A Little Bit of Red Goes a Long Way

Certainly every color has a bold hue that demands visual attention. Even blues and greens, often so soothing and calming, can be modified into dramatic and eye-catching tones. One color, however, is notorious for demanding attention in nearly every shade: red. One problem with being such a powerful color is that red can turn a space into overwhelming chaos pretty easily.

The benefit, however, is that small doses of red can go a long way toward infusing a space with brightness, energy, and style. Consider the following spaces and how they incorporate pops of red for a huge impact:


In this large living room, the color palette is surprisingly neutral. This may not seem to be the case because of a few spots of red. But creamy ivory paired with dark woods and black make up 90% of the space. I love how the color red is only found in about five or six spots here, yet its impact is equal to (if not more than) the surrounding neutrality. Our eye is immediately drawn to the solid reds of the chair seats and the modern art. Important to note: the red is spread around the room, which provides balance and helps us to visually appreciate the entire room as well.


Again, red accents are set within a fairly light and bright colorway. Here, I like the impact of white furniture with red pillows juxtaposed with red furniture with white pillows. I think it’s also important to notice that the red furniture is smaller and tucked away on either side of the fireplace by windows, which seem to diffuse the impact of solid red somehow. Symmetry in furniture placement helps to reign in the jolt-of-red impact as well. Glossy garden stool completes the balance, spreading the color through more than just the room’s perimeter.


In this super contemporary space, a modern orangey-red pole takes center stage. Most likely a load-bearing cylindrical beam, I imagine it has architectural significance and could, therefore, not be removed. I admire how the decorators here figured that they may as well emphasize it. Work with what you’ve got! Color was tastefully contained solely to the pole and the far corner wall, and the rest of the space is kept angular and neutral. One of my favorite parts here, stylistically, is that the only round object in the room, though not large, becomes larger than life in impact.


This rich, deep setting comes across as being fairly dark and somber without the red to lighten things up a little. The pair of two-tone striped red club chairs immediately lightens and brightens the mood of the space, as well as engages us through the entire space to the far corner. An important part of using pops of color (in this case, red) is to use them sparingly but to also use them in a balanced way. Here, the red centerpiece on the table tastefully does just that.


This bedroom might just be pop-of-red perfection. The room itself is full of light solids (a theme we’re becoming well acquainted with) and sharp angles, which makes the red cutout office chairs even more perfect. Along with their being red, the chairs’ cutout factor diffuses the jolt of color and adds an important non-solid factor to the space. Large bold artwork and some tiny red accessories are all the other red this room needs. I love this!

Picture sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7.



Published by in Interiors, on February 8th, 2013

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