have been around since 1903, and today there are 120 different colors in the Crayola array. There are Crayola markers and wash-away Crayola crayons, in case you inadvertently happen to mark up your shirt or skirt. Crayola colors can even be used by interior designers to show clients possible colors for walls and fabrics. Take a look in the big box and you’ll find such a wide variety of hues. Now, I know there are all those paint color samples available in hardware stores across the country, and there are institutes that chart and annual announce the color of the year. Yet I’ve moved my color loyalty to the very first colors I learned — the colors in my Crayola box.
When we hold our Dorothy Draper & Co. decorating classes, we give participants sheets of paper printed with coloring-book-style drawings of rooms — some traditional in style, others modern. Students then use crayons to color in the drawings to practice decorating a room with color.
Color in rooms can evoke feelings – blue for serenity, red for vibrancy, yellow for ensuring you have a sunny day every day, no matter the weather. If you are in the beginning stages of planning the color scheme for a room, why not grab a Crayola box and select colors that attract you? You can easily see how well they “play” together on paper, perhaps by coloring in a blank room plan. Try combining Granny Smith Apple green, Chestnut brown, Goldenrod yellow and white to see how the colors work together. This is what decorating with color is all about.
Everyone has a favorite color — and mine is green. I love all the greens, from jungle to pine — and maybe just a touch of olive because that hue is sometimes a tad drab for me. But by using your Crayola box, you’re certain to find just the right mix of hues you love.
The Crayola company headquarters is in Easton, Pennsylvania, just over the New Jersey state border. The company offers children — and adults — a program called The Crayola Experience, with lots of hands-on, creative activities. Those of us in Palm Beach can experience the magic of Crayola closer to home in The Florida Mall at 8001 S. Orange Blossom Trail in Orlando. The Crayola Experience is really a must-visit. Online, you can visit crayolaexprience.com, but it will only give you a glimpse of what awaits you and your children or grandchildren when you visit.
Color inspiration can come from just about anywhere — including a box of crayons. All you have to do is look for it!