Home decor: All about red
Representing passion, fertility, anger, blood and energy, no other colour evokes as many emotions as red. While some people are attracted to the energy of red, others find red too alarming and intense. This polar opinion of red is also represented culturally: while the Chinese consider red the colour of happiness and good luck, North Americans associate red more with danger and emergency (or junk food -- just as alarming!)
In home decor, red is such an energizing colour its over-use can quickly become furious and intense. Fearing such drama many homeowners avoid red altogether, but a lack of red is equally misguided.
How to use red
There are as many shades of red as personalities to match -- from faded rose to deep burgundy. Red works to neutralize cooler colours like greens and blues, giving a sense of warmth to the room. Red also brings life and energy to dull and uninviting spaces. You can easily introduce red to a room with flowers, throw cushions, vases or other accents (see page 2 for more accent ideas).
An eye-catching colour, red is used to draw attention towards an area in the room, whether to anchor the observer to the room's centre or to highlight a more stunning part of the room.
How to paint with red
With the right shade in the right place, red can also be appropriate for your walls. Designer Karl Lohnes highly recommends red for the dining room. "Red works to stimulate people's appetites and blood flow," he explains. "Try blue-based red (like burgundy or plum) for real drama as the blue-base darkens at night and helps to create a more dramatic atmosphere. These reds also look great with mahogany and other traditional wood tones most often found in dining rooms."
Karl also recommends red in the kitchen where there is usually a small amount of wall space. "In kitchens I suggest spicy, brown-toned reds as they are more natural," he says.
Consider Benjamin Moore's Raisin Torte (2083-10) for the dining room and Smoldering Red (2007-10) for the kitchen.
Red decor to enrich your home
Not ready to wash your walls with red? No worries. Below are 15 luscious items to energize your space.
1 ORE - Fuzzy Wuzzy Large Dog Food Bowl
Even Fido could use a boost! 20-ounce capacity, $16.98
2 EQ3 Replay Nesting Table (3pk)
Great for small spaces, plus plastic feed won't scratch floors. $189
3 Cushion-Back Diner Stool, 30"
A retro look, and the seat rotates 360˚! $219
4 DeCoro Italian Red Bicast Leather Armchair 2777-LRD
Go big with red furniture. $499.97
5 Hannspree 10" LCD Red Apple Novelty TV
Colourful and whimsical. $399.99
6 Integra Furniture Bahama Tower with 2 doors
Solid pine and hardwood finish. $269.00
7 IKEA PS rug
Subtle circles for flare. $349.00
8 Velvet Garden Pillow Cherry Red
Velvety soft for any room. $46.41
9 Brentwood Storage bench
Leather bench with handy storage space. Contact UpCountry for pricing.
10 The Eclipse Redwood Table Lamp
Lacquered base with a French fabric shade. $150.00
11 Garnet Lamp
Dressmaker-curved shade on an espresso stand. US$125.00
12 Tao Chinese Red Mirror
Promote the flow of chi. US$150.00
13 Silicone Spatulas & Spoonula, Red
Mix 'n scrape with pizzazz. US$22.00
14 Kemp & Beatley Hemstitch Table Linens
100% woven cotton table linens. $5.99 to 49.99
15 Tao Bamboo Boxes
For a subtle splash of red. US$20 to 35