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When it comes to decorating, what are the three safest and most obvious neutrals? Mmm hmm…beige, taupe and cream — BORING! Believe it or not, there’s another kinda-sorta-neutral most people are super scared of — red. Have you ever noticed that this scarlet showstopper pretty much goes with every other color? In fact, the bold, beautiful hue is so versatile and gender neutral, it’s made cameos in many of my own clients’ homes.

After four years of working as a self-proclaimed professional decorator, I’ve discovered that this super color works highly successfully in small doses. Sure, I’ve splashed walls floor-to-ceiling with red pigment and/or wallpaper, but I prefer just a few high-energy bursts of crimson to add instant drama. To show that I somewhat know what I’m talking about (or not), here’s a few examples of spaces caught red-handed.

Too scared to go red on the walls or a piece furniture? Try the floor. To ease a young bachelor into our featured color, I simply introduced it first with FLOR tiles. Should the hue get old, the tiles can simply be moved elsewhere or given new life by mixing in other accent tones. Isn’t the owl painting just the most? Glad you think so; it was painted by a big shot HGTV show producer.

One of the oldest tricks in the book — one bold accent pillow. To break up the otherwise grey feeling of this living room, my team and I used a single silk throw pillow to pull a teency-weency red-orange stripe from the piece of modern art down onto the furniture. PS, whoever said one is the loneliest number was totally wrong — at least when it comes to decorating.

A single piece of boldly-toned furniture, especially in red, makes a huge impact set against a black and white color scheme. Although, it kinda always makes me wanna play chess.

If you’re into furniture makeovers, red will guarantee the best reveal EVER. I bought this previously honey-tone stained 1960’s credenza for $30 on craigslist, dropped it off at an auto body refinisher and KAZAM!, it’s now totally new and totally unique.

When straight-up color isn’t enough, take red to another level with texture. While the geometric, cotton duck pillow is kinda flat, the super rustic Aaron Foster license plate art packs both barn red AND the texture of old barn siding at the same time.

Sure, they’re just simple boxes, but this pair of canvas organizers manages to keep unsightly desk space items concealed AND pop some color into the space. Best twelve bucks I ever spent.

And last…my favorite red-inclusive color scheme: fire engine red with blue-grey, ultra-white and black. While this sophisticated pairing works well in adult spaces, it’s also an excellent option for kid spaces, such as bedrooms and playrooms. You know who’s gonna go play with red for other people’s bedrooms from his own orange and red design studio? Me.

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Design Inspiration

5 Responses

  1. pixelecho69 says:

    For a living room I would love to see a mix of Red with black and white just like that picture you posted, but with sofas and coffee tables and beautiful pillows with Japanese accents?

    P.S. love what you did with the credenza I just can't believe you paid $30.00 for it you are good.

  2. Brian- Gorgeous examples of a touch of red in rooms! Red energizes and brings an otherwise "nice" room to life!

    I'm a garden designer and I did some makeovers for HGTV's Outer Spaces show, one of which used red as an accent color in the garden!

    Take a look: "Bold Red, Raised Planter"
    http://edenmakersblog.com/?p=27

    Have you used red in the garden?

    Shirley Bovshow

  3. jennyjenny64 says:

    HELP!!!

    We have painted our home a pumpkin orange color. We love the way it looks but need ideas as to decorate it.

  4. Patty says:

    A little red in every room!

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