Friday, 25 April 2014

Red shades pulling me down

After yesterday's dose of indigo textiles I woke up this morning finding myself drawn to red shades (I almost went through all the indigo and navy blue photos I have in my files and magazines!). Maybe I overdosed on the ethereal qualities of the blues and needed the warmth of reds to pull me down.

Lately I have been reading Laura Ashley - the Colour Book: Using Colour to Decorate Your Home, which was published back in 1995. It came to me unexpectedly. The mother of one of my son's friends brought me a bag of books. I hadn't even asked her if I could borrow any, we were just talking and the next thing I knew she had pulled some books from her shelves and brought them to me. The decorating style in the book is different from my personal style, but the information on decorating with colours is valid and I find it very inspirational.

I'm not someone who has decorated much with red. Maybe it's the dominant quality of the colour that has held me back. However, I'm always drawn to earthy reds, to the spicy reds of India and the terracotta of Italy. That top photo, which is part of a Moroccan styling by West Elm, represents these shades very well (here is another shot that shows the contrast of neutrals).

If I were to decorate with reds, for example in our living room, I think I would choose a cushion with a hint of red and a neutral colour for balance, for example this Hilltribe Pink/Red from John Robshaw Textiles. Of all the pillows in their souk section, this was the one which immediately drew my attention. I'm picturing it on our stone grey sofa with other patterned cushions in perhaps burnt orange mixed with neutrals. I doubt I would choose any red vases or bowls, I would rather choose an artwork or a rug with a hint of red.

If you are scared of using red then simply use flowers to bring some red into your home every now and then. It adds a little passion, just for a few days until the flowers start to fade.

Have a wonderful weekend!

photo credit:
1: West Elm styling via Lotus & Fig / 2: John Robshaw Textiles / 3: Jeroen van der Spek | stylist Cleo Scheulderman


  1. Now that you mention it, I realize that the only red item of decor I have in my home is a red cushion. I bought it a while ago to add an accent of colour to our neutral toned living-room, but since then I've been moving it from room to room and I still haven't found the best spot for it. I'm beginning to think that it just might not be the right shade of red - in fact, I'm certain that this is the problem. I spotted red peonies at a flower shop on my way home today, and I think they would be perfect in any part of our home (although I prefer the white and pink ones).

    1. If it's a solid red cushion it can be demanding for the eye. But don't give up on it yet, maybe try adding another patterned one with a lighter tint of red for balance. Red is a beautiful colour for decorating but getting it right can be a bit tricky!

  2. I love a hint of deep red and use it in our home to compliment the neutral tones. It works so well to add warmth and colour, it really is my favourite after trying many other combinations.
    I have many of the old Laura Ashley catalogues, some from 30 years back!
    Have a lovely weekend Lisa.

  3. this is a lovely article. i prefer to wear red and decorate with deeper pinks, but red is my mother's favorite color bar none. thanks for the linkback.


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