I would go as far as to say that decorating with red is a fearless choice. It’s vibrant and bold and cannot be ignored. But maybe you’re someone who likes the color but doesn’t want their red to shout. Or maybe you like rich crimsons and saturated jewel tones, or you might prefer fire-engine red have a little bit more coral or pink mixed into it. Whichever way you prefer your hues, here are 13 ways you can decorate with red from light, dusty velvets and subtle details to walls and furnishings that scream, “Hey, look at me!”
Sometimes a little red can go a long way. Just a touch from these red barstools enlivens this black-and-white kitchen by Marika Meyer. They’re the perfect complement to the modern farmhouse feel coming from the dining chairs and pendants over the island.
Now for a gorgeous example of those light, dusty velvets I mentioned. This de Gournay scene that I saw on MyDomaine is so romantic and dreamy. Between the cherry blossoms of the hand painted de Gournay wallcovering and the velvet sofa and chairs, I have to keep pinching myself to try and wake up.
Massucco Warner Miller used a red grass-cloth wallcovering to make this entire Lake Washington living room and library a conversation piece. But you don’t have to stick to the walls—you can bring in color through the accessories, so the red volume sets on the shelving also give you something to talk about.
And then there are times when you want to go all out, like Barrie Benson did here when she decided to drench an entire room in red lacquer. It’s sultry, it’s lavish (yet kept at bay with more streamlined furniture pieces), and we all need this kind of decadence in our lives.
I mean, the color is in the man’s name for crying out loud. Miles Redd is a master maximalist. Only he can pair a jewel-toned red velvet tufted sofa with a cotton candy pink wall, a gallery of eclectic artwork, and a zebra hide door—like in this scene from Architectural Digest—and make all of the pieces look like they belong together.
Husband-and-wife team Jesse Carrier and Mara Miller of Carrier & Co have the art of mixing timeless and contemporary down to a science. And you can see that in this living room, which was featured on Elle Decor. The bold red bookcase (which is actually an older piece from IKEA) is a modern injection into the otherwise muted, more classic palette.
And please don’t forget your floors, people. This may be a mostly white room, but designer Jennifer Robin‘s addition of this amazing rug brings everything to the next level. It makes the rest of the room feel like a floating cloud, and who wouldn’t want to sleep that way?
Hello there little red IKEA bench. You’re a delightful pop of color against the black-and-white checkerboard flooring of this eat-in kitchen. Anna Zajac rents the space and was still able to make it feel homey and her own with this seating choice that’s full of personality.
Here’s an adorable Toronto house tour. They say red makes you hungry, which is why you’ll see it in many restaurants, so it makes total sense to me to paint your kitchen/breakfast area’s walls a crimson shade. And in this case, the natural light and greenery outside are the perfect complement.
This London kitchen, which belongs to designer Nisha Stevens, isn’t so overtly in-your-face red, but I love it for its subtleties. The red accents in the Turkish tile backsplash and peek of the red window shade are just enough, and the red drying dish rack reminds us that every little bit counts.
(Image credit: Submitted by Danny)
I’m a sucker for anything Mondrian, so I’m really drawn to this living room in Rome, which features a Mondrian-inspired painting the owners made themselves using an old headboard and some tape. The signature red cube is hard not to love (and the DIY marble coffee table and vintage Wassily chairs only make the space even better. So what if they’re not red?)
This vignette featured on Hydrangea Hill Cottage is an example of bold on bold on bold and how that can work to your advantage. Red and blue are next to each other on the primary color wheel, so it’s a natural choice to pair them together. Red is also the color of good luck in Asia, so it also makes sense to pair it with Chinese ginger jars like this designer did.
Oh Kelly Wearstler, you’re such a pro. That wall treatment with that staircase and that runner and rug and curvy architecture and sculpture—it all screams “hey, look at me!”, and by all means, we will look and we will love! And sure, this entryway, via Vogue, is total dream-home status, but there are some takeaways here for your more modest home: pair a black-and-white rug with matte black accessories in a room with a modern red-and-white wallpaper for a sharp, fashion-forward look.