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    SeniorWomenWeb's Design Reviews

    Red on Red: Creating Stunning Interiors Using Reds and Pinks by Stephanie Hoppen (Bullfinch,$35)

    Rei Kawakubo, the founder of Comme des Garçons clothing line, has decorated her new Paris shop on the Faubourg St Honoré with a blood-red interior. While we might not want to decorate our houses totally in red, the color has been, in varying amounts, used successfully in decorating and design for centuries; red was supposedly the first color perceived by Man.

    Wearing red was supposed to convey invincibility; the wearing of red jewels such as rubies and garnets was protection against the 'evil eye.' The color is even said to produce a faster heartbeat. Red was the color reserved for the elite: kings, princes of the church and the military.

    Stephanie Hoppen's book, Red on Red: Creating Stunning Interiors Using Reds and Pinks, characterizes red as the 'colour of contradictions; the epitome of grandeur and passion,' welcoming and comforting.

    And that it is. Cranberry glass, red roses, paisley throws, Nancy Reagan's White House clothing (even the female press corps tried wearing it to gain recognition from the Reagans), Christmas trimmings, Chinese red lipsticks—all reminders of how popular this great color can be and how often it's been used to highlight an occasion or gain notice.

    As Hoppen comments, "This is a colour (she's English) that can be used on a grand is often used dramatically, adding warmth to the formality and conveying opulence and romance."

    The color red is often used on a room's walls in order to turn that environment into a richly colored retreat. Hoppen's book makes use of red in an easy-to-live-with fashion, a refreshing approach when we've seen cool and, yes, sterile colors dominate decorating palettes for so long.

    Hoppen uses tasteful examples and applications of red and pinks in every corner of the house. From decorative elements such as Zulu marriage hats, Chinese vases, and red sari curtain materials to a pink Hydrangea print grounded on a rich brown velvet upholstered chair Hoppen covers a sumptuous treasure of possibilities for the home owner to use.

    There's a large deep-red velvet pillow with leaf impressions on a couch in our home. It's just the right touch for a room using and earth colored craftsman palette.

    Try it. You might just find yourself falling in love with the color when you take a look at Stephanie Hoppen's new book.

    Symbolism of the color red in antiquity

    The words of color; From science and technology to poetry and symbolism


    ©2002 Tam Gray for SeniorWomenWeb
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