Interior Design Ideas: The Color Red

We are asked for interior design ideas everyday and often the questions are about the use of color. As designers, we understand color theory and color charts and how color adds to the mood of a room. We want to share some of what we know about the main color groups on the color chart. Since it’s the holiday season, we’ve decided to start with red. 

It goes without saying that in home decor, red is a statement color. Ranging from high-voltage orange tinted tones to the subtler and darker shades of burgundy and maroon, reds can evoke a variety of feelings from energetic to cozy and insular. Below are some tips on why to use the color red:

• It symbolizes energy, passion, strength, power, determination, desire, and love.
• It has high visibility, which is why it is used for stop signs, stop lights and fire equipment.
• As punctuation in a room of neutrals, red is an instant-makeover color capable of enlivening large areas with little effort.
• Because the color is so visually arresting, even one red piece can transform a bland room.
• Red furnishings work well with pale and dark neutrals―white walls, wood floors, natural stone―or as a rich matte counterpoint to metallic appliances.
• If you’re not ready to commit wholly, try red as an accent, pulling it in through draperies or furniture. Pick a wall color—like chocolate brown—to ground it.
• It adds warmth to a room, though in a restful space such as a bedroom, its best use is as an accent piece.

Overall, Emily Post’s advice from 1930 still applies today: “In its brightest tones, red is the most brilliant, stimulating, and approaching of all the colors.” But she went on to say that “an unexpected encounter with much of it might be something like meeting an uncaged lion roaming through the house.” A little bit goes a long way. 

DESIGN TIP:  Pick one red and stick with it―competing tones can feel chaotic. We recommend exercising restraint. Sprinkle reds here and there (not everywhere) for hits of color, rather than wallops.

If you have questions about how best to apply red in your decorating scheme, please contact us at 303.322.1712 or, where any of our designers would be more than happy to help you find your perfect color story.

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