Open Thread: Where do you use the color red in your house?

Every month this year our collage-artist-laureate Mel Kolstad is creating a new assemblage that helps us to celebrate the houses that we’re in. (That’s a house pendant she also created – click on it to go to her shop.) An open thread to go with this month’s red-headed muse:  Do you use the color red in your house? Where is it working well? Tips for other readers?


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  1. Terri says

    Red leather couches in the rathskeller (blue/grey walls) that match my Cardinals seats from the old Busch Stadium. Line of b&W photos – with red frames.
    Breezeway has red checked overstuffed chair with matching pinch pleat valance.
    Livingroom has velvet panels on the sides of my very large front window.

    My old flat had a b&w tile kitchen with red counter – did Mickey Mouse accessories…beyond cute for a young working girl.

  2. Kristy says

    I have the red big chill fridge and dishwasher front. I have a vintage tappan range sitting in my dining room waiting to be put in my kitchen someday. I’ve thought about re-porcelaining the stove in red to match, but I might leave it white and just play up the red tappan accents. Love that typhoon bread box, I’m going to have to hunt up one of those in red now!

  3. perfectcircle says

    Hey perfect timing! I posted last August about my plans for a kitchen remodel and we are just now struggling with the flooring issue. We had planned on refinishing the fir but couldn’t salvage it, so now want to do a red Marmoleum. We worry that it will clash with our red Formica dinette set, and that it will be too strong with an otherwise white kitchen. After seeing examples of rooms like this, I think we can pull it off. Also, Maria, your kitchen is amazing! and gives me courage to go for it.

    Here are progress links if you’re interested:

  4. The Jenny says

    Where isn’t the red? Dark red in the dining room walls. Red towels and rugs in the dark gray bathroom. Cherry red Congoleum studded rubber tile flooring in kitchen, hall, and utility room. Red accents in the kitchen, until we can remodel — then hopefully red lower cabinets. Red in the pattern on the semi-circular sofa, and a circular red rug underneath. Red is used so much in our house, I swear it reads as a neutral!

  5. genjenn says

    I tried red walls in our dining area. Oh, how I tried to love it. Then came the migranes. I needed to accept the truth; I’m a neutrals/ greys, browns, camels, cremes and taupes kind of girl. Now, there’s one bright red lamp shade in the guest bedroom. It’s perfectly unexpected, and I think, pretty fabulous.

  6. Neil says

    In my kitchen remodel I used a turquoise Marmoleum with a red and yellow inlaid accent design for the flooring. I used the same yellow Marmoleum for the countertops, edged in stainless steel. I love the vibrant colors of the Marmoleum and the feel of it. Easy to maintain as well. I highly suggest it for renovators!

  7. says

    We recently did a small renovation on our 1922 kitchen – it was in need of serious love after we bought the house, but we didn’t want to do a full remodel. So, as part of restoring the vintage look, I copied the color scheme from a 1946 Hotpoint kitchen ad – butter yellow, mint green, and cranberry red. The red really acts as more of an accent, and I was told by several “design” friends that I was crazy before we did it (I painted the countertop and the backsplash red) – and afterwards, they all apologized. The results were stunning. It’s funny sometimes how paint can make more change than anything else – we probably get more comments on how “cool” the kitchen is more than anything else in the house. A few other red accents pull the color through – and then we painted the dining room walls to return them to their original cranberry red (it’s got dark wood trim and lots of windows, so the dark color on the walls worked well) – and followed the red accents into the other room adjoining the kitchen – the TV room, so that the eye carries the effects of the red through the space. I was nervous doing it – and now, I wouldn’t change it for anything.

  8. Retro Junkie says

    I love red. I painted my kitchen lower cabinets a very cherry red and the upper ones white. The counters are white ceramic tile. I have wall paper with both colors, I took the wallpaper with me to the paint store and they matched the paint to the paper. Then the kitchen runs into the dining room and living room which I painted a soft aqua. When I was planning this I would get strange looks from people listening, but now that they have seen it they are amazed at how good it looks! I love it!!!

