Most times when we decorate a house, the finish product is not staring us in the face. We may have a general idea or a look that we're trying to achieve, but good design is an evolutionary process. Just like with any work of art, you start with a blank or neutral canvas and build on it. Unfortunately many homes never make it past this stage, and decorating schemes remain pleasant, but boring with their neutral pallettes.
One of the quickest and most dramatic ways to add spark to room is by using the color red. This magical color works amazingly well with almost any pallette and never looks tired or old. One word of advice, however, the use of red can be overdone. Short of painting your walls and ceilings, here are some subtle ways to slip the color red into your existing decorating scheme without over powering it.
Add blasts of red to your room with the use of accent pieces. Try one or more themed paintings with dashes of red, a vase of silk red peonies, red cushions, pendant lights, lamp shades, candles, or a bowl full of fresh red apples. Add pieces one at a time, being careful not to overdue or underdue.
The larger and more open the area, the more you may have to add to make the desired impact. There needs to be enough color for the eye to make a connection. The use of red should look intentional, and not random.
You'll know it when you achieve the proper balance. When you enter the area, your eye will automatically be drawn to these colorful focal points and the room will feel more alive.
Don't forget, the color red can go along way in boosting your home's exterior curb appeal. A solid red door is an eye-catcher, along with red themed floral containers, red mailbox, or other garden accents.
Adding a red sofa and loveseat works with a larger room with high ceilings and neutral walls. For smaller spaces, try adding a red patterned chair, curtains, or simply draping a red throw over the couch.
Using red carpet or an oriental area rug is a perfect starting point for building on this color. Now every cushion, vase or lampshade you add is connected or anchored, rather than appearing as a random decorating statement.
Painting your walls red can make an elegant statement. Once again, the room should not be saturated with the color, but used as an accent wall, or in a room where you have other focal points, such as a fireplace, or above white wainscotting.
Shine and Texture:
Use a combination of high gloss and flat reds to add interest and draw the eye to specific areas. Don't be timid to paint over wood grain, or over patterned wall paper.
Red plays well with most colors, but there are some combos that really make a bold statement. Some of these include brown, black, silver, lime green, and white. Vary the shades of red according to your decorating theme. For a more traditional look, use cranberry or cinnamon, and for a modern look try bright red or cherry.
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