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RED is back! On trend with decorating, pops of color win.


There was a time when red was the color of choice, and rooms were designed in Mediterranean palettes with gold and green or graphic black and white. In the past few years, white, gray, and blue have taken over as the main color trends, but there is a new red rising. This time, it’s showing up as a bright pop to an otherwise subdued color story (so those gray walls you just painted are still perfectly on trend, and should be for some time to come).

Red also plays well with the metallic finishes that are hot right now. But no matter what you pair it with, be aware that if you use too much, you just might raise the room temperature.

“Red is a good choice when you want to stir up excitement, particularly at night,” said Freshome. “In the living room or dining room, red draws people together and stimulates conversation. In an entryway, it creates a strong first impression. Red has been shown to raise blood pressure, speed respiration and heart rate. It is usually considered too stimulating for bedrooms, but if you’re only in the room after dark, you’ll be seeing it mostly by lamplight, when the color will appear muted, rich, and elegant. Red, the most intense, pumps the adrenaline like no other hue.”

Here are a few ways to bring modern pops of red into your space.


Perhaps the days of red-painted rooms are behind you, but that doesn’t mean you can’t splash it up on your wall. A bold piece of art can provide a potent contrast to an otherwise sedate space. Or, embrace the wallpaper craze for a big pop that works great as a focal point.


Red bedding can liven up a room in the same way as wallpaper, providing a jumpstart for your décor. And the best part is it’s easy and inexpensive to change out on days when you’re feeling the need to go for cooler colors.


The trick to using a red piece of furniture is making sure it’s worthy of the attention it gets. After all, you don’t want to draw eyes toward something that doesn’t deserve it. If you don’t want to buy something new, a glossy finish on an antique piece will give it a fresh new look.

Go big

If you love red enough to make a big impact, think big: counters, cabinets, and couches. A big red couch is a statement piece, and one in a quality fabric can be pricey, but it still requires the least amount of commitment among the big three.

Counters and cabinets are not the types of thing you’ll want to change out in a year, so you’ll want to make sure you really love the color—and that you’re not planning to sell soon. The next buyer may not be as bold as you.


Mary DeRose Davis

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