The value of beautiful things: Our mindset and COLOR

The value of beautiful things: Our mindset and COLOR

Welcome to a  continuation of the search for a link between beauty and inner peace.  We are exploring an important element: color in my interview with Janis Bryn McCubbins of Design4Soul.

in a study and exemplary project, Mayer Edi Rama in Tirana, Albania took a place that looked dead and infused it with life by painting bright colors on exterior buildings.  “I realized that the colors prompted an unconscious change in people’s relationship to their environment: from fight or flight to stay and grow.” A local artist reported, “in the beginning, it was the colors which were the change, and now you see the city changing around the colors”.  Do you think that has been the case with Reno and our mural project? I would love to hear your thoughts about the messages and colors around The Biggest Little City. 


“Color is energy made visible. It activates and ancient circuits that lights up with pleasure.” Ingrid Fetell Lee 

Just look at the color, joy, and soul-filled happiness Bryn's Etsy site:

I have had the pleasure of working on a number of commission projects with Bryn. I am always impressed with her dedication to finding just the right shade of yellow, orange, or the vibrant lime greens along with interesting shapes, the font she can use. She is always open to new ideas. Whether it is the stunning color of glass with light behind it or how a stone is enhanced with a powerful message, her products always exceed expectations. 

These gifts find their way into hands from all over the country sending waves of color and joy into the world.

In this interview, I really enjoyed reading how Bryn is inspired by her childhood home that “was like a museum”. This speaks to the value of surrounding all people from all ages to the beauty of art and creativity. She has gone on to be a fabulous artist and bring this quality of color, joy, and beauty to her home and yours too!

1. Do you feel beautiful things in your home/office are beneficial? If so in what way? 

I have always hoped that my home would be a place of artistry and inspiration; it was the way I was brought up. My childhood home was filled with artwork in everything we had, from the pottery dishes we used each day, to the sculptural pieces found covering the floors and walls. They served as a source of creative inspiration. Even now, when talking with a childhood friend, she references how our house was like a museum. My only addition to that when filling my own nest has been to add the element of personalization to it. I think there’s a line where art can be sterile if you don’t encompass warmth and comfort into a home. 

2. Is there a color theme, shape, element of light that captivates you, making you aware of the present moment?

When I first began decorating I drew from what I was brought up on in the 70’s, which were muted shades and earth tones, but I was missing out on all of the brilliance that nature supplies. I love bright colors, they make me feel alive! So slowly I began to add a pop here and there and then one day I decided to paint our little kitchen in one of our homes a couple of shades of orange and it’s still one of my favorite memories. I loved it! After that I was never afraid to utilize those warm colors. I like the cheer that color brings into the world. Think of how happy sunflowers make us; color warms us and lifts us. I have a purple couch and the play of an orange pillow on it fills me with joy! 

3. Please share a room or a loved thing that is something that makes me feel a sense of inner spaciousness. 

When we first looked at this house, the very first thing I noticed was that the front hall felt really big given the overall size of the home. It was welcoming. We have a cedar chest placed there that we ordered from an Amish builder for my 40th birthday. I love the scent. When I was growing up we had a cedar closet in one home and I loved the feeling of warmth it presented. It’s like being hugged by a tree. 

Note our dog, Bee, included in the image

4. Over time we may not really see our beautiful things in daily life, what is in your experience keeps a space fresh and a place of peace and presence.

I am quite sentimental. I will look at something and will be flooded by memory, but I just can’t take the feeling of being confined by things. A tidy drawer or closet is rewarding to me, so I go through these stages on occasion where I just have to purge things. I have a small house with very little storage and I get antsy when I begin to feel like I’ve accumulated too much clutter. I feel peace when I let things go. If I sense that I need to preserve it in some way, I will either find a way to repurpose the object, or I’ll take a picture. I did this with a big chunk of my children’s artwork and made a book for each of them. To everything (turn, turn, turn). There is a season (turn, turn, turn). You’ll have to excuse me now, I need to go clean something… 

Yes, and Bryn has a great sense of humor too! Gotta love that!  I hope you are enjoying this series of blogs with relation to beauty and a sense of inner peace. Something we can all use these days. So add some color, light and life to your home, and just notice if it changes the way you feel.  

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