focal point

Attractive use of red in interior design

How to Decorate with Red (and What to Avoid)

The color red mixes well with almost any color scheme, but how do you decorate with red without going overboard? Here are five quick and easy ways to add red to your home based on the kind of style you’re considering, followed by some thoughts on what to try to avoid.

Most of us don’t wear red from head-to-toe on a daily basis, so why do this to your walls? Consider how you wear red and translate your wardrobe to your room. While red is the color of passion if you’re too passionate about the color you may be seeing red (literally) in your home. Red can go everywhere from cheery and happy to angry and aggressive. You don’t want to overdo it and, conversely, you don’t want to be wimpy with it either.

Red art, red sofa in living room

Red works very well as an accent color in everything from lighting and candles to pillows and walls. Accents of red can be used to draw your eye to other areas of the room that might ordinarily be overlooked. Entice, intrigue and invite with red – it’s an excellent vehicle for that.

red side tables jazz up turquoise interior

Consider adding a single piece of red artwork to your space. When it comes to red, less is often more. Red also goes a long way to adding drama and eye-catching appeal (like a high-gloss red front door.

Inviting red front door

When considering the shade of red to use as a focal point, look to your decorating style and your house’s architecture. Red should be well-thought-out, as well as the shade itself.

Choose Your Style to Find the Right Reds to Decorate with

Contemporary Design incorporates neutral elements with pops of bold color, often red.
On the door: Bold, bright red
Inside: Bright red shades in a pillow, rug, or throw

Modern Design calls for all kinds of reds: from primary hues to classic shades with burgundy or brown undertones.
On the door: Any red you love that makes a statement.
Inside: Consider injecting red through a painting or piece of art.

Traditional Design stays away from primary reds and instead involves burgundy or black tones.
On the door: A deep, rich red
Inside: Decorate with Oriental rugs injected with darker reds.

Deep shades of red in traditional living area

Transitional Design relies on a neutral palette, a perfect canvas for pops of red.
On the door: Match this red to hues you use inside the home, or skip the red door entirely to keep a more neutral (transitional) theme.
Inside: Choose a softer and more indirect approach like a red lamp or piece of art.

Country Reds are chalkier and softer: Think barn or scarlet reds. Choose reds with pinkish and purplish hues, like the color of a ripening apple.
On the door: Barn red
Inside: Accessorize with country reds in knickknacks and fabrics.

Here are a few beautiful examples of red used selectively so as to not overpower a room:

Subtle use of red in patterns and prints

Red chairs that make a room sing!

Use red to tie everything together – luxuriously.

Some Style “Don’ts” to Decorate with Red

Remember, red is a tricky color to decorate with. Along with many attractive and eye-catching effects when decorating with red, there are definitely ways you can go wrong with this pop of color. Here are a few “don’ts” for you to consider, and remember, nothing is sacred, so go where your (red) heart moves you! (the pictures aren’t examples of what’s “bad”, but they may move your red needle in one direction or the other, too much or too little)

Don’t Stick with One Shade

Red art, chair and in a rug, in a modern setting.
A common misconception is that you must stick with one particular shade of a color when choosing a color scheme for your room. You want to avoid this even with muted colors like grays, blues, and whites, but you especially want to steer clear of this when you are incorporating red into your home’s interior. Using only the same shade of red or any color in one space that you are designing will become overstimulating (and overused) quite quickly. When looking to decorate with red consider a variety of shades, from softer choices to more flamboyant options. Using several shades will give your room a sense of depth and variety, which won’t make your space visually overwhelming.

Don’t Overdo or Over-Emphasize

For some, this may be too much red.
As I’ve indicated, designing and decorating with the color red is a constant balancing act between using too little and using too much. You can start by asking yourself one of two questions: Do I have enough red? Or do I have too much? If you find yourself asking the latter, you’ll want to take a step back and identify where you are over-emphasizing the red. If you feel that sense of being overwhelmed and your walls are not yet red, a way to pull things back is painting the room’s walls in earth tones or dark browns. The earthy shades will help ground any red in the room and also provide a viable contrast.

Don’t Retreat into Minimalism

Beautiful red cabinet, with red accents and in the art, adding dramatic boldness to the space.
Adding pops of color to an interior styled in a very minimalistic sense usually will add some good visual contrast. However, when you decide to decorate with red decor or red paint, you are probably not thinking “minimal” in your approach in general. Red room designs will be very visually dramatic. Golds, mirrored items, and bold window treatments will complement the drama found in the shades of red you’ve decided on throughout a room. Red shines in styles that are typically over-the-top, glamorous, and chic. For more drama, use over-the-top red-accented decor to play up a room’s bold display, and you’ll likely create a daring space in your home.

Don’t Be Too Timid

A red Oriental rug with other touches of red in accents can nicely "set" a room.
Just like sticking with one shade, using one piece of red-accented decor won’t add much more than a slight pop of color to an area. You can be as bold as the color red itself. Red stimulates attraction and appetites, so why not integrate red into your kitchen and dining rooms? When decorating your home’s interior with any red decor or paint you need to be open to taking a risk and be confident in your choices. If you aren’t ready to commit to painting, several red (remember, different shades) decorative accessories may have the same effect. Red room designs often come across as warm, inviting, and dramatic. So don’t be afraid and know that the thing to master when using red is to find the middle ground between beauty and function.

