Decorating with color: Primary color Red

Red is certainly the color on the color wheel that leaves no one indifferent. Commonly associated with love, passion, danger or happiness in a big part of our world, the color red is an attention grabber. Medical studies have actually shown that the color red increases blood pressure, respiration, heartbeat, and pulse rate. Therefore it’s impact should not be overlooked when using it in decoration as it is not suited for everyone or every room in the house.

Red is definitely the color of warmth and it’s presence can be overpowering for some of us. I recommend using it either in rooms where you won’t stay much like entryways and hallways where you can create a real statement without taking too much risk, or in rooms dedicated to living and entertaining.

The example below shows two living rooms with a very similar shade of red that one would commonly call Burgundy. I love those images next to each other as they show what decorating is all about: creating your own space. On the left a quite modern living room with a white couch, a simple stripped red and white cotton rug, and a simple display or red art in large white frames who give the room a comfortable feel without fussing around. I envision a young couple greeting friends there for a glass of wine.

The living room on the right tells a very different story of travels, art, books, and to me of an inner sanctuary for the owner. It looks to me like a private retreat for reading and relaxing. In this room the red wall is combined with tone on tone patterned oriental inspired fabrics as well as a collection of personal paintings and artifacts. I’d love to chat with the owner of this room!

The next set of pictures I found through Lonny Mag. Although red is certainly not my go-to color I am absolutely in love with this apartment and the specific tint of red used. The white added in the red softens it just enough without it looking too pink. The owner of this flat reaches a very good balance between the color of the walls, the furniture that is rather classic in shape, and the accessories. Those range from Suzani  ethnic throw cushions, to modern colorful art mostly in primary colors, with a touch of quirky details like the building lamp base and adjoining little wire sculpture.

The bathroom picture does not belong to the same flat but since the color was almost the same I added it.

The pictures below I sourced on Rue Mag feature a red and white bedroom. Although there is a large surface that has been kept white I do not like this room. The red used here is almost a pure color and is quite aggressive to me. It might have worked in an office but this color is a no-go for me in a bedroom. Would you be able to relax and get a good night’s sleep here?

I’d love to hear your thoughts on those red rooms. Which one is your favorite and why? Have you used red in your home and do you feel comfortable around it?

Have a lovely day!

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  • I really like this idea of focusing on a color or color palette and discussing it in a blog – great series you have going. It can be so subjective, so it makes for interesting discussion for sure! One of my favorites is the bathroom photo. Somehow, perhaps mixed with the more clean, elegant fixtures, the red appears so much more balanced yet still unexpected – a nice “wow”. It feels right and intentional. Historic and modern at the same time. My reaction to the others of that tint of red is that all the frilly and lavish stuff on to of such a bold color already is too much (for me)— too girly-girl. And while it’s not my style, I do like the travel-y living room as if to visit at someone else’s house in that room, by the fire, and talk over tea or drinks! – Nice to meet you in BYW ! – JodiReplyCancel

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