50 Shades of Orange

What is orange? Does peach qualify to go under that umbrella? What about terracotta, butterscotch, or persimmon, for that matter? More to the point, what is the prevailing opinion on this? Regardless of the technical definition, it’s imperative that I please this client, and she made it extremely clear that the staircase must be orange. No two ways about it.

An orange staircase? Yep – that’s the kind of thing you have to deal with when you work in commercial interiors. It’s not just orange, either – it must also be transparent glass, with no straight edges. Well, two can play at that game, by which I mean the game of absurd requests. I’ll make her quote out 40% higher than I otherwise would, on the grounds that transparent orange glass is hard to come by. 

It’s true that it’s hardly your garden variety staircase material, and it’s not cheap, but it’s also not that hard to order it from the company in Milan. The client’s not to know that, though, and if she wanted to keep the cost under control, she could have gone to any old glazier close to Melbourne. No, this isn’t about making things efficient and cost effective. It’s about one part razzle dazzle, one part sleek sophistication and a dash of ‘whoa’ factor.

The client has engaged me because I’m the only one who can decode her vision and distil it down to the flawless stair balustrade of her imaginings. Not only does it capture the essence of her company, it also sets a new standard for innovative use of glass in commercial structures, thereby raising the prestige of the whole operation. It’s a veritable philosopher’s stone of interior design. 

The question remains, though: what is orange? I should probably just go by the book, and deliver something that is unquestionably orange, even if it does seem a tad out of place with the wood finishes. I feel like a muted shade would work better, but I don’t want her dropping me from the project because she thinks I don’t know what orange is.