Once you’ve made the decision to decorate with red and incorporate multiple shades, try to be bold, dramatic, and confident in styling your interior. Take your time, find your own middle ground, and if you feel you’re over-emphasizing the color, dial it back, but still accessorize more than what minimalistic styles call for. When decorating with red, remember to design a space you’ll love living in!

I’d love to know your thoughts on decorating with red, especially some of the styles shown here! Is your home currently decorated with red in one form or another? Do you feel it needs some help? I can show you how to pull it all together, or we can start from scratch, of course. Just message me here, right below this blog post or at the “contact” link, or you can email me at: carmen@sohointeriordesign.com And, of course, you can call me anytime at: (407) 947-7718.

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Cozy up with orange - living room accents

Cozy Up with Orange!

Orange is a contemporary, fun and warm color, but it can be tricky to decorate with. No worries, here are some sweet ideas to inspire you in decorating with orange! With my help, you’ll soon be an expert on how to decorate with orange to add some contemporary flair and warmth to a room.

So, how to get started decorating with orange? First of all, you don’t have to spend a fortune or redo your house to add orange. The color works beautifully with earth tones and neutrals such as taupes, beiges, and grey. It is such a vibrant and eye-catching tone that a little can go a long way. And because of that, you don’t have to commit to a lot of orange to make things work nicely, just choose a few elements instead, starting with some of the ideas below.

Let’s Start with Your Front Door

Painting your front door orange expresses positivity to your neighborhood and draws people to your home! Its festive warmth is very inviting!

Decorating with Orange in the Kitchen Area

Look how fun this is!  Orange pendant lamps add a cheerful vibe to a transitional open kitchen space.

Living Area Space

A well-balanced variety of orange home accents includes wall art, throw pillows, an area rug, and porcelain vases.

Dining Space

Orange leather dining chairs are carried forward into the large vertical artwork that adds height to the dining room.

Dining Space (part two)

How about adding a burnt orange rug under a dining table to make a subtler statement.

Bathroom

Now, this is fun (and stylish)! Whimsical ocean-inspired wallpaper is enhanced with s few bright orange elements on the vanity to help draw attention to the orange fish.

Decorating with Orange in the Bedroom Space

Paint the interior of an alcove in a bold, vibrant orange for a fresh, modern look. The color is repeated in a lovely mix of fabrics that support each other but don’t overwhelm.

Autumnal Orange Palette

Here is a nice paint palette I selected if you choose to use it as a starting point. You may not see a lot of color differentiation between these colors, but lighting (natural and artificial) can make a huge difference in selecting the right color for the right mood; finish makes a big difference too. Talk to me. I can help guide you to the perfect palette for your specific space. Just reply to this email.

Let me know your thoughts about working orange into your holiday decorating – as well as your general decor, I’d love to hear what you think. It’s a great color to start with and works beautifully with very muted complementary, analogous colors and warm creams, grays, and beiges – or even greiges (it’s exactly what you’re thinking it is; the ratio of beige to gray in your greige determines whether it is a cool or warm neutral).

If you would like ideas for decorating with orange (or adding in just the right touch of this fun color) in your home or office space, let me know. It all depends on your taste for orange in general, but it’s a delightful color to add some pizazz to your decor this Fall – or any – season. I’d love to hear from you, just click the contact link on this website and message me here, or you can email me at: carmen@sohointeriordesign.com And, of course, you can call me anytime at: (407) 947-7718.
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classic round mirror in dining room

Decorating with Mirrors!

Mirrors Reflect Your Image

mirror at entryway

The most common reason to have a mirror is to view your own reflection, of course. But while you most certainly have mirrors in each of your bathrooms, and perhaps your bedroom too—you may not have thought to put a mirror in an entryway, mudroom or hallway! In these spaces, they’re perfect for last-minute checks of your appearance before heading out the door. Decorating with mirrors can really open up a room or space, and bring extra light into places that could use it.

You’ll be surprised how much you use and appreciate a mirror when placed, as this one is, near a set of hooks, a shelf or console where you can stash other items you may need to freshen up. Or, so you can easily grab your necessities on your way out the door.

This stylish idea has a convenience factor that’s hard to beat, and luckily it’s easy to find mirrors that are beautiful enough for even the grandest of entries. Let’s look at a variety of ways decorating with mirrors can enhance style and functionality in your rooms.

Mirrors Reflect Light

mirror reflecting outside light into a room

Here’s a real “mirror no-no” when it comes to design: Try not to place your mirrors on walls that reflect other walls, or your TV setup, or even worse, just the ceiling (what?!). It really doesn’t do much for your space.

Instead, opt for art on these walls (and don’t angle anything towards the ceiling) and place your mirror where it can catch the light from a window or the rest of a nice, open room, instead.

