Living in New England, I must admit I am spoiled when it comes to the surrounding environmental colors. Lush green trees, sparkling blue waters, pure white snow against crisp blue skies and brilliant yellows, oranges and reds of the Fall foliage. That’s why I was so out of my color comfort zone last week while vacationing in Arizona. I joked on Facebook that I felt like I had landed on another planet, either that or I was in Afghanistan. At first I just didn’t get why everyone told me how beautiful Arizona is. I saw only brown, grey/green and terracotta and to me it looked depressing and barren.

Scottsdale AZ

Scottsdale AZ

After a few days though, my visual color meter adjusted and my color comfort zone expanded. By the time we left I had a new found appreciation of the all the subtle earth tones. I saw so much beauty in the Arizona color palette. As we drove north from Scottsdale to the North rim of the Grand Canyon I couldn’t get enough. Here are some of my favorite color palettes.

Scottsdale Arizona

Scottsdale Arizona

Terracotta and sage green were the primary colors of our drive north to the Grand Canyon.

View from Najaho Bridge

View from Navajo Bridge

I loved the layers upon layers of soft pinks and browns.

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layer upon layer of soft neutrals

I saw so few bright colors while in AZ that when I did see one it really popped out against the quiet neutrals.

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Bright red stop sign in the desert

Approaching the North Rim of the Canyon was eye opening. There was a huge fire in 2012 and the mountains sides were stripped clean of all vegetation. In the years since, the hills are reforesting and bright yellow Aspen trees are the first to re-establish.

Yellow Aspen trees re-establishing forest growth.

Yellow Aspen trees re-establishing forest growth.

The bright yellow of the trees against the chard black tree trunks was surreal and looked like an abstract painting.

North Rim Grand Canyon

North Rim Grand Canyon

The grand Canyon itself is layer upon layer of browns, reds, grays and greens.

Sedona AZ

Sedona AZ

The red rocks of Sedona are of course world famous. When the sun hits them in the evening they almost glow.

One of the things I loved most about Arizona is something we don’t have here in New England and that is “big sky”. How can you not love a huge expanse of blue sky dotted with white clouds?

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To me, these colors are breathtakingly beautiful; soft neutrals against a clean blue sky. Nature never gets it wrong does she?

What do you think of the Arizona colors?

Linda Holt | Interior Designer & iPhone Coach

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