Decorating with Red

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Red is an emotionally intense colour; when we think of red we think of heat, passion, spice, love, and anger, among other things. At this time of the year, when many of us are looking to destination vacations to warm us up and fight those winter blues, why not try turning up the heat in your own home with a little bit of red.

Decorating with Red Paint

Red is an advancing colour which can bring a lot of warmth and energy to a room; it can neutralize cooler blue palettes or add a dash of colour to the neutral interiors which seem to have pervaded the décor scene over the last decade. Decorating with red can add some spice to a rich, earthy palette or provide a complementary contrast to a green colour scheme. If crispness is what you desire, then try combining red with white or cream.

A very strong and vibrant colour, red can sometimes be overwhelming so before you inject some red into your décor you must decide how much impact you want. Do you want red to be the focus of the room or an accent colour?  Also decide how much of a commitment you are willing to make.

If you love red, and are ready to commit, try painting a room red. It can be quite dramatic and is said to stimulate the appetite – perfect for a dining room. While requiring a significant commitment both monetarily and visually, red cabinets in a kitchen can be stunning. However, if going floor to ceiling red is too much for you, try incorporating red into your décor in smaller ways. It only takes a small amount to make an impact and there are many ways to decorate with red without assaulting your senses.

Decorating with Red Accents and Accessories

Personally I love a red room, but it is not for everyone. If you prefer to dip your toes in the colour pool before you dive in, then perhaps try painting one wall red – an accent wall. Still a bit commitment phobic when it comes to decorating with red? Perhaps you’re more the dating kind. Put down the paint brush and try decorating with red accent pieces: art work, pillows, a throw, lighting, a chair. Using accessories is the least expensive way to inject a little colour into your décor – plus it is also requires the least commitment. Red accessories used in a room can still have a significant impact albeit on a smaller scale.

Red can bring focus to a room or to an area of a room – an oriental rug with a predominant red background can bring focus to a seating area and help to anchor it. If using red in furniture consider which items you want to have the most impact; anything that is red will tend to stand out in the room so if you don’t want your sofa to be a focal point don’t make it red. A red leather or upholstered side chair, however, could have a more balanced impact.

Placement of your red accent pieces should be carefully considered as the warm and advancing qualities of red makes it pop in any décor in contrast to other colours. Red accents properly placed can help to lead the eye around a room, guiding you to a beautiful focal point.

Red comes in many shades ranging from cherry, raspberry, and crimson, to carmine, brick, maple or even shades of pink. There is a red out there to compliment any palette. Find the red that’s right for you and embrace it – it could be the beginning of a beautiful relationship.


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