Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Good red, bad red

If you know me, you know that I love red. But you might be surprised to know that there is not a lot of red in my house. It's true that I have about 20 red spatulas to show my devotion.

It pretty much stops there, though. I bring in some red accents in my lovely $0.50 Ikea dish towels, and there's some red in the plates I have hanging on my walls.

The fact is, red doesn't always translate well, particularly in large doses. This phenomenon is seen in weddings all the time.
See? It's just ... a lot of red. So much red, in fact, that it's hard to notice anything else.

Snippet and Ink has some great examples of red in wedding palettes done right. I really like the following three examples. You can see that they all use red in delicate or whimsical ways. It's combined with a lot of white, and sometimes with light blue or flowing black fonts for a whimsical, old-fashioned look.

Now let's move on to red in the home. My philosophy for red in the home is similar to red in weddings: It should be used sparsely and delicately. Sometimes one red vase or stool is all it takes for a room to pack a punch with just the right amount of red.

The next picture is of a kitchen that has no red in its decor, unless you count the bowls of red fruits on the kitchen table. I love how they are clustered together.

Here's one of my current favorite rooms. It's from the September 2009 House Beautiful, British edition. I had to take a picture of the magazine spread because I don't have access to a scanner right now. I'll scan these pictures in soon and will post them all in a separate post. That's how much I like this little kitchen. It's mostly blue and white, but if you wanted to pull more red from the chairs and curtains, it wouldn't take much. Maybe just a vase of pretty red flowers, or a blossoming display of red spatulas (yeah!!).

And then, there's wallpaper. I've been storing away these images for a while, so unfortunately I don't have sources for them all.

As you can see, they all use a lot of red, but there is still a delicate feel to them. The red appears in patterns and not in solid blocks of color, and it is somehow less overwhelming that way.

I also love the subtle hints of red that appear in ticking stripes or in vintage grain sacks. It's a trend, but a beautiful trend.

Here is red in one of its most beautiful forms. I wish I had the name of the artist to credit, but I was young and irresponsible when I saved this painting to my files. Lesson learned!
To close this post, I'll finish with a list that I'll call "DesiRED."

1) The Red Astrid chair from Anthropologie:

2) Red flannel blanket. Imagine this paired with crisp white sheets. So simple, yet so lovely. (Source)

3) Anything from Burleigh's Red Calico Collection:

1 comment:

C. A. Farrell said...

Nice collection of red images. I love how subtle the red is in some of the photos.