Home Decorating – Red, Red, Red, Part 2

Red is traditionally used in dining rooms – the Victorians believed it aided the digestion. It makes a wonderful backdrop for sparkling silver and glass, sets off the rich tones of dark wood furniture, and casts a romantic glow in candlelight. This is a room used generally in the evenings and for short periods so it avoids the danger of becoming oppressive, and you can afford to be lavish with color.

For a sitting room which gets more regular use, you can sponge the walls in two or three tones of red for a softer effect, and add strong elements in cooler tones – such as calm deep blue patterned drapes, tablecloths, and cushions, combined with pale cream upholstery, cool and lighten the tone and offset the strength of the crimson walls. It’s important when working with such powerful contrasts to interweave the different elements of the scheme well – if you half-close your eyes the colors should appear well distributed throughout the room in varying proportions.

As an expression of warmth and welcome you can’t do better than to use lots of red in a hall. It makes a good background for the restrained elegance of engravings, and using black as a contrast gives a subtle oriental tone which is surprisingly restful. Red with a slightly orange tinge also has a Chinese feel to it; terra-cotta shades give the same warm glow to a hall and show an interesting range of hues as the light changes, from rosy pink and coral to rust.

Smaller rooms such as bathrooms and powder rooms may be a surprising setting for the rampant glory of red, but you can afford to experiment here where materials are a minimum outlay and the room is used for short spells only. Offset a chilly white or cream bathroom suite or cool ceramic tiles with coral red walls to create a warm and luxurious room in which to linger; play along with the theme by adding towels in deeper corals and rich cream, or warm coral pink lampshades. In the smallest room, indulge yourself with vibrantly dancing patterns of reds and greens, or plains of singing color balanced with natural wood and stainless steel accessories for a modern approach. This works well in a kitchen, too.

Another decorating style you might like is cottage. Here’s a related article on that: Achieving the Coziness of Cottage Interior Design at the website below