Few paint colors intimidate homeowners like red does. Let’s take a fresh look at this bold hue to see if it might fit into your décor.
Where Does Red Paint Work?
This color family stimulates, which makes it an excellent choice for the kitchen and dining room, where you want appetites to increase and conversation to spark. It also can work in other areas of your home.
For example, if you use your living room as a family center or regularly entertain, a red accent wall provides stimulation but does not overwhelm. The same goes for the bedroom. Simply balance the strong color with neutrals on trim and other walls, and use muted lighting at night to allow your brain a break.
Red also suits smaller areas, including entryways and bathrooms. Just imagine the statement you make by greeting your guests with red walls.
The key to incorporating red into your color scheme is to choose the amount that works best for you. If you don’t see painting the walls or a room red, or even just one wall, considering adding it as an accent, such as to built-in bookshelf backs or stair risers.
Families of Red
You also must choose the right red for your comfort level and taste. Within the red color family are a wide range of hues. For example, one red might find inspiration from the rose, while another from the lighter azalea. The former would make an excellent color for the dining room, while the latter would suit a bedroom better. Reds veering more toward purple or more toward orange also set different tones. Choose the hues that draw you in while keeping the room in mind.
Red's Complementary Colors
Blue, red, and yellow are the primary colors on a color wheel, with the secondary colors of green, orange and purple a result of mixing those colors. Yellow-orange, red-orange, red-purple, blue-purple, blue-green and yellow-green come from mixing a primary and secondary color to create a tertiary color.
Knowing the primary, secondary, and tertiary colors helps you use color theory when choosing colors that best complement one another. A complementary color of blue, red or yellow is the color made by mixing the other two. That makes green the complementary color for red, with the two working together to create a brighter, more intense appearance. For a more subdued approach, use neutral colors to offset the intensity.
Popular Red Colors
Benjamin Moore offers the option to see colors by popularity on its website. Popular reds of the moment include the true Red, which resembles a tomato, as well as the perfectly named Boston Brick. Fruited Plains is a pinky hue, with Hodley Red almost a mauve. Spanish Red, Caliente, Dinner Party, Fox Run, Townsend Harbor Brown, and Frosted Rose round out the top 10 bestsellers.
Behr also shows its colors by popularity and family. Bestselling reds are California Poppy, Morocco Red, Awning Red, Antique Red, Wine Tasting, Spiced Wine, CinnamonCherry, Forbidden Red, Dare Devil, Shangri La, Lipstick, Chili Pepper, Red Pepper, Classic Cherry, Rose Marquis, Farmhouse Red, Springtime Bloom, Bold Brick, Chipotle Paste, and Spring Nothing.
Each of these paint companies also suggest colors to complement the reds, helping you get their expert advice when creating a palette for your home. You can also ask your professional painter for guidance, and be sure to have him or her apply samples before moving forward with a color from this bold family. Because red is such a bold color family, you want to be sure before applying to an entire room.