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Is Your Red the Same as Mine?

Your Red… is it the same as mine?

Alright, I have to come clean, I’m not a fan of red.  It’s not that I dislike it.  It’s just to unpredictable.  How many different shades are there, any ways?  Possibly, like a billion? Is it a brownish red, pinkish red? Coquelicot?  Whatever that is!  Could be anything…

And that’s how it all started.

What is your RED?

I remember the first time I asked.  I was sitting with a client who was trying desperately to describe the feeling of her new house.  She was frustrated, her husband was at the end, and this whole project was going south.  I was one of many architects they were interviewing, as she was forthright about telling me “Architects don’t understand.”  I sat quietly and listened.

What she was describing was not what she envisioned, and I had to tell her somehow.  Sitting next to the conference table was a basket of fruit, (nice gift from a client, by the way), so I picked up a beautiful, large, nicely proportioned red delicious apple, and set it down in front of her.  She looked at it and said, “No thank you, I had lunch.”

Kids picking fresh apple on a farm

“No, it’s not for you to eat,” I responded.  “It’s a simple answer to a complicated question.”

“What color is that apple?” I asked.

“Red” was the response.

“Well what particular shade of red?  Is it warm, cool, does it have subtle undertones?” I asked.  I received a long blank stare.

“If I am going to design your home, I need to understand how you perceive things.  I need to know “What is your red.”

She took a deep breath and started to describe the colors she saw.  Deep red.  Medium red.  Light red.  Really light red.   I listened to each shade she came up with.  When she finished I responded with, “light red, you said.  Are you sure the top of the apple is light red?”

“Well it’s lighter than the rest” she affirmed.  She was digging in now.  I glanced at her husband, as he shifted in his seat towards the table.  I knew he was enjoying this.  Calmly I placed my hand over the apple, shadowing it  from the light.  The top was instantly darker.

I said, “It’s possible that what you see, what you perceive, is not always what you describe.  When I block out some of the light, the apple becomes darker, more evenly toned.  So, while I must understand what is your red.  You must understand that it is possibly something else.

Based on this, we can establish a vocabulary, and start the process.

I design residential buildings.  I knew in grammar school this was my calling.  My grandmother nurtured my curiosity.  My dad taught me that I can build anything.  It was later on that I discovered the best answers come from listening.  People say a lot when you are quiet, and sometimes it’s entirely different from the actual words.  So again, “what is your red?”

Michael Buss

#red #yourhomeoursignature #cherokeered #benjaminmoore #michaelbussarchitects

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