What’s red, right and all over con­tem­po­rary rooms?

The Palm Beach Post - Residences - - Residences Treasure Coast / North - Rose Bennett Gil­bert

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!’

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