At Darlington House we have a plaster bust of Thomas Jefferson that sits on a column in our drawing room. It is a modern-day copy of the bust done from life in Paris in 1789 by the French sculptor Jean-Antoine Houdon (1741-1828), and it is life-sized.
This year when decorating our house for Christmas, Boy tied a wide, dark brown grosgrain ribbon around the bust's neck. As is seen in the above photograph, it really looks quite marvelous, particularly when contrasted with the white of the bust's plaster and the room's gray walls.
At Darlington House we eschew the use of the color red when decorating for Christmas, at least the bright and rather ugly red seen ubiquitously these days in every mass merchandiser here in the U.S. I call it "Retail Red." You will not see any decorations inside our house that are red, or even that have red details to them. Instead of imposing red in our rooms when decorating for the holidays, we prefer to take our cues from the colors already in the room, and have our decorations be a seamless addition to the spaces. Not only are such colors less expected than Retail Red, but they are more attractive, contextual, and pleasing to the eye. They look right.
Even though it's rather late in the game and most of you have likely already finished decorating for Christmas, Reggie suggests that those of you who haven't dispense with the color red in your holiday decorations. And for those of you who are already decorated to the nines, well, Reggie urges you to take a break from using red decorations next year when it comes time to decorate for Christmas. Take your color inspiration instead from those already in the room's decor. He believes that you will enjoy the creative energy it prompts, and that you will find living in a house decorated thusly—without any red decorations—a welcome relief from what is seen everywhere else during the holidays.
Now, imagine our bust of Thomas Jefferson with a bright red bow instead of the brown one shown. It doesn't look as good, does it?