Carleton Varney: Red can add dazzle to your rooms

Carleton Varney: Red can add dazzle to your rooms

By Carleton Varney

Special to the Daily News

For those who observe Christmas, December always offers a chance to paint the town red.

It’s the traditional color of Santa’s suit, of course, and the red poinsettia has always been the flower of the season. Yes, I know there poinsettias in pinks and in spotted varieties, but despite all the comings and goings of the horticulturalists, red poinsettias remain at the top of the Christmas color charts.

Red is a dazzling color, and those who like a bit of dazzle will go for the color in their drawing rooms, dining rooms or even bedrooms. And who hasn’t seen a powder room with red flocking on the walls and dashes of gold on that elaborately carved mirror?

Those who have a bent for Asian décor might cover walls with a red striped wallcovering. Such a background could easily bring new life to the Coromandel folding screen that has been in the family for years.

In Palm Beach where the weather can be warm, or very close to warm, red still prevails as a popular winter color.

For a decorating color scheme very much in vogue, paint your drawing room walls a rich cherry red and your ceiling flat white. For door frames an millwork, choose a white semi-gloss enamel. I hope your room has double doors that can be painted in black lacquer and detailed with shiny brass hardware, hinges and doorknobs.

For drapery, choose an Asian-influenced print with pagodas and blossoms in reds, golds, soft blues and whites on a black background. Top your draperies with a valance made from the print, and line it in soft blue.

Your large, comfortable back-and-seat cushioned sofa should be covered in a light-blue silk and accented with white cushions, edged in black. End tables can be made of shining brass with glass tops topped by large Chinese blue-and-white large vases turned into lamps with white pleated silk shades.

Use white wool carpeting on your mahogany stained wood floor, and on it place a pair of gold-and-black Coromandel coffee tables. Club chairs can be slipcovered in while. Meanwhile, cover the seats of your pull-up chairs in a rich gold-and-black needlepoint.

Palm trees anchored in blue-and-white tubs will add a touch of elegant Palm Beach living. You also might hang a series of palm lithographs – framed in black-and-gold frames with white mats — above a long console table of mahogany. And for the height of Palm Beach style, try a shell chandelier or a white coral-branch chandelier for the middle of the room.

I can’t wait to decorate a space for myself just like the one I described. The day is coming!

And on this Christmas Day, I hope those of you who are celebrating enjoy a bright and joyous holiday – with lots of red, of course.


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