How do you like your red?

In small doses for me, thanks.

While waiting to be seen for my routine dental checkup recently, I was lucky enough to not be forced to pick up a magazine featuring Jordan’s fake expression about some fake drama in her fake secret-but-public private life. Instead I found a copy of the Ideal Home October issue.

I’ve been seeing more and more of red in interiors lately, and this magazine was shouting about it – “red is back”. There was a feature on how to use “chilli reds”. The first of their 5 key rules said “Go for it! If you’re going to do it, don’t be half-hearted. Bright red has been around as an accent colour for ages, but the new way to work it is on walls, flooring and furniture. You won’t make enough impact if you only use it for accessories.”

NOOOOO!! >>insert horrified expression<< Impact or headache?? Even that little red phone in the picture above creates impact! For the love of timeless design, please don’t turn your entire room red!

Can you imagine living in this room?

Ok, maybe that’s a bit extreme. Nevertheless, this is what happens if you have an overload of red in a room –

The rooms feel heavy and they are anything but relaxing. A little of a strong colour goes a long way, and red is the strongest colour in the spectrum (in my opinion, anyway), so if you are surrounded by it, it will weigh you down. You will tire of it quicker than you can say “I don’t like red anymore.” I speak from experience – when I was a youngling I loved red and when I got the chance to decorate, I chose a deep fiery red as the dominant colour in the scheme. It was all properly thought out and when it was done, I was very pleased, it would’ve made a great advert for using red. However, less than a year on, it had overwhelmed me. I couldn’t relax in the room and therefore found myself staying away from it as much as I could. Truly, it wore me down. That was my first ever lesson in design before I even knew that I would one day be a designer.


“Up with passion” red feature stairs – brilliant!


If you love red, use it in moderation to lift a space with its vibrancy. This will create the kind of edgy impact that you can live with rather than the overpowering kind.

Whatever red floats your boat – classic scarlet, cranberry, red-orange or pinky-red – the great thing about it is that you can use it in dark cosy rooms as well as bright airy rooms whilst still maintaining the respective moodiness or airiness factor of the rooms.

Here is red against dark walls:

From the queen of darkness, Abigail Ahern –
seductive glossy deep red against dark grey


A very zingy high-impact bookcase


R is for red, of course


For those who love bright airy rooms:

Red even works with earthy schemes


Lots of bold red in soft furnishings and upholstered seats but no red on the walls
= no heaviness; just light, bright and vibrant


What a sweet little room! Without the red chairs, it may have looked a bit bland


Love the use of red on this table!!


Deep red, black and white – classic


A girls’ room without any pink?! You don’t say!
🙂 I’m always happy to see imaginatively styled kids’ rooms


Images: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14




Filed under Bedrooms, Design, Dining rooms, Living rooms, Red

2 responses to “How do you like your red?

  1. I was noticing how much red has made a comeback and I couldn’t agree with you more! I am so afraid we are going to have a resurgence of the red dining room onslaught we had in the 90s thanks to magazines saying ‘More is More!’ No, more is too much. Thoughtful touches look fabulous as your images show 🙂

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