“In my study of human nature, I often posed questions to people such as 'Are you a marathoner or a sprinter?' and 'Do you love simplicity or abundance?' When I asked people, 'Do you have a signature color?' I was astounded by the enthusiasm of their responses. People are passionate about color.

“I couldn’t commit to a single signature color for myself — I fudged my answer by choosing the 'color wheel' — but I could select one color to collect. I chose a deep, luxurious red that was popular but not too popular, had extravagant associations, and was also a beautiful word to say: scarlet.

“I’d go on a search for scarlet and build a collection of scarlet objects. I pulled out a big glass bowl — a wedding gift that we never used — to fill with the items I found.

“My search for scarlet helped me look harder — and when I looked for color, I saw things in a way that I hadn’t seen them before.”