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How to use reds in every room

Mary Fetzer is a freelance writer and marketing consultant with a marketing degree from Penn State University and 15 years of international business experience. Mary specializes in writing about parenting, children, pregnancy, college, h...

Add a pop of color to your home decor

Red is a bold color choice for decorating. Interior designers offer expert advice on using this fabulous hue throughout your home.

Modern red bedroom

"Every color has a psychology and affects our mood," says Sehra Han, an interior designer at Scarlett Designs in Los Angeles. "Red is the color of energy, excitement and vitality. It can draw attention and enliven the mood."

Accent tip: "Accent with a red rose. Whether you're using a single bud or a dozen, red roses in a crystal vase are a perfect accent to any living room." ~Sophia Stone, Chateau Sophie Interiors

Living room

The living room is typically the most formal space of any house, and red — being a regal color — works well for a formal space. "Select a calmer color for the walls and main body of the room," suggests Han. "Then use red to call attention to accent pieces, accent chairs, table lamps, vases and table accessories."

Accent tip: "Look for some large, red-covered cookbooks to create an instant gourmet feel. Stacked or open on a small decorative bookstand, they'll catch your eye and open your appetite too!" ~Sophia Stone

Kitchen

"The kitchen is the home's informal gathering place, and the use of red can be versatile," says Han, who suggests these red options:

  • Red wooden cabinets against a softer, more soothing color for the walls create a bright, lively and cheerful atmosphere.
  • Red high-gloss laminated cabinets — or red tile as the backsplash — provide a more modern look.
Accent tip: "Curl up to a plush red fabric throw in the family room to stay warm and cozy." ~Sophia Stone

Family room

"The family room is the most casual and fun space in the home, so use red liberally," says Han. Select one or two red items to create a lively color palette:

  • A red sofa
  • A red accent chair
  • A red rug
  • Red draperies
  • Red pillows

"Another option is to select solid red for your sofa and add red plaid, striped or floral furniture accent pieces," Han adds.

Bedroom

"A red bedroom can be romantic and passionate," says Han. "It is the color of love and fire."

As a bedroom wall color

Red walls are a daring choice but can be done right with extraordinary results. "Try burgundy or crimson," advises Han. "Leave doors and moldings white for a stunning contrast."

As a bedroom accent color

"As an alternate to red walls, try a red patterned duvet, red curtains or a red side chair," says Han.

Accent Tip

"A single red pillow to accent your bedding is perfect for the bedroom," says Sophia Stone. "Like a red rose, a red pillow works beautifully with any color palette."

More helpful home tips

Real women share their favorite life-simplifying appliances
How to choose a living room color palette
Quiz: What's your home decor personality?

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