Monday, August 9, 2010

Musings on decorating with the color Red

I read a Yahoo news article earlier titled “Women Find Men in Red More Appealing?” The gist of this article was that despite the different cultural connotations of this color a study found that for both sexes there was a strong correlation between viewing someone in red and thoughts of sex or attractiveness. I then, humorously, envisioned a throng of lovelorn masses at the local paint store clamoring for a gallon of red paint and retail sales of red bedspreads and other decorating accoutrements soaring.

The color Red can be fun and exciting because it invokes happy connotations. Red might bring up memories from your childhood when you stayed up all night waiting for a glimpse of Santa in his red fur trimmed suit. Valentines and their accompanying roses are red; we feel happy and rosy when someone from the opposite sex smiles at you from across a room and suddenly everything clicks and the two of you are headed off to “Paint the Town Red”. So, with all these positives that are associated with the color red, I can understand why you might think it is a good idea incorporate red into your interior designs…I even applaud you for being bold and brave in your choice. But slow down partner…there are some things you need to know about this fickle color before you get out that paintbrush.

Applying red paint is very labor intensive; you really are going to need a good coat of tinted primer on the walls before you apply because red paint is notoriously transparent. This is also why you will also need to achieve a balance of expediency and patience when applying the red paint. If you take too long while applying a coat you will end up with roller lines, this is why I strongly recommend hiring a professional painter to handle the application of this fickle color. Also, keep in mind that red paint will take longer to cure, so wait a few days before hanging those pictures back up.

Speaking of tacky walls…because red is such a strong color it can quickly overpower a room. Painting all four walls of a room red will make a room appear smaller, and darker so ensure the size and furnishings in a room can actually handle the weight the color red will bring. Red is also a stimulating color (which is why you see it in restaurants) so considering room use is also extremely important. Essentially, before you decide to paint your room red. you really need to ask yourself “Can the room and its associated activities support this color?”

If you have a small room or the room is supposed to be a space to relax in, and your heart is still set on red consider using it as an accent color instead. A clean modern, minimalist and rather masculine look can be achieved in a bedroom by pairing off white walls, black furnishings and red accents. I personally have incorporated red as a color in my home.  Initially I had red accent walls in my living room which then was also picked up and unified by incorporating a 1940's theme my adjacent kitchen decor by utilizing Campbells Soup accent pieces and War Production signage, a red pay phone, and red aprons, etc. Thus avoiding the dreaded easter egg house syndrome I wrote about before here.

So be bold, be brave and incorporate red into your interiors…but don’t take the decision lightly and keep a whole house esthetic in mind

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