Introduce red into your living room

Red living room ideas and inspiration

Are you redecorating your living room and considering red as a potential colour scheme? It’s certainly a colour that’s very much on-trend at the moment and here we offer a succinct overview of why and how to use it. 

Why should I choose red?

If you want to make a statement and break from the norm, then red’s a great choice. It is often considered a bold option for a living room colour, but the shade of red that you choose and, crucially, how you apply it, makes all the difference.

It’s certainly not the most common of choices but that shouldn’t put you off – after all, this is a chance to express yourself and differentiate your home from many others.

What will red bring to my living room?

Red can be a positive, energetic and vibrant colour choice, bringing real verve to your living area. However, it can have varying connotations and so getting the balance of colour right is crucial to success. 

As a colour, red has many positive connotations including love, strength, warmth and excitement, but equally it can be visually associated with anger or danger. So, unless you’re absolutely sure, it’s best to be relatively restrained with how much red you apply to various aspects of the room, thus ensuring you bring out only the positive connotations.

Red living room wall

How much is too much when it comes to red?

As with most aspects of interior design, it’s all about balance. As you can see from some of the examples in this article, choosing a relatively bright red wall colour – either on one accent wall or on several - can certainly work, as long as you choose neutral tones, such as cream, white or grey, to compliment the red on other items such as furniture and flooring.

Equally, some red curtains or blinds on the window can often provide a sufficient amount of secondary colour.

How do I apply red as an accent colour?

Of course, you’ll want to pick out the red as an accent colour on accessories, but keep this subtle and to a minimum, or you risk tipping the balance too much in favour of red.

The occasional cushion, flower, candle, book, or perhaps a hint within wall art, is all that’s needed to bring out the accent colour, once you have red walls or curtains. Then, leave the rest of the room’s pallet fairly neutral – again, shades of cream, white or grey. Red will certainly still come through clearly as being intentional, but this way you run much less risk of it taking over the room.

Another practical benefit of ‘going easy’ on red is that, if you change your mind after living with it for a while, you can simply swap out the small red items with another colour, at a minimal cost.

Red furniture

What should I do about furniture?

Light or dark wood furniture options can both blend successfully with a red colour scheme, meaning that you can potentially choose anything from a light oak to a walnut and know that these can successfully blend.

Red furniture itself isn’t as common as most other colours and so you could struggle to find a plentiful choice of suitable pieces. However, you might consider this relative lack of availability as a blessing – red is often a bold and brave choice and no more so than for furniture.

Choosing to bring out red as an accent colour on cushions or a rug is one thing, but a bright red sofa or sideboard is certainly a statement, and one that you need to be absolutely sure you want to make. If you go ‘too bold’ with something as prominent as furniture then you could find yourself trying to counterbalance this by toning down the rest of the décor, which becomes a challenge in itself.

If you’re pondering red as a furniture colour choice, you might want to consider smaller items such as an accent / occasional chair.

Where can I get more inspiration and ideas from?

Pinterest is always a great source of inspiration and decorating ideas and there are certainly some excellent pages on all things red. Two pages that are particularly recommended for starters are red and brown living rooms and red themed living rooms.

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