04 February 2011

color deprived


are you?

Janet Leigh movie still from A Touch of Evil

I love black and white movies. There is something very pure about them. Who would ever want to watch Film Noir in anything approaching colorization?

Perhaps it is something lacking in my aesthetic- I am working on it, but I think some of the photographs from the great old interior design books  lack something.
Color is the natural context we interpret our interiors in. I want to see the color.

We know from the description of this billiard room in a Neoclassical Italian Palace the walls are trompe'oeil marble panels -"embellished with medallions representing Cupids playing billiards." There are frescoes on the walls-"geometrical motifs in black and white." This photograph actually reads well because of the imposing dark wood door just to the left and right of the panels and pattern.

the billiard room from The Best In European Decoration
edited by Georges & Rosamond Bernier

then  this.

Do you have a preference?
black & white?

Do you use color in your rooms?
Dress like you decorate? (is that possible?)

OR do you prefer a little bit of both?

all pieces are from DURO OLOWU Collections Here
images are from style.com

Tell me what you think?



  1. It's funny that you should ask if one dresses as one decorates. Years ago my home's interior color scheme was forest green and maroon, with touches of gray. (I've since moved to lighter brighter colors.) But back then, there was a morning when I realized that the chair I was sitting in and the robe I was wearing were all matching, and I just had to laugh out loud at myself.

  2. Do you know I have always thought that history sometimes was in black and white! (I know its dumb), but when you see old photographs of important events, places and people, even relatives old photos, they are invariably in black and white. I mean it is very hard to imagine Queen Victoria in colour!

    However nothing beats film noir for a Friday night!

  3. Wow, what a difference between the b/w and color photos of that room. As a photo, I like the b/w one better, but I bet the colors would be less jarring in the room itself.

    I was surprised to learn (recently) that all (or at least most of) those white classical Greek sculptures and buildings (Venus di Milo, Parthenon, etc.) had been polychrome numbers back in the day. I think we've been conditioned to think of marble and black and white as elegant and sophisticated *because* that's what the Greeks used to do.

  4. As a photographer I use mostly B&W film (yes film) and I am fascinated by good B&W movies like Metropolis, as a decorator I am not scared of colors, subtle or vibrant. So to answer your question: Black, White, Colors!

  5. Here's what I think! I went to so many schools.....you wouldn't believe it! (we didn't move; I had ADD.....and "wasn't asked back"! They didn't know about it then)
    I landed in Catholic school in the middle of my junior year in high school....(I was a non-catholic); and those nuns saved me in many ways!
    One was the elegance of black and white. Those exquisite habits!!
    I have spent most of my life wearing black and white; always felt great......dealing with color in my interior design. Going back. That is it!

    Black and white in my wardrobe. Enough color in my work! (dark brown and grey allowed.......putting away all the color......see if I miss it!

  6. Dear Gaye, my house is definitely furnished in colours I wear. Apart from a green buttoned armoire which is in an Osborne and Little twill. I've always meant to get it recovered but not got round to it.

    I love black and white films and colour. I've just ordered quite a few old movies on Amazon, I must blog about them. Have a wonderful weekend xx

  7. I thought everyone chose colours for their rooms that they would look good wearing! What do I know? As to colour in photos or movies, I like just enough colour that one can appreciate it. The Italian room is OTT in a way that removes the pleasure, I think. OTT can be done well, but I suspect it's hard to pull off.

  8. Interesting question. I love both - ADORE b/w films, but definitely prefer my decor books in color. With the older books, I am constantly wondering what the rooms really looked like - perfectly example you show. My house is furnished with more color than I wear but always the "stepped" on versions. Vibrant color just isn't my thing - except outside - where the bright light dilutes the effect.

  9. Black and white movies are my thing. My home away from home is TCM. I often watch the between 4:00 a.m. and 6. In real life, I need color as we live in a black and white movie in Piedmont, N.C. 3 months a year.

  10. Yes. I have indeed dressed in the same fashion as my rooms. How could one not? Rooms are merely extensions ourselves.

  11. I love old movies-obvious. I love color-also obvious. I am conflicted about editorial images in black and white-this excludes photographs capturing the atmospherics of a space-Deborah Turbeville and the like, these I could not sense being another way. It definitely speaks volumes.

  12. Oddly- I don't think I have ever dressed as my rooms- one of my rooms in a previous house-felt a bit Chanel-and I did always dress in a great deal of black-but recent years I have sought out color- blues, lilacs, dove grey, on and on. I use to think of these -as they appear in more somber tones as the colors of spinsters, widows-So it may be I am feeling my age (spinster!) Also I prefer more formal rooms but dress much less so than my rooms.



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