Tuesday, April 27, 2010


The paint colors shown above and in the magazine may look different on your walls.
Please test colors before making a commitment.

BELOW: A few of my thoughts on using red in your home and a some pics and products to hopefully inspire you to be creative and do your own makeover!

Love red doors. I painted my front door red. Never painted stairs but the ones here look great.

There has never been a middle of the road answer to my question, "How do you feel about the color red?" People that I work with to make their home the best personal expression of their style always have an opinion about it.

It's a love or hate thing.

My personal feelings? I've never met a color I didn't like. It's all about context. Even during my own kitchen remodel I couldn't resist the power of the color red. I gave myself a $20,000 budget for the whole kitchen gut and reno project. I came in appox. $1,000 over budget.
I would have been about $5,000 under budget if I didn't splurge for my
Ferrari Red Bertazzoni stove. It was the perfect color and style for my mostly IKEA and off the shelf LOWE'S kitchen. I picked up a little red in my leather seat vintage stools and then Baxter and I celebrated.

My lovely kitchen before.

And after.

Just beautiful, isn't it. My friends thought I was koo-koo for cocoa puffs when I bought this house. It all looked pretty much like the kitchen.

Happily Ever After.

I totally get it why red (even when you like it) may be a bit of a challenge to use.
How much, How little, Where, How, you get the idea. The list is long.

You already know my belief that there really are not any hard or fast rules to decorating.
Even if everyone else tells you what a "mistake you've made" there is nothing wrong with your style choice if it truly suits who you are and you are 100% behind it. That being said, RED is a strong color choice and since most people tend to feel better in a room that has a sense of cohesiveness, balance and creates a soothing atmosphere, there are a few things to think about before venturing out to the land of red.

Below are some examples of the color and it's many, many uses. Along with some running commentary...

Awesome use of not only the color but also in the way it's balanced throughout the room.
The color Red actually becomes an art piece.

Ah yes, the ever present IKEA LACK side table. $7.99
Hey, it's an inexpensive fix and with two of them side by side it's a great way to add a punch of red without too much cost or effort.
They should just give them away with every purchase at this point.

From WEST ELM a little red bedding goes a very long way in making this bedroom feel spectacular! The dark woods, natural flooring and light walls make for a very soothing place to rest and the splash of red help to give the room some great style.
With prices for this bedding between $24-$149, you can afford to mix it up.

Awesome Awesomeness for $49.99
Would look great over a simple white or even farmhouse table.

Of COURSE it's from IKEA. $39.99
Who else comes up with these names?
I have to start labeling my furniture with more obscure and difficult to pronounce names.
Either way, great way to add red in accessories without seeing red in your bank statements.

A great red lamp above not only helps to break up all the neutrals, but the shape, size and contemporary styling mix with the traditional room help to make it more interesting.

If you want to test the waters and see how you feel about the color, start with accessories.
I know, I know. How many times have you heard that one--right? Well, the reason it keeps coming up is because it actually works. Seriously. If you're already dealing with a mostly neutral color palette, a few well placed shots of red can make the room feel like new. Look for inexpensive fixes like lamp shades, pillows, vases, throws, area rugs, lamps...you get the idea.

Try and find a way to balance out the accents. Don't get too red heavy on only one side of the room or only up on a bookshelf but nowhere else in the space. Look at finishing off a room like accessorizing a wardrobe. If you're challenged in that department--I can't help with fashion.
Maybe "What Not to Wear" would be a good call.

Accent pillows are such an easy way to get started.
Mix textures, sizes and patterns. Here's where you can have fun and experiment.
Pillows are easy to stick back in your car and take back if they somehow don't work for you.
Not as easy to haul back a red armoire.

Here is the perfect balance of red: From the hutch, the fireplace screen, seat cushions to the throw and mantle accents. The whole room feels pulled together.
Color and patterns all work to create a cozy room. Even the room next door gets the red treatment on the walls. Great way to make this style flow!

The red screen above literally brings that room to life.
The fact that it has playing cards on it add to the whimsical feel and make what could have been a slightly dry room fun and energetic without being tacky.

The angelo:HOME Davis chair (shameless self promotion/SSP) not only can give your room the perfect punch of color, it's a deep rich wine red that feel classic along with being timeless in style. Plus, who doesn't love nail head details, except the people that don't.

Could there be anything more dramatic, glamorous or chic than a red velvet tufted sofa?
OK, maybe Meryl Streep from "The Devil Wears Prada", but if she can't be in your living room, this sofa does the trick. The great shade of pink on the walls, the mix of artwork and frames, the sweet mother of pearl tile coffee tables and of course the perfect red shade on the wall sconce---BRING IT!

SSP is back with this next piece above..
The angelo:HOME red cherry Bixby Sofa not only is comfortable and velvety, but it's a true statement in a room. This is not for those that fear a bit of dramatic style. It comes with the B&W vine patterned pillows and at $593.99 at Overstock, it's kind of sweet.

This red headboard above with the nail head trim really makes the bedroom feel centered.
The drapes add the right amount of pattern and even make the room feel a bit masculine due to the stripes. This is a great balance of style and color. All the neutrals (the pale pink here acts as a neutral along with the white) make the room feel soothing even though it has a lot of bold color. The touch of vintage gold in the table lamp, the modern ceiling fixture and the dark wood end table may not seem to work together individually or out of context, but once in this space they round out the bedroom perfectly.

