These images of New Orleans decorator Heidi Friedler's Uptown library are blurry so I hesitated before posting them. But I wanted to share her striking collection of numerous red boxes -- grouped with oh-so-chic cinnabar lamps -- on the mantelpiece. According to Renee Peck's Times-Picayune article, the objects range from "fine lacquered pieces to rubber jars and a couple of funky holders from Target..." It's not clear from the picture, but Friedler has worked more than twelve boxes into the arrangement.
While green is the decorator's favorite color, here red evolved into a major player: the hue is in a lively Oushak rug and curtains. Friedler even painted an old magazine rack for more pops of red. And although this room is a place for quiet adult conversations, it does hold an inherited 1950s Tommi Parzinger dining table that expands to become the perfect spot for school projects or family games. (The large abstract of a seated woman is by Dallas artist David Bates.)
Sutra box, Ming dynasty, Yongle period (1403–1424) China
Red lacquer, collection of The Met.
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Chinese plate with long-tailed bird in a garden, circa 1368-1400
The Avery Brundage Collection, Asian Art Museum.
According to the Asian Art Museum, cinnabar is a red crystalline form of mercuric sulfide found in many parts of China, and it was one of the pigments most frequently used to color the lacquers made at the Ming dynasty court workshops.
The small mid-20th-century Turkish Oushaks above are from Allan Arthur Oriental Rugs on Bennett Street in Atlanta. Just a reminder: for a wide range of informative links and sources, visit his site Cyber Rug.
Friedler images are by Kathy Anderson