This post is also available in: Italian
The colour red is the boldest choice of all and it has the greatest emotional impact. It is the colour of love, passion, heat, and romance: the vibrancy of red is indisputable.
Red was the first colour to be identified by name in almost all primitive languages. Historically, true bright red has always been derived from rare and costly sources. Throughout the Middle Ages, Vermillion was even more expensive than Ultramarine, which was made of crushed lapis lazuli.
Red-loving people are active people rather than passive, sporting rather than sedentary. Positive red feelings are expressed through warmth, friendship, excitement, and passion. This colour imbalance could leads to less physical activity and continued fatigue, and may indicate your lack of understanding, feelings of unworthiness, and explosive anger, resentment, and aggression. On the negative side, this colour imbalance may reflect greed, cruelty, and irritability.
For most of us, the use of red in home decoration can be frightening. But, like a strong spice, red can improve the flavour of a room as long as it doesn’t take over completely. Red accents will become the focal point of an otherwise neutral room. Red-toned colours can make a large space warmer and more intimate. Red decorations will bring a touch of warmth and vitality to a room of cool colours. In combination with blue and deep greens, red will add a sense of playfulness and energy. Cool fresh colours can balance hot, exciting red.
Let’s say you dare to go with bright red walls. In that case, it is better to stain the floors a dark, teak brown black. With that combination of colour, you can begin to bring Oriental décor with furniture that is black or red lacquer. Rattan furniture also would be a good choice.
THE TONES OF RED
There are hundreds of wonderful shades and tints of red, ranging from pale, delicate flowery pinks, to deep-jewel-toned reds that can be used virtually in any room.
It must be understood that the term red embraces many tones besides that rich crimson or scarlet we usually think of when red is named, and some of the off tones are the more decorative: the copper-reds, the Orange-Reds, the Rusts-Reds, Henna, Chinese Red, Cerise, Magenta, Rose red and Cherry-Rose. All these are less war-like, and more romantic than the blood-red hues. The days are past when the all-red room is more than a bare possibility in the light of the success found in combining red properly and effectively in a full and rich color scheme. And modernly speaking, red knows no season. Red is good in dining room because it stimulates appetite and conversation.
The Iconic Russian Tea Room in New York
Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo (1958)
Exposition to this colour is said to induce physical changes, such as speeding up metabolism, increasing respiration rate and raising blood pressure. In a hallway or entrance area, where natural light is often limited, a red rug or runner is always a welcoming sight – the red will draw a person into the building and make an immediate impression.
Tenement House by Interior designers Loft Kolasinski
Contrast colours can be used to change the atmosphere of a scheme. If a scheme containing red and green becomes too evenly balanced, or if red and green have the same vividness and intensity, there is a danger of a “traffic signal” effect, in which colours reflect each other and cause an unstable and uneasy environment. To avoid this, make sure to use the accent colour with caution and in a variety of tones.
The Siren Hotel | Detroit, Michigan
Image courtesy of ioa-studio. Photography by Tom Ross. Source: YELLOWTRACE
One of the basic principles of design is to make the space suitable for its purpose. In decorative terms, this can be interpreted as choosing a colour suitable for the specific use of the room. If you have a bright sunny kitchen decorated with reds and oranges, the room will feel very hot even before turning on the oven or stove, and it will soon become uncomfortable once you start to cook. But if you use a panel of muted red, teamed with lots of stainless steel surfaces and perhaps the earthiness of walnut or cherry wood, you will create a cooler, calmer and more productive environment.
DECORATING WITH RED ACCENTS
THE EAMES I MOLDED PLYWOOD LOUNGE CHAIR I HERMAN MILLER
STANDARD CHAIR I JEAN PROUVE
BALERI ITALIA I ROUNDEL I DINING TABLE
Barragán, Prieto López House, Mexico City, 1947-1951
. Vinny Lee, “The colorful home: confident and creative colour scheme for every room”, Jacqui Small, 2010
. Bonnie Rosser Krims, “The perfect palette Fifty Inspired Color Plans for painting every room in your home”, Warner Books, New York, 1998
. Carleton Varney, “Color Magic”, E.P. Dutton, INC., New York,1985