See­ing red

Winnipeg Free Press - Section G - - HOMES - CON­NIE OLIVER

THE colour red has spirit. It’s vi­brant and strong; rep­re­sent­ing both anger and love. No other colour evokes as many emo­tions as red does. Phys­i­o­log­i­cally speak­ing, red in­creases blood pres­sure, heart beat and en­ergy in most peo­ple. It’s known to in­crease ap­petite and is of­ten used in restau­rants for this rea­son. This colour’s re­la­tion­ship to com­fort foods like ap­ple pie, cran­ber­ries, wa­ter­melon, toma­toes and straw­ber­ries make it an invit­ing colour for the din­ing room or kitchen. Be­cause of its en­ergy, red can also work well in high traf­fic ar­eas like hall­ways, stair­cases and ex­er­cise rooms.

Too much red, on the other hand, can make peo­ple feel im­pa­tient and ir­ri­ta­ble. Red can be un­set­tling in some sit­u­a­tions and should be used with this in mind when dec­o­rat­ing your home.

Red is an ex­cel­lent colour to use if you are look­ing to cre­ate an at­mos­phere that is stim­u­lat­ing and in­vig­o­rat­ing. Depend­ing upon the hue, when used in the home it can add strength and warmth. Red grabs your eye. That’s why fire en­gines, traf­fic lights and some prod­ucts (Coca-Cola,) use red to get your at­ten­tion.

Mak­ing a state­ment

Red def­i­nitely makes a state­ment in the home. Us­ing it strate­gi­cally in ap­pro­pri­ate doses will cre­ate drama with­out be­ing over­whelm­ing. The right shade of red is also im­por­tant. Warmer terra-cotta reds, like the Du­lux Aus­tralia colours in our fea­ture pho­to­graph can be used in larger ar­eas with­out be­ing over­pow­er­ing. These colours are invit­ing, earthy and com­fort­ing.

For the dar­ing dec­o­ra­tors, bright red, like fire en­gine or candy ap­ple, should be used in smaller doses on ac­cent walls, art­work and ac­ces­sories. These are the shades of red that can be over stim­u­lat­ing for some peo­ple so don’t use these vivid shades in a child’s bed­room or nurs­ery.

A medium red, like tomato red, can be stun­ning in a mas­ter bed­room. Again, use your judg­ment as to the amount of space to paint. You may just want to leave this colour for an ac­cent wall be­hind the bed and in­cor­po­rate sim­i­lar colours in bedding and ac­ces­sories. Us­ing red at the head of the bed keeps you from feel­ing ag­i­tated be­cause you don’t see this wall when you’re try­ing to sleep. Hav­ing this colour on a fac­ing wall may cre­ate a rest­less en­vi­ron­ment. When us­ing splashes of warm red, pair it with a warm taupe or cream for op­ti­mum im­pact.

Red ac­cents

Rich, warm reds can be stun­ning in area rugs, up­hol­stery and win­dow cov­er­ings. Red and white toile is a great fab­ric choice for an ac­cent chair, lamp shade or ac­cent cush­ions if you want to cre­ate a lit­tle drama. To gen­er­ate a sum­mer at­mos­phere in a porch, sun­room or cot­tage use red and white stripes, polka dots or small checks in ac­cent mats, pull shades and ce­ram­ics to add a splash of fun.

What colours to use with red

The warmer red shades can be ac­cented suc­cess­fully with soft white or cream, muted black, olive green, taupe and even pur­ple. Brighter reds look great with chrome ac­cents, (think of a red sports car) crisp black and white (as in a check­ered floor in a 1950s diner) with a lac­quer fin­ish.

The softer side of the red spec­trum is ro­man­tic, calm­ing pink. The colour pink is fem­i­nine, del­i­cate and sooth­ing. This is a great colour for a nurs­ery, bath­room, child’s room and bed­room. Pair it with choco­late brown to cre­ate a bal­anced his and hers dé­cor. Pink rooms can be flat­ter­ing to the com­plex­ion, that’s why it’s of­ten used in women’s bou­tiques and bri­dal sa­lons dress­ing rooms.

This pri­mary colour of­fers a wide spec­trum of hues so you have lots of op­tions. If the thought of paint­ing any­thing red scares you, look at lots of dec­o­rat­ing pho­tos to see what shade speaks to you. Then use it in small doses un­til you’re sure it’s right for you and the room in ques­tion. When paint­ing with red you may need three or more coats to get the true fin­ished colour. Speak to your paint sup­plier for as­sis­tance in de­ter­min­ing how much paint you’ll need for your spe­cific project.

Red def­i­nitely has per­son­al­ity. Con­sider in­ject­ing some into your per­sonal space.

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