Red is the highest arc of the rainbow, the longest wavelength of color and is believed to be the first color that a baby sees (as described by PANTONE).
Reds are the most viscerally alive hues. Bright pink-reds are playful and flirtatious, and the orange-reds are warm and inviting. But red does also have its serious side. Ruby-wine reds are more elegant and blue-reds denote dignity. Then there are the brown-tinted brick reds, which bring thoughts of country and warmth. When decorating with red, you can certainly find a hue for every mood: from scarlet red that can make you feel energized and alive to burgundy or maroon can bring the cozy vibe of a traditional home.
Being such a dominant color, we often associate it with fire-engine red or Valentine’s red but the truth is that red, as seen on the color wheel includes hues from red-violet ( carmine, raspberry red, hibiscus) to red-orange (tomato red, coral, salmon), pinks, light and dark and everything between.
So how do you decorate with red without going overboard?
Add a pinch
Red grabs focus and easily becomes the defining element of a space. Choose your favorite red as the focal point and add a neutral (ivory for example) then add some blush and peach (and anything between that works) to connect the two.
If you want to reduce the intensity of the hue, add its complementary blue hue in a small amount. Proportion is very important so if you make heavy use of neutrals and use smaller amounts of the bright colors you will have a light and airy palette with a pinch of color.
You could make use of red by decorating the room with peachy walls, mixed woods, linen and red drapes, red pillows and a blue accent chair or go for more contrast like this collage below.
Welcome with red
A red door can feel welcoming. Today red is seen as both traditional and trendy so there’s a red door for every style out there, check them all out.
Use a bold, bright red on a contemporary door, burgundy/dark red for the traditional style door, barn red as country red.
Red is an active color reason why it’s great to use in the hallways. Balance red by repeating it in small degrees.
The best way to make use of repetition is to use red within small décor pieces and accents, such as throw pillows, wall art, flower vases, lamps, upholstery, draperies in different rooms. If you can see any red from another room, make sure the two work together.
Pair it with white
Studies have shown that red increases brain activity and drives both physical stamina and a feeling of hunger making this this color ideal to use in a kitchen. Use it as accents if you have white kitchen cabinets.
When paired with white, red can be nice for a white bedroom when incorporated in the fabric patterns like a red striped rug or patterned bedding and drapes.
Use soft tints
Decorating with red but don’t want that much impact? If you want to warm up your space but keep it toned down, think what pink can do. Use a blush hue that’s more peachy than blue-pink.
Red is never boring
When decorating with red, especially painting walls remember that red paint has the potential to make a room feel smaller. Not to mention, red is extremely intense and can dominate a room if overdone. Make use of red walls in bigger rooms otherwise use it in small amounts and take in consideration the few tips we discussed here. Happy decorating!