Friday, July 23, 2010

Orange is the Happiest Color




Or so said Frank Sinatra. Frank loved his orange. Me? Not so much so. However, there are certain shades of orange that I find to be stunning. I wouldn't say that these particular shades are necessarily happy but rather moody. Moody in a good way, mind you. Not moody as in tedious. More Paris than Palm Springs, the place that Frank called home. You know, orange without all of that Vitamin C.

You know who else must have liked orange? The late (and still great) Henri Samuel. I flipped for the photos of his Paris apartment that were featured in the 1989 book
The Decorator by Florence de Dampierre. It was a refined home and yet that Hermes shade gave the room a sense of vigor. This, to me, is orange the way that it should be.

Interestingly, when asked what his favorite color was, Samuel responded that it was mauve. OK, so I'm not sold on mauve, but I'm sure if anyone could successfully use the color, it was Samuel. Now I just need to find some photos to back that opinion up.


Of course, an orange room looks that much better when one owns a Giacometti table and a Balthus painting.




Samuel's sitting room. The fireplace was Empire "in the Egyptian taste".


(Photos from The Decorator by Florence de Dampierre, Antoine Bootz photographer.)

22 comments:

  1. That Hermes orange is indeed a delight. Is it only because we associate it with Hermes today? There appears an unusual arrangement of Samuel's room with the screened walls, which I don't quite follow.

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  2. Michael Smith mentions orange and The Decorator in his book, I did my own post on orange mentioning the book as well.

    http://acuratedlifestyle.blogspot.com/2010/06/orange-in-all-shades.html

    I am on a huge orange kick right now.

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  3. It takes some real guts to paint a room orange, and that's from someone who loves it! I'm using alot of orange, but I've put it on accessories rather than the walls. I wish I were able to just risk it and paint the walls this awesome color!

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  4. I detest mauve, but adore orange :-) Not sure I could do a whole room of it, but it's a great accent! I have splashes of it throughout my own apartment!

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  5. I love red. I detest orange and mauve. Living in orange (and its evil siblings of peach and salmon) would make me vomit. But what I really like is learning about what colors people like and why. Our choices of color is most personal and intense. Always enjoy the conversation when people talk color.

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  6. I painted my TV room bold orange and it makes me happy even if I just pass by the room. It's a brave color but also extremely elegant when used correctly.

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  7. I painted my dining room a deep shade of orange in the late 90s, and even had tone on tone orange silk curtains in there. I got SO tired of the look, so 2 years ago I painted the room a nice neutral - but I kept those beautiful orange curtains!

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  8. There's been a good deal of road repair work outside
    my house this summer. Streets excavated, pipelines
    laid, asphalt spread anew~and all of it accompanied
    by bright orange signs that say detour, bump, caution,
    danger. Which is how I see the colour orange! In the hands of a master like Henri Samuels or in a handsome flat like that of Gil Schafer in NYC, orange is delicious
    rather than dangerous. I guess it all has to do with intensity, no matter what the colour.

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  9. I agree, orange is the happiest color.

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  10. Total agreement.

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  11. We have lots of orange in our house, or rather salmon and such, rendered palatable with splashes of brown and cream and gilt.

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  12. Love orange, or at least the burnt orange I have in my apt which came with fireplace tire of the same color. I covered two chairs in a similar color which brings it into the room. Another chair has a 'hotter' orange. Against this I have a lot of green: curtains and sofa and a lamp. I got the idea from a very interesting book: Colour and Interior Decoration by Basil Ionides (1926).

    Now these photos make me want to banish green altogether!

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  13. My house too has lots of Salmon, but boy, if I had the scale, and the pizzaz, that room of Henri Samuel's, which I've always loved, would be the one. High chic

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  14. I am with you and not a huge fan of orange...but I do love it when I see images like these. I guess I am just not brave enough.....xv

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  15. A very tough color to use but boy it can look chic in the right tones! I think the key is in toning it down and using a variety of hues. It would take a lot of courage though, even on one wall!

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  16. I am a huge fan of orange, but like most colors, it needs to be just the right shade. And, after 5 years of an orange dining room, I'm saving to grasspaper the whole thing. I just want texture and neutrals. I have this theory that when you have young kids, and are in your 20's you want bright. Then, older kids and older 30's happens and life is SO CHAOTIC that you want calm, so the palette becomes neutral. Then, my sweet elderly friend says that you start painting EVERYTHING b/c you can't see too well! HA!
    -Liza
    www.styleblueprint.com

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  17. Fabulous apartment!

    My dining room is painted in a slightly dirty apricot orange, and the adjacent entry is darker shade of the same. I love how the walls glow in the setting sun and how they envelope everyone during a dinner party. This warm and intense color also makes my vintage chrome table base sparkle and contrasts wonderfully with my dark buffet. I love it!

    Jamie Drake told me recently that he could make any color work, even mauve and the shade of a band-aid. I believe him.

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  18. the Hermes orange is the color. Love it , it is so brightful

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  19. I love orange, especially the deep, darker orange. I even painted my whole house that color and when I put it up for sale, sold it that same day. I'm sure the color had a lot to do with it.

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  20. I've had The Decorator in my library for a while, and I've always admired the Samuel room. There is so much richness and detail to the room, that the orange doesn't become a "thing" in itself. Another orange room to look at is the one (replete with orange trees) by Nicholas Haslam in his Sheer Opulence book, pp. 58-59. The orange is tempered by lighter fabrics and by a lot of sunlight. I think it's stunning. (Sorry to comment on posts two years old, but I'm working my way backwards through your blog - and loving it.) Vince

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    Replies
    1. Vince, I had forgotten about the Haslam room. It is indeed stunning. I'm glad you commented on this post because it has allowed me to revisit the Samuel room! Such a luxurious room.

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