I have the privilege and good fortune to be working on a writing and photographic gig for submission to a design magazine. Before reading the next sentence, start humming in your mind that old famous tune…House of the Rising Sun. Ok…now go on.
There is a house in old Key West.
They call it the FolliMar.
It’s been in ruins for too many years.
But now, it’s a shining star!
The above photo was taken in the upstairs gallery of FolliMar. You are looking at the bottom of a nine foot chandelier which has been custom made from a collection of antique chandeliers salvaged from places, literally, scattered across the globe...from New Orleans to Paris to Belgium and back. This extraordinary fixture works on an automatic crank and can be lowered to the first floor living and dining room. It is not an understatement to say that this electrical creation is an amazing and ingenious design element because it works within the scale of the house…without pretense, ostentation or conceit. This magnificent chandelier is, in fact, the new heart for the 118 year old notorious Grande Dame.
What is a crystal chandelier if not an elegant, beautiful and inherently magical instrument that solidifies light and refracts into colour. Add to that deep yellow walls, a large gorgeous mirror and expanses of window; it feels as though you have stepped through an iridescent looking glass, glistening with the energy of a sunny bright morning or the candlelit glow of a golden magical evening.
When we study this palette and go a bit deeper, we realize that in addition to yellow, there are shimmers and glimpses of white, gold, orange, brown, bronze and yes, green, red and blue. So there it is again. Yellow, Red and Blue…a limited palette yet the holy trinity of all colour!
Palette: a perfectly mysterious word which represents that magic place where colours meet and alchemize into other colours and tonalities; true shape-shifters in every sense of the concept. The thought comes to mind that palette just may be the heartbeat of all artistic expressions. Colour affects our emotions, our moods, our spiritual awareness, our eating habits, our work habits, our sleep habits, our romance, our attention span, our grief and, joy of joys, our happiness and contentment. We are truly creatures of the light and the shadows and every shade in between.
Even after many years in the design biz (too many to quantify- lol), I still remain in awe of the power and energetic life force of a palette. If I’ve learned anything at all about the power of palette…like energy and light… it is alive, fickle, and can be maddeningly unpredictable or breathtakingly gorgeous.
To realize how much a palette really does affect what we do and how we live can be somewhat daunting! Artists, designers, psychologists and other professionals are really still ‘babes in the woods’; only scratching the surface of this vast artistic/scientific realm….kinda’ like quantum physics in a Crayola box!
Well…I’ve certainly wandered ‘off point’ of my assignment but that’s OK with me. Now, I’m ready to write the article! May we all live happily ever after in the palette of our dreams!