Sweet Nothings

Complementary Colors

Paint-streaked brick building

My best friend from childhood once decorated her college dorm room in vibrant blues and oranges. From the moment this sea of complementary colors enveloped her room, she wondered aloud whether the oil-pastel drawings covering the walls and swaths of patterned, Indian fabrics draping the bed and windows would make her dizzy with the way the hues buzzed off each others’ surfaces. But, I loved everything about them and came to associate orange and blue with my home away from home. I would take Amtrak to visit her for long weekends on her campus, which was just outside New York City, and we would stay up far too late listening to piano-driven pop music and talking about art, what little we knew of love, and our dreams. Everything about our futures seemed so limitless back then, and – the funny thing is – merely thinking about this friend’s pastel drawings and our endless conversations makes my future feel similarly boundless even now…

It’s amazing how there are certain times and certain people throughout our lives that push us more than others to achieve our dreams. Sometimes this is very intentional, but sometimes it’s just the way they naturally compliment us that makes the difference.

As my husband and I filled our very blue apartment with orange tulips this weekend (in honor of Halloween), I could not help recalling my dear friend and her old room of complimentary colors. I was transported back to the days of taking Chinatown buses into Manhattan, roaming art galleries, buying paperback books on street corners, and sifting through the still-too-expensive “discount” racks at SoHo boutiques. I thought of the time when – even though my feet were killing me and my stomach was aching for dinner – she convinced me to walk through the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Temple of Dendur for the first time. I wonder how many years I would have gone without seeing this magical room of Egyptian pools if it hadn’t been for her energy and insistence that night, and I feel so grateful for her artistry, all those philosophical conversations we shared amidst her orange-and-blue dorm walls long ago, and the ways she pushes me and believes in me to this day…Have there been people like this in your life who make your oranges more orange, blues more blue, and you more you? Leave a comment.

Image via Pinterest.

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  • Reply Amanda October 24, 2011 at 5:18 pm

    I LOVE blue and orange together!!! your friend’s college dorm sounds like an amazing haven away from school! I would love to decorate my room in Indian fabrics!


  • Reply Anna October 24, 2011 at 8:31 pm

    I have this friend exactly – Kylie – although she would never realise and if she ever did she would make a big joke out if it and say it was an accident – and that is why I love her even more. If Morgan is my male ying she is certainly my female ying. We’re actually polar opposites who compliment each other very well and have done since we were 12. She always has loved my drive and dreams and been the one forever telling me yes whilst everyone else says I can’t – sometimes she doesnt even mean to or realise how much her support by just being her spurs me on and inspires me to work harder. The memories you have are so dear and I’m sure if your friend read this she would feel a million feet tall, it’s a beautiful tribute to what sounds like a treasured friend. Heres to those friends that make our world seem bigger and brighter.

    Anna xx

  • Reply letiziabarcelona October 24, 2011 at 11:57 pm

    Blue and orange is actually a great combination, your friend from college had great taste too.. I should try to do that in my own appartment too, but it’s raining and I can’t see flowers in there, they don’t last long with me, I don’t have what they call “the green hand”.

    Love the orange tulip! I hope you’re having a great day !

  • Reply kristina@beancakes ★ October 25, 2011 at 1:09 am

    cote ~ another really thoughtful post ~ so nice! my best friend from the 5th grade is one of these people ~ we still talk to this day ~ and it’s funny how every time we get together, it feels as if not a day has gone by! i loved hearing about your college days ~ those were the good ol’ days weren’t they?? thanks again for such a nice post jennifer and have a great night!! 😉 😉
    xoxo ~ kristina

    • Reply Jennifer R. Coté October 25, 2011 at 1:20 am

      Those really were the good old days, Kristina. 🙂 I loved the feeling of still being innocent enough to believe I could do anything and everything, yet being old enough to have independence…I’m so happy hearing that your best friend from the fifth grade makes you push yourself and believe in yourself. It’s amazing thinking about when these impactful people have come into our lives. 😉 Wishing you a lovely evening as well!

  • Reply Jennifer R. Coté October 25, 2011 at 1:09 am

    Amanda and Letizia: orange and blue really do look so happy and fresh together. I can still picture the colors of my friend’s room so vividly. 🙂 Thank you for your sweet comments, ladies!

    Anna: Your friend Kylie sounds so wonderful – you should totally show her what you just wrote about her here. 🙂 It really is amazing how sometimes people who are our opposites balance us out and make us the best versions of ourselves. Here’s to those rare friends indeed who make our worlds bright and full of big dreams. 🙂

  • Reply S October 25, 2011 at 10:03 am

    Guess you friend has great taste, i love this color combination!
    Should be great to have her as a room mate!^^

  • Reply Erin October 25, 2011 at 12:23 pm

    Love this color combo-and blueberries are amazing!


    Erin @ http://www.trufflesnruffles.com/

  • Reply Jennifer R. Coté October 25, 2011 at 11:00 pm

    Erin and S, you guys are so right. My dear friend always did have such a good sense of color. 🙂 Thanks for your comments as always!

  • Reply Chris October 26, 2011 at 9:20 am

    This is beautiful, Jennnifer!

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