Red walls

Painting the right room red can be a thrill, it can also be a big mistake. Of course there are always exceptions, but we typically stick to the following “rule” when it comes to choosing paint colors. We have found that the darker, more intense the color, the more suited it is for a small, cozy room.  This is by no means breaking news in the world of interior design, but it is something we find ourselves reminding our clients of on a daily basis. There are so many factors to take into consideration when painting a room; what is the light like during the day? What about at night? When do you spend the most time in the room? What is the condition of the walls? A few years ago, we used Farrow & Ball’s Radicchio on the walls of a client’s library, below. The condition of this home’s walls was nearly impeccable and so they lent themselves well to a high gloss finish. The glossy finish helps reflect and bounce more light around the room. For us, this room was the perfect place to use a strong color–the color serves as a pop of energy in a home with predominantly creamy white walls. What’s nice about using a strong color in a small room is that it doesn’t have the ability to overwhelm a room like a strong color in a big room can (photo by Lucas Allen). redBelow, in the same client’s home, the family room which sits next to the library, above. It was important to our client that the upholstered furniture be able to stand up to 4 kids and a lot of dogs so we knew from the outset that we needed to choose fabrics that were dark in color. Another very simple, fool-proof “rule” to follow: if you want your rugs and upholstery to be brightly colored, keep your walls neutral and vice versa. Imagine the room below with red walls…it probably wouldn’t have quite the same effect. White walls keep this family room feeling fresh and cheerful (photo by Lucas Allen). GBGP_1023Here’s an example, below, of a library designed by Tom Scheerer that is essentially the opposite of the room above: colorful walls, more neutral upholstered furniture. In this room, Scheerer used a Benjamin Moore color called Red. 85f2690b619d7aa66bb52fe50cfe1facIn this room below, shot by Elle Decor, the red walls are similarly tempered by neutral furnishings. The designer also covered much of the wall space with art, to further dilute the intensity of the red. A great tip!elledecorWhat do you think of red walls? Would you ever paint a room red?

  • Kim Macumber

    Love the Red. And yes, I would!!

  • Patricia

    i painted a small hallway barn red … and it works. Small space, slightly muted red.

  • Kimberly Lewis

    I like red in small doses so it would be quite bold for me to live with it on the walls although I do adore the high gloss red in the photo above although not sure I could personally live with it!

  • Heather

    I had a gorgeous red bedroom once (I know: not supposed to do that.) A turkish rug in chartreuse and aqua (with a bit of coral and rust) and an embroidered moroccan coverlet in ivory kept it from being too much!

  • Bruce Barone

    Yes. I painted our living room red; Benjamin Moore “Poppy.” We love it!!!