Taken May 2009 by KH


Rinascimento is Italian for renaissance and literally means to be reborn. In a historical context it refers to the revival of art, music, culture and learning in Europe from the 14th through the 17th centuries.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

A Glass of Chocolate Milk a.k.a the Problem with Color

Recently I've been trying to find just the right color paint for my master bathroom. My vision is to have a soothing zen-like space in a shade of soft brown and blue, or soft brown and cream--depending on which towels I put up. So I've been to Lowe's a few times now for just the right shade of brown paint, something like chocolate milk with a little extra white milk thrown in to lighten it just a hair.

My first two colors, Milk Toast and Hopsack were complete failures. Lovely colors on their own, but not right for this purpose. Milk Toast was too pink and Hopsack was too yellow. Of course it doesn't help that we're covering over the existing blue paint which may be skewing my color perception slightly.

Usually when it comes to paint color I nail it on the first or second try. I don't know if it's genetic, or it's my training at the University of Michigan Art School but I can "see" color. Even a good 8 years later I look at the walls in the main part of my house and love the glowing amber colors.  So I'll be heading back to Lowe's in the next few days to try a new color, Moose Mousse.

So my hubby told me he saw something on that indicated that men see about 12 different colors. What 12 I don't know, but I'm pretty sure a light shade of chocolate milk isn't on that list. I'm not man bashing believe me, but I think men and women do view color differently.

Out shopping yesterday I noticed a lot of really lovely colors showcased in the Fall clothes, especially for women. Gorgeous shades of camel, cinnamon, teal, blue, gray and burgundy abounded. But, with burgundy for example, does it have more purple to it and hence should be called aubergine, or does it have more red to it and really be called wine? With gray is it pearl, smoke, slate or steel? There are so many different color interpretations out there this Fall season. When it came to the mens fashions there were many yummy shades of khaki, camel and green that were prevalent every where I went.

I've heard people say for years "I just can't wear that color." I personally don't think that's true. I think you can wear any color out there as long as you find the right hue and saturation. Take green for example. When I was younger I was told I couldn't wear green with red hair because I'd look like a stop sign. I'm not sure if it was out of spite or what, but I went out and bought a long green wool coat. It just takes the right shade of green. Greens with a yellow back note are not so hot for me, but you get a green with either a blue or olive tinge and I'm in heaven!

This color issue spills over to the jewelry world as well. People tell me all the time "I don't look good in yellow gold." Again, not true. Maybe a wide yellow gold bangle isn't right for you, but something more delicate and lacey might be. In that situation is has more to do with style and visual weight of the piece.  You may have a personal preference for one color of gold over another, but I don't think looking good in a particular color is necessarily valid.

So tomorrow I'll go get a sample of that Moose Mousse paint and see if I've found the right color or not. 

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Rose Gold: The Bronzer of the Jewelry World

The past 5 years or so has seen a huge resurgence in rose gold jewelry available in the marketplace. Rose gold jewelry enjoyed some popularity in the United States at the turn of the 20th century but then fell out of favor over time. For many yellow gold was the “it” color for gold, denoting luxury and opulence. Then white metals came into fashion, i.e., platinum, white gold and sterling silver.  The market has become so saturated with white gold jewelry that now the trend is starting to shift away from white gold and white metal jewelry in general. Don’t get me wrong, white metal does show a white diamond to it’s full magnificent glory and depending on how the diamond is set, the prongs can virtually disappear. However, white gold in particular requires more maintenance to keep its sparkly white appearance in the form of regular Rhodium-plating. People are often unaware when they purchase white gold jewelry that it will need Rhodium-plating in the future, especially pieces that are worn daily, like bridal jewelry.

So what is rose gold exactly? All gold (Periodic table symbol AU) starts out yellow. It is then alloyed with other metals to make it 10K, 14K or 18K (the gold standards in the US). When a small percentage of copper is added to the yellow gold you get rose gold which has a wondrous soft, pinkish, coppery glow.

What’s in a name? Different designers call their rose gold by different names. Le Vian uses the trademarked name Strawberry Gold.  Other companies call it red gold. Some call is pink gold and some rose gold. It is all the same thing, yellow gold with copper added to it.

Rose gold jewelry is available at all price points and in both fine and costume jewelry. A recently perusal of Target and Kohl’s showed a number of pieces with rose gold or rose gold-tone accents in their costume jewelry collections. Everyone from JC Penneys, to Macy’s, to high-end retailers such as Neiman Marcus and Tiffany are featuring more and more rose gold jewelry. Even mass-market chain jewelers such as Helzberg and Sterling (Jared, Kay, JB Robinson and about 8 more brands) have rose gold offerings.

Styles of rose gold jewelry range from vintage to modern. Simon G is known for his beautiful vintage two-tone (rose and white gold) jewelry. Other jewelers such as GelinAbaci have gorgeous offerings in rose gold that are modern and sleek in style. Another favorite of mine is MaeVona which offers many graceful modern styles in rose gold and a variety of two-tone combinations.  There is even an online retailer whose website is entirely devoted to rose gold jewelry,

So why should you consider adding rose gold to your jewelry collection? Rose gold is the bronzer of the jewelry world. It looks great on every skin tone and with every hair color. It gives your skin a wonderful lift and glow, just like a sweep of bronzer. It can look crisp and clean or vintage and delicate depending on the style you choose. It is often paired with white gold or even with white AND yellow gold for a tri-color effect. Rose gold is even being seen in men’s jewelry, especially watches and wedding bands where it is paired with another metal for a two-tone look.  Simmons Jewelry Company is even pairing rose gold plated links with black rubber for very stylish men’s bracelets.