Color Talk with Stephanie Mesner

Sometimes “seeing red” doesn’t mean you’re angry. Sometimes seeing red means you’re in a gorgeously designed space!

Especially in accents and furniture, reds rule. In our own home, we have red wicker, red Persian carpets, and an antique Kashmir paisley over our hallway’s railing.  Because of the color’s unique exuberance, we’re seeing red as this year’s antidote for a sluggish economy.  Reds can offer vibrant and tribal emotional connections or encourage fiery perspectives and sizzling passion.  This painted grasscloth finish communicates a sense of ethnic traditions and rich cultural roots.

Red colors derive from raw, unadulterated pigments.  The traditional and natural beauty of red is so popular that there’s no other way to say it:  Red’s “red hot” right now!



Red was even the first color used in ancient cave paintings.  Filmmaker Werner Herzog’s documentary “Cave of Forgotten Dreams” explores the Chauvet Cave in southern France, showing Stone Age artists were drawn to the same terra-cotta shades we know and love today.


Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel shows the Great Creator imparting the spark of life to Adam.  The Creator wears a red robe that invokes birth from a womb. Arteriors painted a version of this legendary image, along with other trompe l’oeil murals, at the Bellissimo Grande Hotel in Stonington, Connecticut.

If you fast forward from the Stone Age to our new millennium, you’ll see that shiny red walls still quicken the modern heartbeat just like the ground minerals did 11,000 years ago.

These colors keep coming back into style because they’re connected to us on a cellular level.  Red’s the color of blood in our veins, rich Mediterranean soil, and a fire in our hearth.  The primal and elemental color keeps us warm!

Arteriors: connecting feeling to art.  Gorgeously designed spaces.