Some cool ways to add HOT RED ac­cents

The Palm Beach Post - Residences - - News - Chris­tine Brun

Amer­i­can fash­ion designer Bill Blass said, “When in doubt, wear red.” We have come to think of fire-en­gine red as one of the bold­est fash­ion state­ments pos­si­ble, and that goes for when it is used in home decor. In the psy­chol­ogy of color, red has nu­mer­ous mean­ings: It is the mes­sen­ger of en­ergy, pas­sion and ac­tion. It is also the color of anger, which is one rea­son why I think many peo­ple fear us­ing it in­side. It’s def­i­nitely not for ev­ery­one.

I have ob­served that if some­one is brave enough to use red in­side their home, they have an in­de­pen­dent and bold per­son­al­ity. It takes guts to com­mit to a red front door or a red kitchen counter made of crushed quartz. If you have any doubts, the trick is to use tomato-soup red in spar­ing but ef­fec­tive ways. When­ever you have neu­tral walls, floors and fin­ish­ing ma­te­ri­als, a splash of Tabasco red will al­ways work. In many ways, work­ing red into a white and gray in­te­rior is con­sid­ered a modern clas­si­cal de­sign. Ital­ians and Ger­mans have been do­ing it for gen­er­a­tions.

If you are timid, try a lim­ited but pow­er­ful ap­pli­ca­tion of red. As you see here, the en­tire room hums sim­ply by us­ing a bold red Vene­tian blind! That’s all that’s needed to lift this lit­tle kitchen out of the or­di­nary. You could in­tro­duce one large piece of art with red to weave the ac­cent color in, or an­chor a liv­ing room with an area rug that is pre­dom­i­nantly red. Re­peat red in ac­cent pil­lows, and maybe a plant con­tainer or a large bowl or dish. It doesn’t take much of an ac­cent to draw the eye around a room.

In or­der to be com­fort­able us­ing bold col­ors in gen­eral, it is help­ful to take a lit­tle time and an­a­lyze what col­ors you like enough to live with for a pe­riod of time. While you might like hot pink in a skirt or shoes, would you con­sider liv­ing with a bed­room painted in the color? Be re­al­is­tic and re­al­ize that you do not have to use the most in­tense shade of the color in or­der to get a color pop. Al­ways, al­ways, al­ways be cer­tain to test out a deep color be­fore ap­ply­ing it to a wall. It is ex­tremely dif­fi­cult to paint over a deep, in­tense color and takes four to five coats to cover it com­pletely. The same prin­ci­ple should be ex­tended to uphol­stery fab­ric, too. Get sam­ples, and look at them for a few days in all types of light­ing in or­der to be sure that you like a strong color or pat­tern. Bold geo­met­ric pat­terns might look great in the fur­ni­ture store, but con­sider liv­ing with them over time.

This is not to dis­suade you from con­sid­er­ing vi­brant color but to warn you about the power at­tached to brawny color com­bi­na­tions. Be aware of color trends, too. They aren’t bad, but you must be quite sure that you will not tire of the color du jour. This brings us full cir­cle to the wis­dom of us­ing dom­i­nant col­ors as ac­cents that can be more eas­ily changed when you tire of them. We see the cycli­cal na­ture of color in men’s and women’s fash­ion. Some years you find pur­ple, pink, lime green or or­ange. This year, le­mon yellow is hot. Nonethe­less, black and white with red ac­cents re­mains a sta­ple color com­bi­na­tion with deep roots in modern de­sign.

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