Blazing vermillion. Deep burgundy. Ripe raspberry. The allure of red is undeniable and I love it in all its guises. But when it comes to interior design, I tend to take caution in blending the furious and the passionate into rooms. Bold and captivating, the colour crimson refuses to be ignored. Way too dramatic for the wabi-sabi aesthetic, right? This Japanese art is quite new to me, but I know this much: bright colours tire the eye, which tires the body and soul. Of course, true to its playful nature, Lescure challenges my opinions. One of the first things you notice about the house are its 76 red (!) shutters. Sun-faded to perfection – or to total disrepair in some cases – a once vibrant ruby has weathered to the most wonderful shade of dessicated roses. There’s the dusty red brick of the chimneys and orangery, the splash of burgundy in the kitchen tiles, and the faded romantic florals of the library wallpaper. Lescure keeps throwing various hues of red at me and somehow I like it.
The softer side of red
The secret to making it work is allowing time and weather, sunlight especially, to make their mark. A worn Persian rug on the grey orangery floor made my heart skip a beat on a sunny winter’s day, as did the vintage men’s kimono draped against one of the shutters. I’m not too sure yet about the little antique table in one of the guest rooms or about the brinjal paint samples I’ve been testing for the kitchen cabinets. One a tad obvious and too well-mannered, the other a bit too gloomy perhaps. In any case, Lescure seems intent on making me see a new and softer side of red, one that washes away gently into quiet wabi-sabi colour, headed for nothingness.