The Magic of Carpet

Here on the Life in Color blog we love to talk architecture, paint, surfaces and materials but we have been neglecting something. We have discussed wood floors, ceramic tile and even stained concrete but today is devoted to a long loved flooring, the carpet. 
Aerial view of US Farmland carpet by Florian Pucher

Even if it feels great on the feet,  wall to wall beige carpeting is the bane of many renters, and expensive to replace in the starter home. In commercial installations where carpet typically is glued directly to the concrete floor, there have been incidences of chemical repercussions. In residential situations, sometimes the dyes and  synthetic materials used in the manufacture of carpets  have been shown to contribute significantly to indoor air pollution. So what is a color lover with a need for warm feet to do?

Via Terramia

Stair runners, area rugs and carpet tile all give surprising definition to a space without the financial commitment of wall to wall carpet. This striped stair runner from Terramia is matched with a bold pink wall.  Staircases are the liminal, in between spaces of our homes and this colorful carpet makes it a space all its own, a place you would enjoy passing through. The clean all white space is highlighted with a dense orange that focuses the attention exactly where it should be when using the stairs.

Carpet tiles via Interface
For the  more creative among us there are carpet tiles. Not only can you mix and match the tiles giving you a paint like level of creative  control,  the carpet tiles are modular .   Like area rugs  you  can switch them our by season or when you want a new look.

This area rug demonstrates the visual success an area rug over existing carpet  can create. Vibrant color draws the eye making the airy room feel more grounded. The addition of the bold zigzag in eye popping red makes this not just another bedroom, but someones favorite room in the house. When all you have is beige carpet sometimes and area rug is the perfect addition to make a space fell like home. Area rugs are the oldest form of carpet in the world and while today most are made with computerized looms, the originals were and still are made by hand. While definitely a bigger investment that their modern counterparts these rugs are beautiful and traditional.   When sourced through the right importers, these rugs help sustain the craftsman and women whose families have been making rugs in Iran and surrounding areas since ancient times.

Traditional woven rugs have inspired some astounding outdoor installations including this famous example: The Brussels Flower Carpet. This installation is created every two years in the Grand Place Square,  in the the center of Brussels.

When you are looking to recolor your home, of course take time to consider the walls but floors too need some attention. What kind of carpets cozy up you space?

– Emily Eifler, Writer, Colour Studio
– Jill Pilaroscia, Principal, Colour Studio

The Color of Government

We seldom think about the color choices of our fore fathers or our color traditions but when it comes to government buildings color is hard to ignore. White is in and has been since the 1700’s. Take the White House which sits like a majestic ghost in crisp white surrounded by meticulously kept green lawns. The sandstone building was first made white with lime-based whitewash in 1798, when the walls were finished to protect the porous stone from freezing. The white wash is no mistake or accident of history.  The White House is distinctly reminiscent of the long tradition of Southern Plantation Houses, which themselves are associated with the most powerful men of ancient times. Eighteenth Century America was as yet unaware of the polycromatic nature of Roman and Greek architecture.   When modeling the new republic on the ideals of that ancient inventor of democracy,  they also based our architecture on what they thought was properly Greek. 

In the US,  white has become synonymous with capitol buildings, court houses and Congress itself, all emulating the power of the White House.  However the United States is not the only country with a famously colored executive residence. The Pink House is the residence and office of the Argentinian President. Historically the building was painted pink to symbolize the two major political parties coming together.  With two opposing sides, one represented by white and the other red, the pink of the Pink House is a call for neutrality and unity in the Argentinian government

So what if the White House was pink? We can have a glimpse with this image of the White House lit up pink for a Breast Cancer Awareness event. Does the dwelling of our leader loose associative power without the stark formality of white or would a century of the Pink House simply change what looks powerful?

– Emily Eifler, Writer, Colour Studio
– Jill Pilaroscia, Principal, Colour Studio