Now, if you're the soul that really knows you love red--The way it looks, makes you feel and the way it energizes a room but you aren't willing to commit to in on your walls, OR you rent and can't paint OR are too busy and tired from convincing your friends and family that red is not the color of unbridled passions (maybe it is, what's wrong with that?). You can start using it in furniture pieces (like the example above and below). A couple of great red accent chairs along with a brown or white, khaki or cream sofa can really set the room. A red sofa is the perfect way to anchor your space and then build around it with other earth tone pieces. A red console, chest of drawers, bedside table or armoire is the ideal way to give your room the attention that brings the whole look together.

Combining red on red by mixing hues and adding pattern along with texture can make a very bold choice feel cozy, comfortable and incredibly stylish

Finally, if you are tired of listening to the rest of us go back and forth about how to use red and why and which way and are already at the paint store getting your shade or crimson custom blended while you read this on your phone (maybe your iPad and in that case, I'm envious. Call me), here are a few things you should know. If you already do, skip this and go get yourself a cover for that iPad. You do not want to scratch that piece of art work. If you don't---get yourself a tinted primer and use a coat of that before applying your red paint. Pick your color first and then tell the paint person to give you a good interior primer tinted for the color you picked. They'll know what you're talking about. A base coat of that (two if you want) will not only help your paint go on smoother and richer, it will eliminate the many, many coats it takes to get the true red color you saw on that paint chip. Make sure each coat has fully dried before you put on the next and check your finished masterpiece in daylight. It will be the truest test of how well it covered.

Red can be very sleek and contemporary.

Using color on your walls, especially a color like red, will probably be one of the least expensive things you can do to transform your room for the money. Nothing else will give as big a "bang for the buck." Sorry for the silly saying, but it's true. Can I get a Whoop Whoop and an Amen? No? OK, I understand.

Red can also be traditional and classic.

If you are going the painting route, you can also think about using the color only as an accent. Now, if you are dealing with a fireplace wall and it has red brick (that you are planning on keeping) I don't suggest painting the fireplace wall red. In my humble opinion, too much going on on that wall. They will cancel each other out. Maybe the wall opposite the fireplace can go red. A similar hue to the brick. When using the red as an accent on a wall (or even if all the walls are red) find ways to bring the red back in the space but also, neutralize it with either another powerful color like black or white, OR a bit of earthy tones.

Go ahead.
Make some changes. Big or small. Either way, you'll love what red can do to your room.



Anonymous said...

as always.. great advice! i love red in a kitchen. i am renting [military housing] but braved the waters and painted one accent wall in the kitchen/dining combo. it added just the pop of life i needed to help it feel like less of a builder basic townhouse. and it wasn't too much, that it scared the hubby to death! LOL ;) and, it's the one room in the place that i actually dread repainting back to flat white upon our move out next month. [yes, can you believe it? that is what the entire place is painted in, flat white! thankfully, i was able to do what i wanted while living here, but alas.. it will be returned to it's boring self soon.]

Will @ Bright.Bazaar said...

I've never been a huge fan of red, either as an accent or as as scheme's base colour, but this post has changed my opinion - red can look stunning! Cute pic of you and the dog, too!

Tammy@InStitches said...

I just found your blog and I LOVE it ! I'm following..... "A room without red is like a woman without lipstick" I don't remember who said it But I like it !
I'd love to have you stop by In Stitches for a visit.

DesignTies said...

I love red!! I painted the fireplace wall in our family room red -- Benjamin Moore Raspberry Truffle. And because the family room flows into the kitchen, I used red as the accent colour in the kitchen to tie the two rooms together. Here's the link to my kitchen makeover if you'd like to see how I incorporated red into the design:


I LOVE the red wainscoting in the bathroom near the top of your post. And I had an idea when I saw the picture with the mother of pearl coffee tables -- I bet you could cover a Lack side table from Ikea with mother of pearl tiles and get the same look :-)

Love your kitchen makeover. The red stove is super sexy!!


Kylie said...

I'm with Will on this. I never used red or liked it when I saw it used. Well, you and these stunning pics, advice and the shot of you in your kitchen remodel with your gorgeous stove (WANT!) and adorable puppy have changed my mind. I'm off to get me some red. Great post and blog.

Lisa said...

These pictures are definitely inspiring me to use more red. I do have a red front door and have been actually thinking about using it in my dining room and kitchen. Wasn't quite sure how, but this definitely helps. Thanks Angelo. Love your kitchen remodel. You and Baxter seem happy.

Anonymous said...

thanks for the well wishes! and you're very welcome for the PR! anytime!!

La Petite Gallery said...

Great post, I like chinese red.. or
cinnabar red. I once painted a room red , it was too orange and it made me uptight. So color's are not for everyone, Some people react to Royal blue..


jennifer said...

Thank you for the color inspiration.

My experience has always been that it wasn't exactly color that I was afraid to sue, but certain hues of some colors. I have a fantastic red in my dining room, but it took about three different ones that I couldn't stand before I 'got it right.'

Love your blog.

mrsben said...

Personally not a big fan of red (makes me antsy), but I do HONESTLY love, love the new shades you are now offering in your Davis Chair and Bixby Sofa.

Great stuff, great post!!! -Brenda-

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