Don't Fall Victim to Constraints of "Context"

JFfabrics, Palm 75SJ101

People are always talking about the importance of being contextual. Architects especially worry about this. What they mean is they want to create something suited to the existing built and/or geographic landscape of a given place. If I suggested to an architect that we use the lively Palm fabric from JFfabrics (shown above) to make curtains for a client in Seattle, I bet he'd lose his mind. It exuberantly speaks of some far off land where the sun shines more often. Maybe too often. “It's very un-Seattle,” he'd say, as if nothing else need be said. Context of place is important, but so is context of people. Even the most monotonous people have a spirit that ebbs and flows. If they didn't, everyone would go around dressed like Diane Keaton all the time. And sometimes, within the context of Seattle's lovely geography, fairly good contemporary architecture and its rain, a person's spirit lists towards a desire to know what life might be like in India, without actually boarding a plane to go see it. That's where JF's Palm - 75SJ101 (top) comes in. See, because while most Indian feeling patterns come in a barrage of loud jewel tones, this one is grounded in the sophisticated muted colors of Seattle, embellished sparingly with varying shades of green and ivory. With the right context of wall covering and trim color, I'll bet we could make the architect feel this pattern would be nowhere more at home than in a living room in the Pacific Northwest. I'd think upholstering the walls in JF Fabric's Silkara 76S818 (right) and painting the trim a low lustre Benjamin Moore cc-152 Laurentian Red (left) would create said context. The tones of the Silkara would blend right in to the background color of the Palm fabric and add warmth to a likely not very well insulated space, while the Laurentian red, a very subdued red, would frame the grey Seattle views as if you were looking at the sky through a Northwestern version of the Golden Gate Bridge. Before you fall victim to the belief that the only contexts to consider are geographic and built, remember your spirit counts for something too.