Last Friday's post came out of my reaction to the House Beautiful Color Institute held the day before at ADAC here in Atlanta. One of the things said was that there was a trend to dark and though, personally I am not a fan of dark rooms, I can appreciate them as a romantic venue - fire burning, candles flickering, gold glinting, wine glowing ... well, you get the picture.
One problem I have with dark rooms, or perhaps with magazine editors, is that they are generally photographed during the sunniest of days. So why a problem? Well, coming as I do from northern Europe when at midwinter the days are so short – as if the sun cannot be arsed – I associate dark rooms with the short days, the twilit days, the dark nights when fire is defense against the boundless ... all the more so as I consider that yesterday was the autumnal equinox, and nights will now be longer than days as we head towards winter.
For me, dark rooms are meant to be lit by candles, firelight and occasionally moonlight; to have gold, frankincense and myrrh under mistletoe; to be mysterious and slightly disorienting; to hold books, wine, chocolate and quiet communication between loved ones.
That's why it seems counter-intuitive to me to photograph such elemental rooms in bright daylight.
"In the still of the night
As I gaze from my window
At the moon in its flight
My thoughts all stray to you
In the Still of the night
All the world is in slumber
All the times without slumber
Darling when I say to you
Do you love me, as I love you
Are you my life to be, my dream come true
Or will this dream of mind fade out of sight
Like the moon, growing dim, on the rim of the hill
In the chill, still, of the night"
Photo of Larry Laslo's room at the 34th Annual Kips Bay Decorator Showhouse from New York Social Diary.
Song by Cole Porter