Nailing a beautiful red room can be tricky, but once you get it right you can pack such a big punch. Whether in the kitchen or the bedroom, red can be an incredibly chic and powerful color. That said, not all red shades are created equal, and it’s important to find the right one to energize and rejuvenate your space.
- Color Family: Red
- Complementary Colors: Neutrals, yellow, green
- Pairs Well With: Warm white, beige, orange, brown
- Mood: Energetic and vibrant
- Where to Use: Kitchens, living rooms, bedrooms and bathrooms
On top of finding the right shade of red, it’s important to realize that not every color goes with red, so do some research before you create your dream color palette.
To help you narrow down the right color, we asked designers to share their favorite shade of red paint. From the bathroom to the living room, here are 10 wonderful designer-approved red paints to transform your home.
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“This warm, terra cotta-like color feels very appropriate to a home in the mountains of Colorado,” she says. “We love how it pops against the black and white graphic wallpaper.”
This medium red is perfect for accent pieces and walls, and it gives off a lovely vintage feel.
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If a bolder red like Flower Pot is too intense for you, consider toning it down with a subtler shade such as Behr Glazed Pot. Designer Julia Alexander loves this color because it’s a great way to bring in color in a more minimalist way.
“Try earthy red tones, which are still incredibly popular and a great way of doing a more muted version of red if neutrals are more your thing,” she says.
A muted, earthy shade is a great choice for an accent wall, especially one with a design such as an arch or stripes.
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Sherwin Williams Foxy is a red that’s not for the shy home decorator, but it can totally transform a room when used well. Natalie Papier owner and designer of Home Ec used this rich color to update a bathroom.
“This windowless bathroom had such beautiful individual components, but the space was lacking in warmth without the right wall paint,” she says. “This color was the perfect balance to the cool palette of the tile and fixtures while still bringing a cohesive balance to the room.”
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“Unlike many reds, it’s easy to incorporate into a room because pairs well with other earthy tones—dusty blues, olive greens, deep browns, soft golden yellows.”
Alexander notes that not all red hues are good for a bedroom as they can be too lively. Instead, she suggests focusing on muted reds with warm and relaxing undertones.
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“It has unique and warm undertones that can adapt to any design environment you create, from modern to traditional,” Berwick says.
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Jillian R. Wiedenmayer of Studio Den Den recommends Sherwin Williams Coral Bells for the bedroom. “This color is vibrant and playful, with a hint of warm earth tones,” she says. “It looks great next to natural textures like terra cotta and medium-toned woods, and you can pair it with a burnt yellow for a bold, worldly interior.”
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Red is one of those shades that can look modern or classic, depending on the setting. For a red with a more vintage look and feel, consider Farrow & Ball Radicchio. Wiedenmayer calls this shade a more muted red, which is what makes it so timeless and versatile.
“It’s one of the few reds that consistently looks great with both black and brass accents,” she says.
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“Eating Room has black undertones which feel more sophisticated than other brighter or bolder reds,” she says. This hue is perfect for cooler, bright rooms that need a warm, deep red to give it gravity and depth.
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“Unlike a true red, the brown undertones give the paint color a lot of depth so it reads more like an orange-red,” she says. “It looks beautiful paired with the yellow outdoor lamp counterpart.”
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Andrew Bowen, partner and head of staging for ASH NYC, is a big fan of Suntan Bronze by Benjamin Moore. “This color is a stunning example of one that feels both historic and contemporary at the same time,” he says. “It lends a certain gravitas to the molding upon which it is applied while allowing rich variation and depth on the flat surface of the walls as well.”