Colour is energy that surrounds us in every aspect of our lives. Our auras and bodies are no different. Colour is wired into the very fibre of our being and, likewise, our environment, planet and universe. So it makes sense that the colour of our homes, clothes, artwork, food and nature affects us in different ways. Each chakra energy centre in our body is associated with colour and while fairly consistent, even these vary according to myriad philosophies. (For more on chakras, read the first feature in this colour series from November 2018 ‘What are Chakras and How do Colours Affect Them’). As designers at Serenvida, we use every hue, tint, shade, tone and value of colour in our work, but also focus on 14 key colours based on our holistic learning, mentors and experience.
Today we examine the effects and value of gold, both as a precious metal and rich and meaningful colour. Humans have raced against each other to catch the gold rush and scoured, often unscrupulously, pristine landscapes (as in Papua New Guinea currently) after rumours of unearthed gold. Commodities markets watch the merest hint of an upturn in gold prices, while the thought of anything being ‘like gold dust’, signifies just how precious an object is. Think Egyptian gold, Golden Buddhas, festival sarees embroidered with gold thread and, of course, wedding bands worn the world over of pure, shimmering gold. Such is the desire for Earth’s incredible element. It’s worth noting here, that we, as guardians of this planet, are also tasked with protecting gold within the earth from being plundered to exhaustion. Energetically, it is a key to the earth’s own vitality which always leads to ours.
Like yellow, gold is affiliated with the solar plexus chakra which most think of in terms of ‘that gut feeling’ or, at times, uncomfortable ‘butterflies’. The solar plexus is the seat of self-confidence, inner strength and trusting. However, though gold plays a strong aspect here, underneath the solar plexus and above the sacral chakra is where it engages most powerfully. This area bridges the lower physical and middle emotional aspects of a person. Gold, as an incredibly potent, revitalising colour and earth element, works at this level and throughout the body, mind, spirit and soul to recalibrate and regenerate. Of course, as in all energy work, colour is multi-faceted and arrives where it is most needed. So while there is great, ancient wisdom in a colour’s associations with certain chakras or areas of the body, gold is powerful throughout. It is both protective and transformative.
As a metallic colour, gold has been valued for ages as a highlight in interior schemes — whether in gilt mirrors or gilded bed frames. Hugely contemporary though, gold is part of a key 2019 trend to mix metallic accents skilfully and in a sensible fashion – like nickel, bronze and gold lighting, vases or slim frames. One can go all out with graphic black and gold pattern like striping or even gold splashbacks, but restraint when doing so – either in an uncluttered style or contrasting plain colour — may offer moderation unless ‘all that glitters’ is what you are truly after.
Partially, I’ll have to admit that some part of me still covets the yellow gold, ornate screen-printed lettering against cerise silk that was once a signature of 80s stylist Carolyn Quartermaine (along with Duran Duran and Rococo chocolate)! My other guilty pleasure is loving the gilded elements that arise in decided aspects of the Royal Collection fabrics of Designers Guild. I’m convinced it all arises from mom’s sari borders, much time spent in the Middle East and utter lust for textiles of all ages, despite my contemporary leanings in so many aspects of design. And, I promise, apart from my rose gold phone and diminutive silk cushion I dyed and screen-printed years ago, I can’t spot gold anywhere in my house currently, aside from my gouache and acrylic paints! Surely, though, I better add a touch of those gold and mixed metal accents to prove my trend-worthiness, soon (hint: secret gold crush)?
Words: Manisha G. Harkins
- Working with Colour Healing, by Jane Struthers (excellent introductory book on colour healing)
- https://www.worldpranichealing.com/en/chakra/7-chakras/(a more academic approach to chakras via pranic healing for those who want to delve deeply)
- Pantone Guide to Communicating with Colour, by Leatrice Eiseman(colour psychology for marketing, branding)
With a strong instinct for colour and over 20 years of combined design experience (design, styling, design writing, design store), Kate Wilding and Manisha Harkins launched Serenvida Ltd, their intuitive colour and design consultancy. Both are trained textile designers who have exhibited at New Designers London and, more recently, at the Cardiff Festival of Wellbeing. They love to use the specific energy of colour to encourage positive living. Serenvida is colour therapy certified and the designers come armed with a toolkit of energy practices honed over many years. They’ll guide your colour choices for a space, whether office, home or garden shed. Serenvida provides colour remedies suited to a client’s needs, happily bridging the gap between design and intuition in the process. It’s colour alchemy! Write to them at firstname.lastname@example.org for corporate or individual consultations and much more.