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A Passion for Red at Christmas

Well  I really love RED for the entire year for that matter!!!!!!

I have always loved the color red even before it became the symbolic color of the Reagan Era. I shall spare you all the significance of red in our world and culture as you know all of that already…

Red has played a starring role in my clothing design, flowers, my gardens, interior decoration, table settings and for that matter just about anything I have created.

I still wear a lot of red as it is a high energy color. It can convey strength and boldness when one is not necessarily feeling that way.

Pictured above: My newest red loves (along side my red fur lined moccasins 😍 I just bought) are the chinoiserie bracelets and  earrings I have recently exhibited on this site and during my travels for the new book.

Of course the basic black versions of these pieces are perfect big-time style and the white is my spring /summer pick me up –love it with the blues and blacks– but, the big bold in-your-face combination is the red and gold.

I have decorated in so many colors and combinations for the holidays but red is still my fallback and favorite. Here are a few pictures from my past and current projects on decorating and designing with red: Below you can see the array accessories, reds in my garden, the photo of the model in a red dress I designed was taken by the amazing Irving Penn, costume jewelry, and my newest red passion scented candle.

Red and gold combos for different Christmases in different locations– and these are just a few there have been so many!!!

Of course, the classic Christmas combination is red and green. I do not know the genesis of why this combo became the official colors of the season. It may be because green is the secondary color compliment to red, a primary color. These are the laws color theory. I am sure there is more to it than that but you can look that up as will I.😅

I love mixing red with reds, the range is broad from blue reds to orange reds. When mixing reds of different hues they seem to vibrate. That is the magic of color.


Finally, my go to flowers for Christmas are a mix of and roses and carnations. But after leaving in Paris and going to the flower market when I did my “adult🤣 internship” I discovered the beauty of carnations. This much-maligned flower  is a life saver at Christmas time. In my first book,  A Passion for Flowers,  I wanted to celebrate all flowers -not just the obvious beauties of the flower universe–I always fall for the underdog in everything  and certainly carnations, baby’s breath, chrysanthemums and marigolds were the floral underdogs. I did bouquets with all of these flowers to  showcase the beauty of the everyday but my pride was my use of carnations. I created a carnation Christmas wreath using two colors of red and decorated my entire house with them to prove a point. There are NO bad flowers, only people who do them badly!! I was the first to really be their champion —now we have an enormous array from which to choose. But the one thing that they lack are the wonderful carnation scent which one always found in those coming from the Paris market. Too bad it is a lovely clove scent.

For years the carnation has been the only flower that has a Good Housekeeping seal of approval. They deserve it as they are the troopers of the flower world– they last as long as three weeks if the water is changed and the house is not too hot.  For the wreathes and topiaries that are in soaked oasis, but not in a vase of water, I mist with cool water and it is amazing how long they last as well;–still looking for the finished wreath photo –I need an archivist.

Red walls, red accessories, red packages, red accents… I love them all! Hope you find something that fans a passion for red in your scheme of things. Happy decorating!!!

This week I plan to launch my new web site with Carolyne’s Christmas List. Exhibiting ideas for presents that I love  rom talented friends to help with some last-minute shopping. Fingers crossed all goes well with this launch!! cr  and BYW I may find that wreath photo by then😠🙄

Jewelry, candles, and books are available at the Carolyne Roehm Shop.


By |2018-12-05T17:45:59+00:00December 4th, 2018|Entertaining, Prints, Books, & Jewelry, Right Now|15 Comments


  1. LA CONTESSA December 5, 2018 at 8:36 pm - Reply

    I bought a RED TABLECLOTH yesterday!I wasn’t sure as I have ORANGE CHAIRS…………..but NOW I KNOW I AM KEEPING IT!
    Let’s see what I can with it!I TOO LOVE CARNATIONS but MY ITALIAN doesNOT as in ITALY they are known as the DEATH FLOWER!I will try and make your pyramid tree!!
    MY earrings have been shipped and I am WAITING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Get ready for a PHOTO on INSTAGRAM!
    Antiquegoddess here!

    • Carolyne Roehm December 7, 2018 at 12:56 pm - Reply

      Hi Contessa–I know that they are for death in Italy and the French consider them bad luck. But these are customs which I respect but they are still beautiful and o’ boy do they last. I think when you use as a tree the bad luck does not count! have fun soak and then drank the oasis so it does not drip onto the surface it sits on , place on a plate or something and then continue to add water and spray. Good luck c

  2. Kem December 5, 2018 at 9:19 pm - Reply

    To gift a special person, in this case my pharmacist, I only know him when I’m in need of his services. One day he seemed very happy and I asked why the big smile? “Our house is ready and we’re moving in tomorrow”. Almost a year overdue and I know the pain and frustration that comes with that. I know you do too.
    A Passion for Blue and White along with Flowers seemed the perfect gift. Not only was it perfect, but I think I may have made a mistake and gifted the moon instead.
    What a thrill when a gift is so well received. I made sure to wrap each a la Carolyne Presentations. the wife whom I’ve never met, took days to open the gifts. She wanted friends and family to breath heavy before she did.
    Carolyne, you have been my go to gift provider for years, and I am so happy to know you. Well, that is I know you, but you don’t know me other than through book signings. I think you a close friend and you always give a hand (or book) when I need one.
    Have a lovely Christmas. Through you, I will as well.

