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Red Interiors

From some recent design trips in London I’ve noticed a colour that is creeping into designs and it’s not the most common of colours.

Red is not as commonly used in interiors compared to other colours, it is deemed harsh, an angry colour or too intense. When discussing colour with clients red is often listed as a colour not to be used – some people going as far to say they literally hate the colour. With neutrals, greens, blues and even pinks being safer choices for a lot of homeowners, red does take more of a backseat in the popularity contest and it's not one I can convince many people to indulge - but why??


I don't understand why the colour red has got such a bad rap and banished from most homes? Well in short it is a harsh colour and feels very energetic on the eyes. If you want a calm and cosy home, or light and airy red isn’t the colour that naturally comes to mind or necessarily fulfils that brief.

But I beg to differ.

I personally love the colour red, it’s my lipstick colour of choice. My favourite dress is red and I actually have a beautiful red radiator in my bedroom. I do however see why people don't gravitate towards this very often as it's an easy one to perhaps get wrong, or you could regret how it's used etc...It has more risk attached to it perhaps and people understandably are nervous to get interiors wrong from a cost point of view - which is a perfectly legit reason.

The key to successfully using red in interiors is to get the right tone – pillar box red is a luscious colour but could feel too much in a living room used daily for example. Opting for pinkier versions that soften this colour could feel less severe. Fundamentally it’s what you pair red with and how you use it in a room.

This stunning sofa is more of a wine red and it sits well and blends with the more orange/brown patterned wallpaper - it's allowed to work with similar colours so it doesn't feel overbearing or stark, it nestles in nicely.


Mix with dusky pinks, lighter blues, even some yellow – depending on the room and the use will depend on the colour scheme to opt for. Are you going loud and proud? Then go for the punchy reds.

Soft and demure? Then wine or more purple reds will feel luxe

More retro? Mix with more pastel blues and pinks for a nod to the mid century pop style.

Perhaps it's a fabric of within a pattern rather than a solid block of red - a more subtle way to include this vibrant rich colour but in a more non-committal way.


So what rooms would red work well in? In truth any but it’s personal opinion – kitchens, some rich red cupboards with brass handles and marble worktops could offer a stunningly sumptuous space. Using as a secondary colour as done so in this kitchen means it offers contrast to the lighter main cupboard colour and isn't overpowering but lifts the space instead.


Perhaps in a bathroom, red patterned tiles with a plaster pink wall colour?

In the bedroom for a vampy, boudoir vibe.

In the living room where it can be toned down and softened with other colours. A single item such as a lamp can link to the colour within a pattern in the room and connect the colours but offers that bolder splash on a smaller scale.

You can absolutely go all out and adorn walls with the colour whether thats paint, wallpaper or some delightful fabric covering that you will find hard to not stroke as you walk past.

Or if you’re not that brave and daring how about a statement sideboard in a glossy red finish? Or a splash of colour in a rug?

I love the idea of there being just one thing in this daring but delightful colour. This image below is a perfect example of just that. The glossy red table makes the whole room come to life with the way it pops against the lighter blues and neutrals of the room.


A key piece such as lamps, chairs, mirrors are fab ways to add in that colour without having to overly commit - and if you decide you can't live with it, these are easier to swap out.

Have I now convinced you that red is a good interior colour? Would you consider introducing this rich and controversial colour into your homes?


I’m already thinking where else I can add more pops of red in my home….


Thanks for reading


NB x

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