Aqua & Red: A Perfect Combination for Many Spaces

Aqua and red is a timeless color combination. It works in vintage spaces as well as in modern ones. It can be sweet and placid or bold and dominant. I think my favorite part about the color pairing is the instantaneous impact given off by the yin and yang, the cool watery aquas with the fiery reds. Just for fun, let’s examine some spaces that use – and benefit from – this eye-catching colorful duo.


Dining room design

Although the primary furnishings of this bathroom space are white (e.g., the vanity, sink, mirror), the space itself is dramatic, thanks to this deep shade of aqua paint on the walls. The color-of-water adds a sense of freshness, of cleanliness to the space that otherwise thrives on an old, used, distressed style. And, of course, the red tile backsplash is what makes this space different from all the other aqua-and-white bathrooms you’ve seen. An exciting punctuation mark (exclamation point!) to the space.


Dining room design

This architecturally fascinating bedroom space benefits significantly from an equally fascinating – and dramatic – color palette. With so much warmth in the space, from the hardwood floors to the paneled angled and vaulted ceilings to the wood ceiling beams, the cool aqua wall color provides a sophisticated contrast. And to complement the warmth of the wood ceilings, a huge bold rug balances out the top and bottom of the space. I love how all four natural elements – water (aqua walls), earth (wood elements), wind (windows/airiness), and fire (red rug) – are represented in this one room.

Family Room.

Dining room design

One thing to be said about aqua and red is that it’s a color combination that is as friendly as it is vibrant. This welcoming family room has its foundation in pale aqua and neutral tan hues, which creates a lovely space to gather, relax, and enjoy. Bits of red are thrown in (on the curtain panels, side table, and a few accessories) and enliven the space, making the space communicate that all are welcome and that life is to be enjoyed. I particularly appreciate how the heights of the folding screen and curtains are so similar, placing both colors on equal visual ground despite one’s being more dominant.


Dining room design

Pure and total vintage, this kitchen space is, and I couldn’t love it more. From the aqua retro fridge/freezer and over-the-sink pendants to the red pantry doors and Coca-Cola bar stools, this space makes me want to don my roller skates and cruise on in for a milkshake. More subtle touches (such as the mosaic glass tile backsplash) carry through the color theme without being allover in-your-face. I love how the space feels open and inviting and, frankly, downright delicious.

Dining Room.

Dining room design

This space shows how the aqua and red color combination doesn’t always have to be super apparent. Nuances in the colors give just as much of a pleasing impact as the bold varieties. A lovely pale aqua color on the walls in this eat-in area is made even softer by the large window’s natural light. A deep red area rug and ladder-back chairs bring in the warmth that’s consistent with the color but omit the “pop.” This dining space is tastefully simple and sweet, due in large part to wise choices in the chosen aqua and red tones.

Picture sources: 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5.