The Color of Love
A CERTAIN SHADE OF RED has always been my favorite color. Throughout my life I have surrounded myself with it – and not just with clothing. Growing up, my bedroom had red carpeting. When Bob and I married, red was the ‘accent’ color at our wedding. As newlyweds, we purchased our first new car – the color? You guessed it… red! As were the chairs surrounding our 1st dining room set. Our current dining room chairs sport red upholstery, as do our living room sofas.
Red can be a scary color to use in home decorating. It can invoke strong emotions ranging from love to anger. Consequently, it is important to use the correct shade for the particular application. The color red on a fire truck is great for the truck – think danger, alert! But not so great for an entire room in your home – think anger and irritability! And yet, as a splash of color in a kid’s bedroom or as towels in an all-white bathroom, ‘fire engine red’ may add just the right touch.
The most effective reds for decorating are usually muted shades. From terra cotta to cinnamon to deep burgundy, this primary color is complementary to most other colors and as an accent color will bring life to an otherwise sedate space. A richly textured area rug featuring tones of red will anchor a room full of neutral furniture, and red accessories or accents can bring life to a piece of artwork.
Red has been found to stimulate the appetite, and is often used in the décor of fine restaurants. Whereas red paint was once considered daring and over the top, it is now quite common to find dining rooms painted in warm and inviting shades of muted red.
Once relegated to window valances and upholstery, red has found a comfortable place in the kitchen. It now embraces appliances, both small and large; is a decorative finish available on cabinetry and is found in several eco-smart countertop materials. Red enhances both glass and glazed backsplash tile … and can be had at the kitchen sink, as well! Because of the cost and permanency of a kitchen, it is wise to use this bold color judiciously, as you might live with it for a long time.
Our kitchen is mostly white; however, I have incorporated red in numerous ways – from the signature knobs on our range to accent pillows in the banquette – with art work and accessories that are changed out with the seasons. Red has brightened an otherwise quiet room, bringing a happy ambience to the hearth of our home.
Unlike other colors, red never goes out of style. Regardless of the current color trend, some form of red will always be used in home decorating … so take a risk! Be bold! Buy a red sofa. Or, if you’re not feeling quite that bold … paint a wall red. Because, after all… it’s just paint!
I am a columnist for Duluth Superior Magazine, a monthly publication dedicated to the finer attributes of life in our Northland. My column appears in the Style section and is titled ‘Living by Design’. The following column was published February , 2011.
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