Color for the Colorblind

March 27, 2015

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This week I have been repainting the reading room–so many things to talk about there early next week–when this video from our friends at Valspar landed in my inbox. It couldn’t have come at a better time.

Valspar is on a mission to bring color to those who don’t have it (and to remind those who do to appreciate it–done!) They recently launched “Color for All” and through a partnership with EnChroma, a manufacturer of color blindness correcting glasses, Valspar is gifting this special eyewear to a number of colorblind individuals while raising awareness about color’s impact on our lives. You have to see when these people put them on for the first time!

How moving and beautiful is that? It’s hard for me to wrap my head around nearly 300 million people living in a “dull world.” Color has been such a large part of my life as an artist and as a home maker. One of my favorite exercises as an artist is to start with the primary colors and black and white paint and mix and mix until I can match a given hue perfectly. To not be able to do that–it is making me appreciate the rich colors we have in our home in textiles and on our walls, too. Sometimes I can be so particular about getting a shade just right (again, reading room–Monday!) and this video has definitely allowed me to step back and realize how fortunate we are to be able to appreciate the color we have and to live in such a colorful world. Something I take for granted at times. (Give me all the paint colors!) The visual impact of color, both physically and emotionally, is truly incomparable.

Are you or someone you know colorblind (You can take a simple test right here)?  How has it affected your life or home?

Ps.  This is not a sponsored post, but I wanted to pass along the information because it is a subject I am so passionate about. If you are colorblind or colorblindness affects your life in some way, share your story with #ColorForAll or at Some of those submitting stories will receive EnChroma glasses, courtesy of Valspar. Additionally Valspar will be working with art museums across the country offering up the glasses to enable even more people to see color for the first time. To be a fly on the wall…

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What do you think?

  1. Thank you your article. I like it.

  2. I love it. Nice job Julia

  3. Maaike says:

    I just shared the link to my husband and dad, both are red/green colorblind. I haven’t heard back from my husband yet but my dad is over the top, to the moon excited about this new possibility!!! He’s texting me faster than I can keep up and he’s not a big texter. He’s already watched the clip 4 times over and checking in with insurance on how to get his hands on a pair. Thank you for sharing!!! Not sure how long it would have taken us to find out about this without your sharing, so thank you thank you thank you!!! He can’t wait to see our faces in full color and our daughters’ colorful pictures we send him. Keep up your good work – our sermon at church this Sunday was to be all that God made you to be, you are definitely being that and blessing others with your love of home, art, family – big hugs to you!

  4. Amy says:

    We have a friend who is both red-green and blue-violet colorblind, but he hasn’t let these limitations stop him from being an amazing artist. You wouldn’t know from his paintings that he is colorblind!

  5. Meagan says:

    My grandfather was fully colorblind. He could not distinguish any color, but rather saw life in shades of ‘gray’. He was not allowed to fight in WWII after failing medical tests due to his colorblindness and was discharged from the Army. We would always have to tell him the color of the shirt or pair of pants that we gave him as gifts. When I was little, my favorite game to play with him was Candyland because I had to help him discern the colors and where to move his gamepiece. Looking back, it seems a little cruel, but at the time I loved that *I* had to help *him* play the game, and I really don’t think he minded anyway. He was a great man and his colorblindness was just part of his life, not something that would or could ever change, so he just dealt with it. He passed away a few years ago, but I believe he would have jumped at the chance to put on a pair of those glasses, and I would have given anything to be there when he put them on. I’m an Interior Designer. I can’t imagine my life without color; and I think Valspar’s campaign is remarkable. Thanks for sharing.

    • Julia says:

      It’s a pleasure to be able to spread the word about this campaign and hearing all of your stories, especially this one–gives me chills.

  6. Tarynkay says:

    My dad is colorblind. He has red/green colorblindness, so he doesn’t just see in black and white. Most color blind people do see some colors at least, just not the same way non color blind folks perceive them. My dad actually almost failed kindergarten because he did not know his colors. As a small child, of course, he had no idea that other people saw the world differently. My mom always laid out his clothes for him and he does fine with traffic lights because he has the position of the colors memorized and can tell the difference in intensity when one lights up.

    He is also sort of a control freak, so even though he is color blind, he insisted on picking out things like paint and carpet himself. We lived with the worst shade of yellow walls and the ugliest brown carpet for many years because of this. So that was the main negative effect. I mentioned these glasses to him once and he found the idea really upsetting. He says that there is nothing wrong with the way that he sees, so he doesn’t want to change it. This surprised me, because I think I would be curious. If someone invented glasses that allowed me to see the way that he sees, I would want to try them.

  7. Kaley says:

    My husband is red/green colorblind and one of our first arguments as a married couple was about paint colors! I thought because of his colorblindness, I would get the final say on all paint colors and decorating choices. But I learned when I’m picking a paint color, I’m really picking two colors: one that looks good to me and also looks good to him. I’ve had to toss some really great choices in the past! On the not-fun side, he had to give up a dream to be a fighter pilot because he is colorblind.

  8. Amanda says:

    Thank you SO much for sharing this. My husband is color blind, and it breaks my heart that he isn’t able to enjoy the beauty of the world the way so many of us are. But like Emily Jane said, I always get my way when we’re decorating!

  9. Emily Jane says:

    Any idea where I could get a pair of those glasses?

    I would love to show my husband what our house really looks like:)

  10. Emily Jane says:

    My mother-in-law, and thus her 6 sons (including my husband) are all color blind. It was a whole new world marrying into this family.

    It is mostly amusing. It is amazing how much my husband sees in gray. He tries to keep all his clothes in neutral territory so he doesn’t have to worry about matching.

    One little bonus, we’ve lived in 8 homes and are currently completely renovating this one. When it comes to paint and color choices, I always get my way:)

    • Julia says:

      I can’t even imagine what that would be like. The color blindness…not the picking all the paint colors. Although–I think that would be fun, too! Haha

  11. Evelina says:

    It broke my heart to see the people not be able to see colour. It’s such a big part of our lives that we take for granted! I took the test and saw the simulation for colour blindness. I vow to appreciate the wonderful colours I can see everyday more.
    Can’t wait to see what paint colour you pick! I loved the deep greeny bluey shade.

  12. Haley says:

    Wow, I love this! Thanks for sharing.

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