I can't tell you how many times I've been fooled by that old black (and white) magic. I'll see a black and white photo of an interior from, say, the 1940s or 50s, and often I'm captivated by the room's perceived atmosphere. The photo usually makes the space seem so dramatic. But then, I might later come across a color photo of the same room and, whoa, everything comes to a screeching halt. Who knew that the room was painted in such a garish color? Or, as is often the case, the room looks dull as dishwater. What happened? I guess it must have been the lighting and those moody black and white shadows.
But sometimes, the opposite happens. While looking through old Connaissance des Arts- you remember, the annotated ones once owned by the Bevery Hills doctor?- I came across photos of a Paris apartment owned by Madame de P. Yes, that was how the magazine protected the homeowner's anonymity; it made her sound so mysterious. Anyway, the black and white images, above, are nice but a little ho-hum. But wait, look at the color versions below. Lacquered bottle green walls? A kelly green sofa in front of a emerald green niche hung with a multitude of plates, not to a mention another green niche in the corner with yet more plates??? Wow. I'm pea green with envy. I guess the grass really is greener on the color side.