  9. SaraTinkelman says

    I’ve been carefully amassing a collection of the now-defunct Descoware enameled cast iron cookware. Made in Belgium during the post-war era through the 1970’s (when it was acquired by Le Creuset), this was the gourmet’s wedding gift par excellence. The most popular color, and my own favorite as well, was called Flame, a rich firey red that never fails to cheer me whenever I stroll through my tiny 1952 kitchen. Beyond the window valence I plan to make, the only decoration my kitchen needs (or has room for) are my Descoware pieces. They fill the room with life and help to compensate for the lilliputian work space I must learn to appreciate. Vibrant, lovely stuff!

  10. says

    Red is the new neutral! Goes with everything: black, turquoise, yellow, green, orange, hot pink, grey, you name it!
    how I use it:
    1. Lipstick Red Glossy painted front doors

    2. Red, navy, yellow and black Calder prints

    3. My fake croc Red Guess purse with jeans & sparkly Dorothy red flip flops

    4. Red toenail polish with super shiny overcoat of course

    5. Red fleece throw on my black leather sofas

    6. Brilliant Marilyn Monroe red with turquoise, everywhere, anytime! Most wake up your eyes combo available. Happy.

    7. a favorite Benjamin Moore paint combo with RED:
    Million Dollar Red (2003-10)
    Old Pickup Blue (2054-50)
    Spring Dust (2150-40)

    8. ‘Red Rocket’ Crape Myrtles in a row behind my turquoise iridescent every changing glass tiled pool wall

    9. Red knobs on my Wolf range

    10. Red plastic outdoor IKEA Urban chairs outside! Gorgeous, simple, retro. (really more like a deep orange-can’t get them anymore. So sad.)

    11. Shiny red IKEA locker shelf in a kid’s room.

    12. Red Ocean Spray Cranberry Juice Cocktail juice, every day! Addicted to it. Must have.

    13. Red raspberries, frozen, with powdered sugar. For dinner.

    14. My watercolor still life with RED tomatoes and purple eggplant.

    15. Red = fame/reputation in Feng Shui and should be featured in the center rear of your home, relative to the front entry door.

  11. Kevin says

    So, my 1957 Miami International style condo (11th floor–top) in Springfield Illinois has been decked out in browns and turquoise…and yes, RED is a major accent color…rug tiles, pillows, accent pieces etc. I formerly owned a bright red sofa, but have moved on to a more neutral mid-century styled one.

    Red is my favorite color actually and it goes SO well with turq/brown combo…at least it does in my opinion.

  12. bepsf says

    I painted the walls of my kitchen RL Rodeo Red 10 years ago – Loved it ever since – so the teapot and a few other kitchen accessories/tools are red.
    It’s time to repaint and I’m thinking of BM’s Vermillion…

    Oh, and I also have a monumental and fairly rare coral red 1960’s Bitossi lamp in my blue bedroom…
    …and the wing chair in the den which is upholstered in a Black Watch plaid has bright red welts!

  13. judy h. says

    The front door of our brick 1950 raised ranch is painted red. That’s it. I think since I’m not a red lover and red is one of the colors that the worst on me, I just haven’t been able to embrace it in decorating.
    Now then, our last home a 1952 ranch had a cool yellow and black tiled bathroom. On a whim, I accessorized that bathroom with cherry red window shade, towels and rugs. I hung vintage bath prints of the wall and put them in skinny cherry red frames.
    I remembering agonizing over what to do with that bathroom and red seemed to be the only thing that would work.

  14. Karen says

    I like red, and in my kitchen redo which is soon to happen, I will use a red stencil design on my walls for the back splash and paint another wall red by the stove. I am putting up a big framed poster of a cambell’s soup can on the wall as well. I have a red electric teapot and silicone potholders. I plan on sewing some cloth potholders in red and black. I will be painting my pantry door red, and the backyard door as well. There are six doors/doorways in my kitchen. I really need a grand central station sign in there!

  15. Joann Leonard says

    The front door, of course! Throw cushions, I’m just making some in Luna Doodad pattern, color, Scorch..sort of a burnt orangey red.

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