FUNCTION AND COLOR
„Wood may be colored with any color, except one: that of wood.”
In terms of the color, the interior is surprisingly varied. Color rounds off the architecture, but without being consigned to a merely artistic role. Loos was never an exponent of colored ornament. He chose colors and combinations of colors in such a way as to match the importance and function of particular items and rooms in the house. A conspicuous yellow accent was given to the windows, which playfully disturb the strict white of the exterior, and these are matched indoors by yellow curtains. These are a symbol of the sun and thus of light, which every day is constantly changes and enlivens the villa interior. Contrasting color combinations, like clean, geometric shapes, were used by Loos where it was necessary to emphasize and at the same time suppress the functionality of the interior. Utility spaces and the children’s rooms are thus governed by an artistic vocabulary limited to right angles and intense, basic colors in the spirit of contemporary Plasticism – blue, red, yellow and white. It is not just the color lacquered furniture but also the red stained radiators and pipes and the red floor that are markers of function and purpose. The summer salon, in the Japanese style, is a specific oasis of color which surprises in its refined combination of red and dark green lacquers.
„In the Middle Ages wood was colored most often in a gaudy red, in the Renaissance blue, in the Baroque and Rococo white inside and green on top. Our farmers still retained enough sense to paint in rich, full colors. How delightful in the countryside to see a green gate and fence, green blinds on a vivid, whitewashed wall.”
Turquoise green, glazed sheets of opaxite line the walls of the entrance passage.
Vestibule and cloakroom. The exterior architecture penetrates into the entrance space. The white lacquered cladding is a continuation of the motif of the white facades, the blue ceiling a piece of sky from the terrace arbor. The play of colors is complemented by the yellow curtains – an extension of the sun’s rays reflected in the deep yellow of the window frames.
Laundry room. The pipe colors playfully indicate their function: warm water flowed through them to fill a concrete bath painted an earthy gray.
A kitchen of the Frankfurt type, modern and clean, perfectly functional. The system of sliding shelves, precisely measured work surfaces and the communication diagonal. Function is complemented by the nobility of the broken tones of yellow, blue-green and raspberry red.
The kitchen was for its time equipped with the most modern conveniences: a Swiss Brown Boveri stove, an extraction hood operating on the principle of natural air flows and a hand-operated dumbwaiter.
Loos sited the two children’s bedrooms next to the master bedroom. The wooden furniture is richly lacquered in yellow and blue. The floor is covered with red linoleum, and the radiators were the same color. The natural wood seating is of the Windsor type.
The bathroom is Functionalist in its austerity, but at the same time both luxurious and elegant. The fittings were bought in London from Twyfords, a brand tried and preferred by Loos. The white color with the red on the floor and radiator, and the yellow on the rails, form the background for the polished nickel ‘ornament’ of the wash-stand and taps.
The art of the Far East provided the source of inspiration for the fitting out of the summer dining room. The fitted, lacquered furniture was complemented by wicker seating. The walls are covered in a wallpaper with silver and dry grass fibers. The floor covering too had a plant origin – matting of the ‘light chinamatto’ type. The fittings are completed by a Japanese funeral lantern and woodcuts by the Japanese engravers Sakina Kunisada and Gototei Kunisada. On hot summer days the doors could be opened to link the dining room to the roof terrace.