Last week was the Oscars, which is one of my favourite events to watch. You can have your 5 a.m. Olympic hockey games but give me the glamour and elegance of the Oscars any day! The red carpet was awash with glitz and shiny, happy people who were all glowing with anticipation of the awards ceremony which was about to begin.
A friend of mine on facebook who is a designer in New York posted an article about the history of the red carpet. I asked her if I could steal some of her information and Doris Leslie Biau was kind enough to say yes. Follow her on facebook if you like – she has some amazing concepts on design.
The red carpet dates back to ancient Greece where Agamemnon made his triumphant return from Troy in 458 BC. He was welcomed by his deceitful wife Clytemnestra with an opulent red carpet. Some sources say it was red and others say it was magenta or purple, all considered to be the colour of the gods. Agamemnon chose not to walk on this carpet and felt unworthy to tread upon such an opulent path. The trend has continued over the centuries to include well-to-do train and airplane travelers, royalty, religious leaders and presidents
Fast forward to 1922 when the first red carpet is rolled out in Hollywood in front of Graumans Theatre for the movie premiere of Robin Hood starring Douglas Fairbanks. This was the beginning of a long history of red for royalty and ‘the red carpet treatment’ became an often used catch phrase. The first Oscar red carpet was unraveled in 1961 and has since become the hallmark of this illustrious event.
The red carpet is now over 16,000 sq. ft. and takes a crew several days to install. I found it fascinating that people hang about and try to steal scraps from the install to sell on eBay. The carpet scraps from our installs have never garnered so much attention!
Red has an illustrious history of being a beacon of welcome and importance in history and this grand carpet is no exception. After exhausting Internet searches I cannot find any information about the carpet itself; where it is manufactured or what it is made of, only a designer would want to know those types of details! From time to time clients request red accessories (never carpet) and it is usually saved for an important room in the home or for a fun space like a children’s playroom.
It is my opinion that everyone deserves a little red carpet treatment in their lives. Why not put a brightly hued stair runner in your front foyer or indulge in a toe pleasing plush red bath mat? If you wear your diamond-encrusted earrings into the bath I’m sure you will feel Oscar ready as you step out of the tub every morning.
Are you ready to make your house Oscar worthy? Do you see a red carpet in your future? Perhaps a red shag area rug is a safer version of this luxurious product and just the right amount of glamour for you. It might make you glide through your living room imagining paparazzi cameras flashing at you and you might toss your head and give a dazzling smile when you are home alone.
Kim Meckler is an interior designer in Red Deer with Carpet Colour Centre.