Color of the Week: Decorating With Red


Crazy about crimson? Lusting over lava? Sometimes, seeing red is a good thing. The lively color of love and intrigue, it will certainly add some spice and splendor to your apartment if you incorporate it into your decorating scheme. Whether you want to add some colorful pops of red for your Valentine’s Day trimmings or assimilate it into your current interior design for year-round allure, the tips below will help you ring in some rosiness and adorn your home with an energetic vibe.

Image Credit: Boa Franc

Image Credit: Boa Franc

Use in Moderation

Here is a secret: red can complement almost every color scheme even though it is not a neutral, so you can likely incorporate it into your existing decor without much trouble. The key is to use it in moderation to avoid overwhelming your space, particularly if you are decorating a petite apartment. Painting an entire room, for example, will make the space feel smaller, and you want your red to liven and brighten, not constrict. Instead of painting every wall, try painting an accent wall to create a red focal point that is balanced, not too intense.

Accent Appropriately

One of the easiest ways to incorporate red is to bring in eye-catching accents and distribute them throughout a room. A few throw pillows here, an afghan for the couch there, and perhaps even a red lampshade, if you are feeling bold, will make a statement without making a huge commitment, like, say, reupholstering an entire chair in scarlet velvet. Try placing a stack of books with red-hued spines or a Chinese lacquer tray on your coffee table, eating off of red plates at dinner, or painting a few picture frames to do the trick.

Image Credit: V.H. Hammer

Image Credit: V.H. Hammer


Fall for Flowers

One way to ease into red and decide if you really want to commit is to bring in a red bouquet. While it will add some refreshing plant life, it will also help you determine where you want to see red accents in your home. Would that rosy vase you have been admiring look best on the couch side table or on the console near the window? You can move your portable bouquet to any spot you might be unsure about and let it sit there for a few hours while you go about your day. This will help you determine exactly where red will fit in, and as an added bonus the flowers will lift your spirits.

Pick Up Patterns

Solid reds can be intimidating when you are first experimenting with the color, but you can ease into red readiness with something a little subtler. To prevent yourself from becoming overwhelmed by the brilliant hue, seek out items that combine red with textures or patterns and complementary colors. Try woven ikat-dyed pillows with red and orange designs or a small area rug with thin red stripes. Using red this way will have the vibrant effect you want.

Make a Statement

Red is definitely not middle-of-the-road when it comes to colors. It works best either when you use it as an accent or go all-out. If you are truly fond of red, consider livening up your space with a red couch or living room chairs, but be sure they are not too elaborate. Clean lines and more modern styles will help temper your blazing furnishings.

Image Credits: Image(s) by V.H. Hammer & Boa Franc. Presented from under the Creative Commons License. For licensing info visit

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Hannah is new to MyNewPlace. By day, she’s a copywriter and editor. By night, she’s still a copywriter and editor because when it comes to word wizardry, no piece is ever truly finished. When not ...