Category Archives: Red

Cheery contrast: blue & red

Drake Design Associates

The weather has turned dreary and rainy in this part of the world so I am looking at a perk-me-up colour combination: turquoisey blue (think blue sky and sea) teamed with bright vibrant red.



House of Turquoise


Homes & Antiques


La Maison Boheme

It even works for a cosier, more romantic look.


Apartment Therapy

Aren’t these just the prettiest little girls’ rooms? SO much better than a sickly pink overload. (Speaking of which, can somebody please explain why some parents insist on surrounding their girls in pink? Because I really don’t understand it.)

Little Green Notebook


Hotel Missoni, Edinburgh


Conversation Pieces

Looks like the most fun wedding ever, yes?


Do you have colours that you turn to when you need perking up? Or any other tricks for a dreary grey day?




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

Decorating with primary colours

Happy 2011 everybody!!

I hope you’ve all had a wonderful and merry time over the holidays with your loved ones. Here’s to a joyous and colourful year ahead!

As my first post of the year, I’m going back to basics and looking at the primary colours. Thinking of red, blue and yellow combined in a scheme might conjure up images of a child’s floor covered in toys or a crazy/loud/fun (pick your adjective) room like this –

Sure, primary colours pack quite a punch, but you can still use them in more relaxed settings. There are just a couple of tricks to remember:

  1. The pure primaries are very intense so either
    (a) use in a small concentrated dose such a piece of art, or
    (b) use more muted (easier to live with) derivations of these colours, e.g. reddy-brown, red-orange, turquoise, teal, yellow-orange, light ochre… Ok so they are no longer primary colours, they are secondary or tertiary or even several more dimensions away from the pure primaries but that’s ok, we’re still talking about shades of red, blue and yellow and besides, design is all about creative freedom. 😉
  2. Use lots of white and a bit of other neutral colours to balance out the strong colours.

Here is some red, blue and yellow loveliness!

The canvas is all the colour this room needs!


A pretty wild room! The lampshade totally sets the scene here.


Traditional elegance in bold colours!


Sofa in lovely teal, yellow wallpaper, red-orange scatter cushions = gorgeous!


Loving the soft blue velvet chair!


I adore this sweet little eating nook… it is inspirational how natural and effortless this red, blue and yellow combination looks!

Images: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7


Filed under Blue, Design, Red, Yellow

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