“Why be seduced by something as small as a front door in another country? Why fall in love with a place because it has trams and its people seldom have curtains in their homes? However absurd the intense reactions provoked by such small (and mute) foreign elements may seem, the pattern is at least familiar from our personal lives. There, too, we may find ourselves anchoring emotions of love on the way a person butters his or her bread, or recoiling at his or her taste in shoes. To condemn ourselves for these minute concerns is to ignore how rich in meaning details may be.” 

Alain de Botton, The Art of Travel 

One of the 5 Ways to Wellbeing from nef is – Taking Notice –  evidenced to contribute through doing this to your own wellbeing (alongside an important skill to have in the design process, stepping back, observing and questioning ).

Looking back through photos of a recent trip to Spain, I guess subliminally the colours of sunshine seemed to have caught my eye everywhere. From the painted buildings, the details on the doors, the intricate patterns on the tiles on the walls and the lion topped post slots – there was an air of surrounding vibrancy, strength, determination and optimism in their presence (especially all around Seville). These details and colours choices enrich their cities, their streets and homes and have done so in many cases for hundreds (if not thousands) of years.

Perhaps on reflection it was an underlying wish to capture this brightness while still available in early to mid October and preserve it for an energy boost as the darker winter days and nights begin to creep in. Alongside this relishing the opportunity to clear the mind from the usual day-to-day routines, thoughts and worries and observe and absorb different surroundings for inspiration.

“Some painters transform the sun into a yellow spot, others transform a yellow spot into the sun”  Pablo Picasso

I guess there is a lot to be said for the colour choices you make to be surrounded by and live in as well as those naturally provided from the local environment. Perhaps we could do with more yellow in London?


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