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Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Color Correction

Philip Gorrivan in Esplanade Magazine, January I February, 2011

C O L O R  C O R R E C T I O N

Interior Designer Philip Gorrivan on Color

"COLOR HAS SO MUCH IMPACT and it can be added without costing a lot," Philip Gorrivan reminds us when speaking of his passion for the inclusion of color in his sophisticated, carefully balanced, interiors. "You can add high-gloss paint and the over-all effect is extraordinary," he continues. "It doesn't even have to be lacquer- just an expanse of rich color- and extraordinary drama can be added to a space."

Of course, Gorrivan knows that not all clients can handle Billy Baldwin- style cherry red lacquer or deepest chestnut on their walls. "You have to listen to and know your clients to interpret what will work for their lifestyles. Sometimes what's called for is a soothing neutral to make a bedroom a serene refuge; other times a strong, highly finished and glamorous effect is needed." That's when the black, glossy walls can work.

Lately, Gorrivan is quite fond of gray as a backdrop, sometimes with a purple base. "Gray goes with everything," he declares. "It works beautifully with other colors from green to orange to purple." As a starting point, the right gray- Gorrivan also likes "Dior" gray as of late- can be used to highlight exquisite verdigris, cognac and pinks.

His designs frequently begin with a refined blend of neutral tones that are delicately enhanced by judicious  spots of color, from just the right brightly hued pillow to a bold piece of art placed just so. He does not shy away from staying within a tight range of color, when the design is best served this way. Mixing colors of slight differential subtly can have a truly modern elegance, just as adding a pop of pink, orange or blue into a more reserved sea of neutrals.

Gorrivan is highly sensitive to the architecture and light of a space. "If a room is naturally dark, than work with it," Gorrivan suggests. "That can be very beautiful. Of course, if you have a light-filled room on Nantucket, the palette will begin with the wonderful New England light. Work with what you have. Don't fight the bones of a place."