8 easy ways to brighten your home with red

andrewjburing andrewjburing
Design Within Reach Mexico Living roomSofas & armchairs Cotton Red
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Different colours are meant to bring out different feelings in people. Blues and greens are meant to calmm you down. Brown is a very earthy colour and often makes you feel like you're in a forest, surrounded by nature. But red, red is fire. Red is passion. Red is life.

Red, is one of those colours that just glows with some sort of magical energy, and inspires you to glow with that same energy. And it is that spark, that makes it such a popular colour to have in your home. However, because it is such a powerful colour, it's sometimes tricky to use it properly. Below are some useful tips and tricks, with examples from a couple designers, on how to get the right shade of red for you.

1. Loud on the inside

When it comes to choosing your indoor colour, the shade of red is up to you. If you want something a bit calmer, then a deeper and richer red, like the on the house below, is what you're looking for. But, if you want a bit of excitement that will wake you up in the morning, then something like the colour above is your best bet.

However, for a shade like this to truly pop, you'll also have to think about the other colours. This kitchen is a great example, as it uses a white background for the rest of the room. This way, the red can be the star of the show. The use of black, for things like the chairs, is also a good idea, as it helps things stand out, but not take away from the main colour.

2. Quiet on the outside

If you own a home, rather than an apartment, then one of the first things you'll want to do is give your new house a fresh coat of paint. While a lot of houses nowadays use shades of white and grey, red is definitely a colour that will make you stand out and become the envy of the neighborhood.

The tricky part comes when you have to choose the right shade of red. The cabin in the picture is a perfect example of red, fitting in with its surrounding environment. This shade doesn't quite pop as much as others do, and in fact it is a hushed tone of red, blending in well with the red of the leaves when Autumn comes. However, this shade also works in the city, because while it draws attention, it doesn't stand out too much and can easily fit in.

3. Around the edges

While painting most of the room red is a good way to brighten up your home, red can be just as effective when used selectively. The best example of that is the room above, which mixes together a white background with a deep brown floor. While these two colours are used more, the red, which highlights the pictures and the chairs, still draws people's attention and manages to brighten up the room.

This goes to show just how flexible red is. Even when not being the main colour, if the background is just right, you don't have to use a lot of it to fill the room with that extra bit of life.

4. Make it pop

Highlighting something with the help of a little red can be incredibly effective. However, if you want an even bigger pop, you can't go wrong with making the whole thing red. 

As seen here, the tub immediately brightens up the room. However, this is helped not only by the colour, but also by the window. When using reds, it's important to have a good source of natural light. Think about where you'll be placing red objects, and make sure there's at least some amount of light on them, as that will best bring out the colour in them and make things more striking.

5. Part of a bigger whole

Warehouse Union Jack Mosaic for a hallway in Leicestershire Lace Furniture Corridor, hallway & stairsAccessories & decoration Metal Red
Lace Furniture

Warehouse Union Jack Mosaic for a hallway in Leicestershire

Lace Furniture

As we've seen, painting something red can be a great way to liven up the place. However, that's not the only way that red can be used. If ever you wish to make your walls a little bit more interesting, one of the quickest ways to do that is by adding tiles.

Tiles, just like paint, can work well both together and separately. As seen in the example above, you can mix several shades of the same colour, and still get an awesome picture made out of tiles. This mixing and matching of colours means that you can use several shades of red at the same time. Finally, what's important to remember is the background. When using red tiles, white and light grey walls will be your best bet.

6. Follow the red brick road

One major thing to focus on, when it comes to tiles, is the placement. When planning your tiles, remember to think about the space they're going to be in and what effect that will have on the room. The placement here works really well because the tiles only take up half the room, allowing it to leave enough space for another colour to come in. 

In this case, it is also helpful because the shade of red is darker, meaning that it needs something lighter to balance it with. By selectivly using the tiles, you can easily avoid such common mistakes.

7. A lighter touch

While red stands out the best when on a white background, there are certain shades that can work in harmony with other colours. The shade of red armchairs and sofas is a very important decision, especially when they are not meant to dominate the room.

Lighter tones of red, like the sofas above, mix well with earthy browns and greys. This means that you can use reds without having to sacrifice the rest of your colour palette. Also, sunlight does a great job of naturally bringing out the liveliness in the soft red shade, meaning that you don't just need bold colours to brighten up the room.

8. Something completly different

While red can go on almost anything, from wallpaper to chairs, if you want to something to brighten up your room, you can also combine it with something that will give the room a bit more personality. The classic English telephone box, is a great way to have some fun with a room, and brighten it up at the same time. Try finding something similar in your own country, even something that's small, and adding it to your house. It's small touches like these that make good rooms great.

And once you're done playing around with the colour red, go get inspired to make wall art over at this guide.

Do feel inspired to use some red in your home? Which tips are you going to use? Don't be shy, and tell us below!

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