Monday, 9 December 2013

A Different Hue. Colors you may not have heard about.

by Georgiana Harding

Wanted to share about something I’m knowledgeable and passionate about–decorating. Yet, when I started researching on an idea, I found something I didn’t even know. It was in an article on the HOUZZ website by Charmean Neithart, an interior designer. Thought you might find it interesting as well.
You never know when you might need to pump up your vocabulary describing a color in your future writing. Often times color names are over-worked. A few of these I’d heard about, but most of them, hmm…no. Some sound really cool, but don’t tell anyone I told you to use the word fulvous instead of yellowish-brown…giggle.
SMALT: is a deep blue pigment typically used in ceramics. Smalt is a glass created when cobalt salts are added to molten glass. It has a subtle purple undertone and much like cobalt has a luminescent quality, making it look backlit.

BYZANTIUM: a vibrant shade of purple that can be confused with fushia. While fushia is a bold color derived from pink, byzantium is derived from purple and is much deeper.

CORDOVAN: is a rich shade of burgundy/brown, most commonly used to describe leather. The name originates from the city of Cordova, Spain.

VERMILLION: a bright red to reddish orange. It can also be called Chinese red because it is used in making Chinese lacquer ware.

SIENNA: is a reddish brown earth color, which originates from Siena, Italy, and describes a clay that consists of iron oxide and manganese oxide.

GAMBOGE: a deep mustard yellow. It gets its name from the gamboge tree, which excretes a sap that is mustard yellow.

FULVOUS: is a variation of brown but can be described as having yellow undertones. It is inspired by the feathers of ducks and birds.

PAVO: an electric blue referring to the peacock feathers. Best described as between a royal blue and a deep turquoise.

VERDIGRIS: when copper is exposed to a moisture, it turns a shade of this green. Known to represent nobility.

AUBERGINE: a deep brownish purple inspired by the exterior color of an eggplant.

LICHEN: is a murky shade of grayish-yellow green. This mellow green is inspired by the plant-like moss growing in shady spots around tree trunks.

MALACHITE: a vibrant green very similar to emerald, but the undertone is gray, which emerald does not have.

AUREOLIN: this is a bright, vivid yellow also referred to as a cobalt yellow. This sassy shade looks great with blues and grays.

BOLE: a brownish-red hue that really looks like chocolate, which teams up well with other neutrals and black.

I always pin down a color by saying, cobalt blue or eggplant. Wonder how my son-in -law will react to hearing about these?
Hope you found this helpful for naming a color in a new way.


  1. Very neat. Some of these colors weren't what I'd always pictured. A couple I never even heard of. Thanks!

  2. And then there's Radiant Orchid. It's Pantone's Colour of the year for 2014, kicking Emerald Green off its throne.
    It looks the way it sounds. Exactly the colour of the big ruffly orchid a forties crime boss would pin on the bodice of his favourite chorus girl.