Dark rooms, or dens without windows, would especially benefit from a mirror. They help bounce natural light around the room, even if it’s coming from a lamp or a ceiling light. For extra sparkle at night, consider placing candles or lamps in front of a mirror that hangs above a console table or buffet for a truly glowy atmosphere.

Mirrors Reflect Space

large mirror making a room feel larger

Just as mirrors can give the illusion of more light, they can also make a room feel larger than it really is, which is great when you’re living in a small home or apartment. When hung low or when propped against a wall, large mirrors, in particular, give the illusion of more space.

Mirrors in tight spaces and small rooms are great, as they can reflect a larger area, even extending into adjacent rooms. Although it is true that larger mirrors come with heftier price tags, they also take up lots of wall space, which can be a benefit if your room is art-challenged. (And it will cost less than framing tons of smaller pieces.)

The sense of depth that mirrors lend to small spaces may be worth the higher price. And, consider turning lots of smaller, inexpensive mirrors into a larger singular installation.

6 small inexpensive mirrors grouped as one large mirror

Mirrors Reflect Your Style

stylish mirrored wall art

As I’ve discussed so far, mirrors can serve a lot of important purposes beyond just looking pretty and helping make sure you look good, too. They are also useful accessories to choose for small or dark spaces because they give the illusion of more space and light—both of which are also good things.

In addition to these practical purposes, the sheer variety of mirror styles, colors and shapes available these days make it fun to choose one (or more) for your space. Sometimes, you don’t need a mirror, you just want one. Maybe, it would make a great accent in your room, or you found it at a flea market and couldn’t say no, or the color of the frame just spoke to you.

A driftwood mirror is perfect for a coastal space, while no mid-century modern home would be complete without a starburst mirror. Mirrors can have rustic wood finishes, mosaic tile borders, lacquered baroque frames, gilded leaves, leather with nailhead trim, and even fur or cowhide frames.

Here Are Some Tips on Decorating with Mirrors

luxurious round mirror makes bedroom sparkle

Mirrors are great for so many reasons—they reflect light, they open up spaces, and they just make rooms look better in general. But before you start hanging them left, right, and center there are some things to keep in mind. Here are a few tips on how to decorate with mirrors.

Consider the Reflection

As I indicated earlier, before you hang a mirror take into account what is across from it. While we often hang mirrors based on available wall space, it’s important to think about what will be reflected in it. When hung opposite an important architectural element, painting, or piece of furniture it will give that item even more importance—as it will if hung across from something unattractive. Also, whenever possible hang a mirror across from a window. It will significantly increase the amount of light in the room.

Placement Matters when Decorating with Mirrors

Aside from placing it across from something visually appealing, a mirror should always be hung at the appropriate height for the space. Unlike art which should always be hung at eye level, mirror placement will depend on what you want to be reflected. Eye-level works in many cases, but higher or lower can work better, depending on the situation.

Think Big with Mirrors

Don’t be afraid to use a large mirror in a small space. Mirrors create the illusion of depth and space so they can really help make a small room feel bigger. A full-length mirror leaning against the wall is a great decorative element to use in a tiny room. Mirrors are also great for narrow spots such as hallways. And a mirror wall can completely open up a room!

Decorating with Mirrors can Create a Focal Point

Mirrors make great focal points. It’s why they are so often placed above mantels and dining room buffets. Hang sconces on either side and you’ve got the perfect focal point in any room.

Don’t Forget About Style

Mirrors can be modern, traditional, edgy, classic—pretty much anything. It all depends on the frame. Consider what effect you want to create when choosing a mirror in a frame. A beautiful Chinoiserie mirror will have a far different effect on a room than a simple wood frame. There’s also the mirror itself, smoky glass and antique mirrors with imperfections can be very moody and greatly contribute to the look of a space.

Hang Mirrors Properly

A small nail hammered into the wall won’t cut it. Use proper wall hooks or picture hangers and be sure to use two (one at either end). This will ensure the mirror is held flat to the wall. A wire hung on a single hook is not only dangerous but it can cause the mirror to rest against the wall at an angle, distorting the reflection. If the mirror is very heavy, have it hung by professionals.

Use Several Mirrors at Once

Don’t be afraid to create a gallery wall with mirrors. Like with any photo wall, treat them as one unit when deciding on placement. That said, a mirrored gallery wall will look best in a room with little clutter. All of the frames can be visually busy—add that to a small, cluttered room and it could be too much.

About Mirrored Furniture

Mirrored furniture has gone through a few periods of popularity. While it can be great for reflecting light and elongating walls, don’t use it in a room that has a lot going on. The extra reflections will just be too much.

Everybody loves mirrors, for a variety of reasons, but using mirrors properly can be a bit tricky. What they say about real estate applies here too: location, location, location (and laying flat against the wall). Spoiler alert: the key takeaway is to always consider what is being reflected in a mirror, and that will dictate where it’s hung. I hope you like these tips about decorating with mirrors! Let me know what you think! If you’d like me to consult for finding your perfect mirror(s) and that perfect location, I’m always here to help! I’d love to hear from you, just click the contact link on this website and message me here, or you can email me at: carmen@sohointeriordesign.com And, of course, you can call me anytime at: (407) 947-7718.

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