What’s red, right and all over contemporary rooms?
Question: I love red walls and was all set to paint them in our new apartment when my sister-in-law (a wanna-be designer) told me they were too traditional. “Very l8th-century colonial” is what she actually said. Our furniture is mostly contemporary. Should I listen to her?
Answer: Only to be polite. To be smart in your decorating choices, turn a deaf ear to her misguided advice.
True enough, people living in the 18th century loved red walls. One reason: Red paint was more expensive than other colors (red pigments cost more), so a red room had a certain snob appeal in England and Europe — and, by extension, in the homes of well-off 18th-century Americans.
However, red rooms have an appeal that goes well beyond “18th-century colonial.” For example, notice the inviting pictured red room. Interior designer Matthew Patrick Smyth lives within these warm, red-painted walls. Never mind that he is known to favor calm, often almost monochromatic — though never plain — color schemes.
“My clients are very busy people. It’s my job tomake their home life as peaceful, harmonious and comfortable as possible,” Smyth explained.
So what’s with the lively color in his own home? “I love red!” he declared.
In this case, as Smyth writes (in his new book Living Traditions; Monacelli Press), the claret-colored walls in his living room “didn’t come without qualms. When the first coat dried, it was a wild pink-red — scary.”
Successive layers of paint, however, eventually produced the deep, saturated red that you see here.
Rose Bennett Gilbert is a Creators.com columnist.
This is a special room that famed designer Matthew Patrick Smyth put together in his own home because, he says, ‘I love red!’