Decorating With Red: Tips, Ideas and Inspiration


Red is a powerful color and only the truly committed usually go all out with it in their decorating (as in red everything) – but if you’re not going to go all out, how do you work it in?

Here are some ways to incorporate it and some things to consider:

Make a grand entrance.

Red is a very cheerful color, making it a very welcoming choice for the front door.

If your home’s interior is decorated with red, it can be an indication of what’s to come, or just a nice pop of color for neutral homes.

Decorating with Red: Classic red front door with black penny tile
 source   /  Door color: Benjamin Moore Rapture (CC-66)

Use it in eating areas.

Many of us aren’t looking for anything else to stimulate our appetite (right?  sigh.) but, if you are, red can do that.  That’s why it can be a good choice for kitchens and dining rooms.

Decorating with Red: Red is a hospitable color that stimulates the appetite, so consider using it for dining rooms and kitchens

Consider temperature.

In cooler, darker spaces a warm red can be used to brighten and warm up the space.

On the flip side, if your room is already sunny, since red can make you feel warm, you may want to skip the red walls and use red only as an accent.


Make it marsala.

Not all reds have to be bright!  Toned down shades can add life – just not more than you may want.  Consider a brownish red like Marsala, Pantone’s 2015 Color of the Year.

Decorating with Red: If true red, is a little overwhelming, consider decorating with a brown/red like Marsala, Pantone's Color of the Year.

Decorating with red - quote by designer Nina Campbell

Emphasize the focal point.

Our eyes go to color, so use red on the details in your space that you want to emphasize, like they did with this bathroom vanity.

Decorating with Red: Our eye goes to color, so enhance the rooms focal point with red!

If there are things in the room you don’t want people to notice, keep them neutral and use the art of distraction by putting the bold color elsewhere.

Balance it out.

As we’ve already mentioned, red is a spirited color that likes center stage.  If you want it to blend in more, combine it with colors that are equally as vibrant and bold to balance it.

Decorating with Red: One way to balance bold red is by using other colors in the space that are just as bold and energetic
source – walls: Benjamin Moore Gravel Gray

Energize your space.

Red is a stimulating and energizing color, so it’s perfect for enhancing your creativity (think craft space, sewing room or home office).

It can also be motivating for rooms where the tasks aren’t quite as much fun  – laundry room?

Decorating with Red: Red enhances creativity, so it's a great choice for home offices or craft rooms. Also consider using it to increase energy in spaces where the tasks aren't quite as much fun, like laundry rooms!

Cool it down.

Pairing red with cooler tones, like the trending grays, calms it down and gives it a current feel.  In this case the texture of the handspun, natural jute rug softens the impact of the red, too.

table | dining chairs | metal chair | rug

Use tints and shades.

Combinations of tints and shades add depth and dimension to a space.  In the room below, the bold pink and coral balance and soften the vibrant red headboard.

Decorating with Red: Adding pops of pink and coral to this decorating scheme offsets the bold red headboard and adds more interest.

Add it in Accents.

An easy way to play with color is to add it in accent furniture and accessories that can easily be moved around the room, and to other rooms, as your design preferences change.

Decorating with red - Use a piece of furniture or accessory in a bold red to make a unique statement and add some life to your space.

If you’re interested in more creative ideas for using color in your home, you might like these posts:

Creative and Unexpected Ways to Add Color to Your Home
Design Tips for Adding Accent Colors to A Neutral Space
Painting a Color on the Ceiling

, , , , , ,


  1. Decorating With White: Tips, Ideas and Inspiration | Schneiderman's {the blog} - June 25, 2016

    […] the warm red hues that we talked about in Tuesday’s post, white is light, fresh and clean.  It’s neutrality makes it a versatile tool and many […]


Sign up for our blog newsletter to see the latest design tips, decorating ideas, room inspiration, and more!

We promise not to share your information.