If you’ve been yearning for something a little spicier in the color department, this year’s Pantone Color of the Year will definitely have the kick you’re craving. That color–drumroll, please–is Tangerine Tango 17-1463, a spirited reddish orange. Now, that ought to get your engine revving…..

“Sophisticated but at the same time dramatic and seductive, Tangerine Tango is an orange with a lot of depth to it,” said Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute®. “Reminiscent of the radiant shadings of a sunset, Tangerine Tango marries the vivaciousness and adrenaline rush of red with the friendliness and warmth of yellow, to form a high-visibility, magnetic hue that emanates heat and energy.” Well, okay then.

I’ve always been good with red in all its myriad forms, so this juicy hue is not a big sell here at Andrea May Hunter/Gatherer.

The first sofa I ever bought was upholstered in a tomato red shadow stripe damask. I raised three kids and two dogs on that sofa. Then I did an orange Crypton slipcover. My kids watched the Office and Scrubs on that slipcover. Recently, I did “grown-up” neutral Calvin Klein upholstery on my sofa. (It’s Teflon-treated–I’m not living that dangerously.) It’s very pretty, but I have to admit, I immediately hung some colorful engravings by Pol Bury. I would pretty much swear that the field of one of them is Tangerine Tango. Dead on.

So, tell me. What do you think about Tangerine Tango? Could you use a little freshly squeezed color this year and how will you be using it? A little, a lot or not at all?


The Slow Life

December 18, 2011

Lately, I’ve been thinking about Slow Design.

Slow Design is to the home what Slow Food was to the plate.  Like the slow food movement, Slow Design is about choosing high quality, local, sustainable objects for the home in a more mindful way.

Might take a bit longer to source and receive these items because they aren’t plunked into an online shopping cart and mass-produced on the third shift overseas, but the wait and effort is definitely worthwhile.

Slow Design puts skilled artisans and craftspeople to work.  It has a smaller footprint.  It uses better materials.  It’s designed and built to endure.  It’s bespoke.  Detailed.  Heirloom quality.  And most of all, it has heart and soul.

In a sense, Slow Design is about authenticity.  And that’s what I want to bring to my projects.  Whether new, vintage, custom, high in price or low, I want to bring things that are real and lasting.

When I start a new job, I try to think “slow”.  What artisanally handcrafted, inheritable items can I offer my clients?

One of my favorite ways to do this is through lighting.  Sometimes, I use antique, “upcycled” or vintage fixtures.  This is the ultimate in slow, green design.  It takes time to find the perfect vintage “jewelry” and it’s great for the planet.

Often, I use the bench-made lighting from my friends at Charleston’s Urban Electric Company.  This lighting is timeless, modern, bespoke and handcrafted.  It’s the whole Slow package.  I’ll take you a on a blog tour of the Urban Electric Company soon.  I wish I could take you all there personally, but I promise to make it as vivid as I possibly can!

Crafsmen spent many painstaking hours on this beautiful wood ceiling. The least I could do was pick a great fixture. The scale and hand-finish of the Urban Electric Company's Gwenwood made it ideal for the space.

Another great way to personalize a space is with custom linens.  I like to design a custom border or monogram and the hands-down most wonderful linens are from Leontine Linens.  They’re hand stitched in the original 1930s work room in Kentucky.  (There’s another great story…..)

This, of course, doesn’t have to mean doing a whole set of custom bed linens.  Sometimes budget doesn’t allow for that, but I always like to sneak in a little custom something, like a few guest hand towels or a couple of boudoir shams .  I have my tricks–and I’ll share–as I continue to explore this Slow Life with you.

Custom Leontine Linens monogram and blanket cover with border.