With so many illnesses and disasters happening in our world, it is all too easy for us to turn a blind eye to one epidemic while focusing on another. When I was in my teens and twenties the HIV/AIDS epidemic was regularly in the news. While the disease remains a very real issue in our world, sadly it is less talked about today than it was back then. On December 1st, World AIDS Day, many retail businesses stepped up to bring awareness back to this cause. Paint and paper specialist Farrow & Ball joined forces with local interior designer, Carmiña Roth, and the Design Industries Foundation Fighting AIDS to shine a light on this disease and those it affects. In her own words below, Roth shares with us why she was thrilled to be a part of this project and how she created the beautiful installation that is presently featured in the Farrow & Ball store window in Greenwich. It will be there through January 31st.
For every person who snaps a pic of the window and pushes it out on social media, Farrow & Ball will give a dollar for every post tagged #fabfordiffa.
“Comfort and Cure” by Carmiña Roth of Carmiña Roth Interiors, LLC
I recently participated in Windows By Design: Farrow & Ball for DIFFA (Design Industries Foundation Fighting AIDS). DIFFA raises awareness and grants funds to organizations that provide treatment, direct care services, preventative education programs, and advocacy for individuals impacted by HIV/AIDS. I interpreted this year’s “Comfort and Cure” theme by incorporating symbols of both comfort and cure in her vignette.
The centerpiece in my vignette is the hearth, the proverbial heart of the home, whose flames also symbolize passion. Above it hangs a photograph by William Rolf of a polar bear, an animal known for its strength, ferocity and endurance. I chose this image, with the long, powerful legs of the polar bear stretching forward, because it feels like a symbol of reaching for a cure for the disease.
The backdrop to the room is Farrow & Ball’s Lotus wallpaper in a bold crimson, synonymous with the color of love. The lotus is a symbol of purity, a flower that appears to float effortlessly out of its muddy roots. The symbolism extends to the flowers that accent the room. With a long-blossoming flower, the red amaryllis is a symbol of success, persevering through struggle. In Greek mythology, the red bloom represents the blood of Amaryllis, the namesake of the flower that connotes determination and pride. The magnolias’ firm, shiny leaves and fragrant flowers symbolize dignity and respect. The pomegranate is a fruit with a hard exterior that protects its small, tender seeds, the large number of which, in mythology, symbolizes fertility, generosity, abundance and prosperity. I commissioned the Joseph Dermody piece with the red ribbon, the international symbol of hope, solidarity and commitment to the fight against HIV/AIDS.
Below are some of my favorite rooms that Carmiña has recently designed. I love the clean lines and bold colors she uses. There is a freshness to her spaces. They are warm, yet also unfussy. She has recently opened a new office and you can now find her at 219 East Putnam Avenue.