Red will kick up a room's energy

A room filled with brilliant color is unforgettable. If you want to make a big statement with your decor, choose a bold overall color scheme or accents. Red commands all the attention in a room, epitomizes glamour (think of the red carpet) and envelops warmth. There's no competing with it and no upstaging it.

Whether you call it crimson, scarlet, cranberry or brick, red brings boldness, passion and energy to a room. You'll feel warmer in a room decorated in red because the intensity of the color affects your energy level and makes you feel alive and vibrant.

Splashes of red look great in all kinds of spaces. When using red as a secondary color in a room, the purpose is clear - to intensify and emphasize with passion and life. A simple color scheme of red plus neutrals such as classic shades of camel and cream lends a familiar cozy feeling like a favorite cashmere sweater.

For example, in a dining room paint one wall a rich dramatic red to create a warm, intimate and comfortable feel. Use luxurious shades of camel and cream for the draperies, fabrics, upholstery and design details to avoid visual overload. Add pizzazz with jolts of red on your table setting and you'll create not only surprise, but sensuousness in the room.

Red can take on many roles. Often designers are asked to expand a room visually, but in a large space, using red can shrink a large room and make it into something more intimate. By painting walls in most any shade of red in a large room, it will diminish the scale and help accentuate sophisticated furnishings, artwork and accessories.

With a palette of earthy neutrals, stainless steel and deep woods, red accents are at home in a kitchen. Red is a color thought to stimulate appetites and create interesting conversation and, therefore, has remained a favorite color choice for kitchens and eating spaces over the years.

Adrenalin-rush red furnishings are showing up all over the showrooms. Hand-painted accent chairs, nesting tables, red leather sofas, ottomans and red-painted chests are bringing an excitement and sense of freshness to interiors.

If you're a little wary of being too bold with red, introduce red in an accent piece or two in your room. A splash of red may be enough.

Penelope's Style Tips

  • Use red in accent pieces to provide punctuation in a well edited space.
  • Add red accessories, fabrics or wall color in a kitchen. Red stimulates the appetite.
  • Try red in a formal dining room. It's warm, cozy and sparks interesting conversation.
  • Red is romance. Bring passion into the bedroom with touches of red as in pillows, throws, candles or lampshades.
  • Red is classic and neutral. Use red in contemporary to traditional settings. It mixes well with most color palettes.
   
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