On the Colour Couch with colour consultant Emily Harnasz
Unbeknownst to me Emily bought my book back in 2020 during lockdown and she told me later it was the catalyst to giving her the confidence she needed to follow her passion into colour consultancy. It was wonderful to hear Emily’s story because I love hearing how people embrace their love of colour. Now, over to Emily to share her experiences in her colourful world!
What does colour mean to you?
Colour, to me is the ability to truly express myself. It allows me to navigate and understand the world around me and my place in it. It makes me creative, curious and authentic and is also one of the most important ways I collect memories. Pale sky blue reminds me of my wedding day as it was the colour of my dress, teal reminds me of joy filled childhood sleepovers with my best friends as it was the colour of my bedroom and rose pink reminds me of time spent with my granny as she loved her garden of roses. Colour encompasses everything I do and is therefore, everything.
Do you have a colour that you least like? And why?
I like all colours really, although if I was to pick one, grey is a colour I find difficult to be around for too long. It has its uses and can be great to pair with other colours but for me, it can feel oppressive and almost heavy.
What do you love most about working with colour?
That I’m able to help others find the colours that truly make them happy. Spreading the joy of colour and being able to connect others with the magical power of colour never feels like a job, it feels like a hobby and that I’ve found my calling.
What do you think your life would be like without colour?
I think it would be a very emotionless and sad place. Colour is literally my career and my passion and takes up a huge proportion of my life, so I think I’d feel like I’d lost a piece of myself.
Were you ever afraid or wary of colour? And what did you do to overcome this?
A few years back, I took the difficult decision to leave a career in teaching after 3 years of trying to make it work, it wasn’t making me happy, in fact it was making me very unwell. So, I did a career 180 and began a role in retail for 2 years whilst figuring out what my passion was. And as many retail workers will know, the uniform is pretty much black on black on black, so day to day personal expression was limited.
Because of this, I think this was a stage in my life where I wasn’t consciously connecting with colour at all, which was very out of character for me because I would always have been that kid wearing outrages colours, experimenting with wild make up on nights out and choosing the brightest decor for my uni digs.
I think the accumulation of not feeling like I knew who I was anymore, combined with the new, very black working environment made me afraid of colour and afraid to be authentically me.
It was actually joining Instagram and sharing my own interiors journey that got me confident with colour again. I found a group of people who were doing things their own way, not afraid to experiment and it reignited the passion I had for colour and gave me the confidence I’d lost.
Do you have a favourite colour place that you visit (or have visited)?
My husband and I went on our honeymoon to San Fransisco and when we arrived in The Mission District, I just couldn’t believe my eyes! Streets and streets of bold murals, bustling restaurants and vibrant shops seeped in rich Latin culture and history. It was such a joyful and creative place to be and I’d love to go back one day.
For anyone afraid of colour what would your number 1 piece of advice be?
Before committing to colours in your own life, say with decor or clothing, take inspiration from places like magazines, social media, books, art, etc and note down the colours that you’re drawn to. Then once you feel like you have a good grasp of the colours you actually love, start to introduce them slowly, maybe in small elements like soft furnishing or accessories. That way you’re consciously taking the time to connect with yourself and the colours you love without making costly mistakes and losing confidence.
Which colourful person do you most admire and would love me to interview for the On the Colour Couch series?
Lauren Wager is a designer and colour specialist and I absolutely love her approach to colour. Her books Palette Perfect and Palette Perfect Vol.2 are such a refreshing and cohesive way of approaching colour combinations and is a huge source of inspiration for me both personally and with clients too.
Is Emily’s journey one that you can relate you? One where you loved colour and then something in your life changes and you find that you’ve lost your colour mojo too? Reading Emily’s story, the good news is, you can get it back!
If you would like to discover more about Emily head over to her Instagram @swishcolour. Image courtesy of @beautifulhomesinthenorth.
Wishing you a colourful day,
You can catch up on all the other colour couch chats over over here.
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