The colour of passion, warning, appetite – red is perhaps the boldest colour of them all.
Bold, bright fiery red – it’s a colour many of us respond to and one which, despite its strength, many of us like. In decorating terms, it’s a colour of ultimate flexibility. Darken it for a moody, tribal atmosphere. Use it in blood tones for a touch of regal splendour. Use it pure and bright for fun, or in a retro scheme. Or soften it with a touch of white for a pinky red that becomes pretty and feminine.
Red is a colour often used as an accent in our homes. Few would be so bold as to paint the entire room red, although it’s a superb colour to use in a dining area and, as a deeper tone, in a study or den.
Used as a feature wall, it electrifies a scheme. And, of course, it’s still a current favourite for use as an accessory colour on vases, rugs or cushions.
For our settings on these pages, interiors stylist Liz Kerby has taken her lead from Neil Henson of Fashionbytes Australia, recently sponsored by Resene to present his research on worldwide trends that will drive future design. Among the key looks he identified are ‘au natural’, ‘some like it hot’ and ‘sherbet bomb’, interpreted here by Liz.
Neil advised that: “Whatever route we choose to take we must stand out from the bland. These economic times are not a time for playing safe – keep it simple and make a key single statement one of either refined elegance or energetic playfulness.”
Sounds like a job for red!
‘Au natural’ is grounded in natural finishes and organic textures, incorporating timber, bleached bone and pearly shell tones in a serene palette. Textures are a must in these calm and honest schemes. Beach or darker French country themes work well with the palette where pastels can be used as highlights, or bright accents introduced to make the look more sophisticated or playful.
Against a background of Resene Tall Poppy, try accents to match Resene Half Merino, Resene Mondo, Resene Stack, Resene Triple Putty and Resene Kombi. Still life painting, and small food dome with base, from Vintage. Sleeping flamingo, from Republic Home. Ceramic ruru, from Next Door Gallery. Orange resin swirl condiment bowl, from Crave.
‘Sherbet bomb’ is where soft brights remind us of lollies and pretty shades of icing pink, candied violets, sugared whites, citrus peel, enamel blue and glass green. The look is about fun and playfulness with bright pastels and white tones.
White shutters, garden chair, green cups and saucers, all from Vintage. Flowershow tumbers, and Flowershow plates, from Nest. Suzani cushion, and retro red doily, from Vujju. Large Illusion table, from Design Denmark.
‘Some like it hot’ is influenced by dramatic flower colours such as dahlias, poppies and roses, where tangerine and scarlet petals are set against the secret depths of the garden. Use pink and magenta, and the colours of the late summer sky as highlights. Great for retro looks like this.
Componibili black storage modules, from Kartell. White Relics Jam Jar, and Marie red tealight holders, from Nest. Lomography Fisheye II camera, from Superette. Large yellow Menu rubber vase, purple Ric tea towel, white Quattro Tangent radio, large red PEJ whisk, all from Design Denmark. Red retro magazine rack, from Fly By Night.
Stockists: Crave, www.cravehome.co.nz, 09 419 9535. Design Denmark, www.danishdesign.co.nz, 09 361 333. Fly By Night, www.flybynight.co.nz. Kartell, www.kartell.it, 09 522 7099. Nest, www.nest.co.nz, 09 355 6160. Next Door Gallery, www.nextdoorgallery.co.nz, 09 480 9289. Republic Home, www.republichome.com, 09 361 1137. Superette, www.superette.co.nz, 09 360 2360. Vintage, www.vintageantiques.co.nz, 09 480 4814. Vujju, 09 476 6888.
Styling: Liz Kerby
Pictures: Mark Heaslip
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