Huichol Lessons in Color

I recently came across this post about a man decorating a VW bug in the Huichol style of art, and it became clear to me that it's time to share my design ideas for the living room - my color palette, if you will (with a good hardy har har from Navah).

Brooklyn Street Art
And not related to my living room at all, but just really fabulous, is this car that I pass on my morning jog/walk with Jammer.  I'm inclined to leave a note telling the owner how awesome I think they are and how grateful I am for the little smile this car brings my tired face every morning at 6 am.  Perhaps I will.

Okay, detour complete - back to Huichol art.

Navah and I vacationed for a week in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico after we took the bar last year. It's a trip that I've been fantasizing about in recent weeks.  The ocean was gorgeous, and we became really exceptional at lazing, a skill that I could afford to re-cultivate.  On the one day that we convinced ourselves to put on something more than our bathing suits and venture away from the comfort of a beach chair, we ended up in a tiny little gallery filled with Huichol art.  I had never seen anything like it, and I was immediately smitten by the deep, bold colors and the intricacy of the designs and the work that went into them.  Standing back from a piece, I could appreciate the beauty.  But when I got up close, I could see that every smidge of color was made by winding thin pieces of yarn back and forth and back and forth into beeswax.  It must take hours, and it is done with such incredible precision.  The piece that we chose actually combines yarn and beadwork, which is uncommon.  Most pieces are one or the other.  The gallery owner was a wealth of information, sharing with us the symbolism of many of the pieces, giving us little insights into the spiritual beliefs of the Huichol people.

We walked away with a piece that we love, which represents, among other things, the two sides of every person, situation, thing and the way they communicate with each other - good and evil, light and dark, sad and happy, male and female.

We happily hung it over the entertainment center in our old apartment, but it was too small to really have any presence in the space.  And the colors, while they didn't clash, didn't "go" with our old living room.  It was just sort of lost.

When I saw the wall color in our new living room, I was immediately stoked - our Huichol art would look perfect up against that green background. 

And as I thought about it more, I decided to plan the whole color scheme for the living room around it.  This decision is particularly exciting for two reasons: 

(1) I've never really decorated a room with a clear color scheme in mind.  I've always had some pieces already that I like, and I just figure out how to put everything where it seems like it will look good.  My spaces have looked nice, but never finished.

(2) I've been afraid of color.  I stick mostly with neutrals or muted colors because I'm scared of messing things up and haven't ever felt like I could figure out what colors would look good together.  But I have wanted color.  This piece of art is a perfect way for me to take some safe steps toward a more colorful home - I can already see that the colors look great together.  Also, because the room is so small, I don't feel overwhelmed by the number of choices to make or the amount of stuff I would have to buy to pull it off.

Our new charcoal gray couch is the first stage of creating the living room design.  (Though I was tempted mightily by a delicious eggplant sofa that would have looked amazing but, alas, was not that comfortable.)  The neutral couch will be the base for some exciting, colorful throw pillows.  And ultimately I hope to incorporate the color scheme more by painting or staining our little dining table, by reworking the coffee table situation, by adding various other pops of color around the room, and by carefully selecting more art to hang that will complement our Huichol piece.

I'm delighted that this awesome art will be taking center stage, and I'm grateful for the little shove to branch out a bit in my design choices.

Have you ever bought a piece of art or furniture that you loved but just couldn't figure out how to incorporate into your space?  Tell me about it!