Decorate with red and blue, like Mary Higgins Clark

Decorate with red and blue, like Mary Higgins Clark

By Carleton Varney

Special to the Daily News

You know that As Time Goes By is name of a song, but did you realize it’s also the title of Mary Higgins Clark’s newest novel, her 53rd work?

She and I spent a charming evening together recently in Palm Beach.

I asked this delightful lady with sparkling eyes a question: How difficult does she find writing — and do the words just simply flow? She replied: “Everything goes easily after the first 50 pages.”

The best-selling author does not have a favorite color in her home decorating. But she does like a combination of two primary colors — bright red and bright blue.

So do I. When decorating, they are two hues I often use together.

Here is a living-room scheme that she might find enticing, given her preference for the traditional style of design. I think you might like it, too.

Start with bright clipper-blue walls paired with the whitest-of-whites for the woodwork.

Rooms with blue walls need light, so I am hopeful of finding your room filled with large windows that you should not over-drape. White see-through sheers would be my choice for a window treatment, hung on shining brass poles with brass rings. And as Higgins Clark would like, do consider a carpet or rug of bright apple red with a border of the clipper blue.

For sofa cushions, consider a happy print — maybe a Chinese design with lotus blossoms and branches in purples, pinks, reds, whites and blues on a bright-red background. Use the same print to make more cushy, comfortable pillows to toss on the room’s club chairs.

For upholstering those chairs, blue-on-blue cut velvet would create a coordinating look.

Since Higgins Clark is a traditionalist and has lived in her Saddle River, N.J., home for many years, you can take a page from her book and choose brown furniture. Some say brown is out, but take it from Mary and me: While brown may not be the finish of choice for some, it is definitely the color of choice for 80 percent of the decorating public.

The lesson here is that have to be careful about listening to those folks who talk about what’s in and what’s out. Remember that what’s in today may be very much out tomorrow. Stay classic and you will always be in style. Which is why novelist Higgins Clark is an icon in the publishing world.

And one thing I know: Time will go by quickly when you sit down with a good book in your comfortable red-and-blue living room.

Happy decorating, and happy reading, too!


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