so the other day i was bumming around my living room in the 2 pm glare, eyeballing how the walls might look in ultra pure white. quick mental math! can i paint everything and replace all my furniture for $50?
don’t judge me. i made syed promise not to judge me before telling him that i wanted to paint our living room white. he paused for a second, then took on his fiercest “stop being an unreasonable female” face… the one he’s aimed at me ohh maybe twice since we met in 2004.
ok. simmering down.
i named my blog after a paint color, for chrissake. why would i want to deface a cocoon so carefully tuned to comfort us after work? am i a tween on an abc afterschool special or some shit? i define cool, not the guy in tats passing me a cigarette.
still, i’m curious why dim, moody, soothing spaces have fallen out of popular favor lately.
dark walls do sneak into magazines despite the ongoing white room orgy in interiors photography. why the general shortage? because they obviously don’t photograph with the ba-BAM of their counterparts.
abigail turin / architectural digest / april 2013
it’s like biting into a watermelon with your whole face.
…not something i’d do in a blizzard. i wonder what this crisp white space looks like at night. do light fixtures give the walls a dingy, yellowish bleh? hmm.
conventional wisdom and the limitations of camera technology play to the strengths of white. interiors photography must occur in maximum daylight. don’t even consider the alternative, just deal. this law might as well be etched on a tablet delivered by moses. thou shalt and whatnot.
this room is already stunning in daylight:
jenna lyons / domino best rooms / spring 2012
by night, it will stop traffic. spectacular light fixture + extensive architectural detailing = boom.
i start with the exception. you can’t have your cake and eat it too.
it is left to us to apply our brain’s instagram (brainstagram?) nighttime filter to these spaces that photograph just a tad awkwardly in the daylight. observe:
casper vissers / elle decor / jan 2013
not blown away by the daytime shot? fast-forward to night: white high contrast furniture to define the space. dark walls receding to visual infinity. blazing fire. voluptuous chandelier. win win win.
(note the checkerboard table.)
try another one:
fisher weisman / architectural digest / april 2013
your retinas are stimulated but not totally pleased with what they’re seeing, amiright? the daylight against all these textural dark surfaces reads harsh. i want to desert the house for the sunlit yard beckoning through those patio doors. this room was born for the night.
strange to say that about a home office, but here we go:
brandi and mikkelsen / lonny magazine / dec 2012
call this a contemporary take on a gentleman cave, good for mallard displaying and pipe puffing.
ok let’s be honest – this room is preposterous in 2013. it’s too dark for a productive workday and too technologically backwards for evening. not sure why it exists. add a chaise lounger and a couple floor lamps, and i might buy the story.
this room is so similar to mine, my subconscious has already moved in:
matthew patrick smyth / elle decor / dec 2012
a low rectangular lamp, a few flickering candles on the tray, a distant light reflecting in the mirror… yeah pretty sure if i wiggle my toes, you’ll see me sitting there just off to the right.
this bedroom is a no-brainer:
tamzin greenhill / elle decor / march 2013
more daytime harshness with the promise of a gorgeous night:
domino small spaces / spring 2013
jankety. but in dim light under a lit blue star, the muted versions of all those colors will pool together cohesively.
and now back to where we started.
subtract the sun. mute the colors. add flickering bursts of candle light, sparkle, and reflection. don’t see it? stop by some night for a cup of chai.
until cameras learn to capture what the human eye already knows, we’ve got to read between the lines in pretty pictures. look past the magazine editors. turn down the cigarette. aren’t you, like, twenty-eight or something?