    • Carolyne Roehm December 7, 2018 at 12:49 pm - Reply

      Dear Kem,
      I love your story about the pharmacist. How smart and thoughtful of you to think of this idea and to bring such pleasure to another. We all need to pay some attention to the people in our lives that we may not know well but have an impact on our lives. carolyne

  3. Marie from Australia December 5, 2018 at 9:59 pm - Reply

    Dear Carolyne,
    What a beautiful website.
    I have been following you on Instagram and have told my niece about you as she shows signs of loving all the decorating etc that we do. She loves your books.
    Wishing you and your loved ones a happy Christmas and a wonderful 2019 and look forward to more of your wonderful postings.

    Marie. 🎄🌹🎄🌹🎄🌹🎄

    • Carolyne Roehm December 7, 2018 at 12:44 pm - Reply

      Dear Marie,
      So nice to her from you I hope all is well in Australia. Happy the young world love some of the things we do. We can teach and learn from them as well. Wishing you and yours a joys holiday and a very healthy New Year!! a big hug

  4. PAMELA BEDELL December 5, 2018 at 11:49 pm - Reply

    I have said this before Carolyn but well worth repeating… “Those who bring sunshine to the lives of others; cannot keep it from themselves.” by James Barrie This is my favorite and you certainly personify the saying. I never get tired of hearing it. I just had to repeat it to you and wish you a Merry Christmas. Warmest Regards, Pamela

    • Carolyne Roehm December 7, 2018 at 12:39 pm - Reply

      It is lovely I shall add it to my quote list thank you so much Pamela . cr

  5. franki December 6, 2018 at 1:25 am - Reply

    Are you and Aries by chance….as I am??!!?? Always my “go to” color!! Gorgeous photos!! franki

    • Carolyne Roehm December 7, 2018 at 12:36 pm - Reply

      No Franki, I am a taurus but still love that red! cr

  6. Heather Scott December 7, 2018 at 2:41 pm - Reply

    Dear Carolyne, Just rereading your collection of seasons books yesterday. I have read them many many times and am always inspired. After reading the December 5 blog I decided to go back and have a look at your Christmas looks in past books. Inspired.
    Merry Christmas to you and yours and best regards for a happy and healthy New Year. Heather

    • Carolyne Roehm December 8, 2018 at 3:16 am - Reply

      Thanks Heather happy the notebooks are still of service

  7. Peter DiMartino December 7, 2018 at 8:24 pm - Reply

    Love the red you have incorporated in your Christmas decorating. i was lucky to come upon a bargain of poinsettias for fifty cents a piece at our local Lowe’s. They are around a foot high and i bought around 30 of them and decorated the entire house with them. I just love the red in them and in such mass quantities it really made a great addition to our decorations. Watering them all is quite a task, but well worth it. Happy holidays and a Happy Healthy New Year.

  8. 1010ParkPlace December 8, 2018 at 6:45 pm - Reply

    While emptying the contents of my storage units, in a flash of melancholy I threw away all of my Christmas ornaments. These boxes marked “Xmas” represented the pain of my husband’s unexpected death on Christmas Day a few years ago and the subsequent breakup of the rest of his family. I still can’t believe I did that as I had beautiful ornaments from my childhood and my grandmother’s as well. My readers are always thanking me for being an inspiration because of my positive attitude and ability to bounce back from life’s curve balls. I’m strong and resilient and I write a lot about survivorship and moving forward, but in that moment, those boxes were more than I could bear. I’ve begun to buy a few new ornaments. Most are handcrafted and are gold or red, but I’ve not gotten a tree. I’m just hanging the ornaments from sconces and placing them on tabletops. Perhaps I’ll make your carnation tree this year! Thank you for suggesting it, Brenda

    • Carolyne Roehm December 10, 2018 at 3:53 pm - Reply

      Dear Brenda, I think many of have experienced the painful reminders. I was listening to some beautiful music and ran across some cards and letters my mother had written me and felt the tears coming. She now is slowly loosing her mental capabilities and it is heart breaking to watch but I guess that is the life process and it is hard on those of us left behind. So you are wise to try new things that give the mind another way to handle Xmas with out those cherished decorations.good luck with the tree. Make sure you soak the oasis’s cone place it in a pan to drain, place the carnations cone in pan . Cover the base thus covering the pan ( I use a cake pan with Xmas greens or fake snow piled aroundsn or fabric, then mist the carnations for continued moisture. The dryer and higher the heat in your house the more misting the flowers will need. Good luck and have fun. Cr

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