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Design Recipes: Red is a powerful accent color

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From ruby to rich burgundy, red is a powerful accent color when used purposefully in a space. One key design tip to remember is that it isn’t taboo to mix shades and tones of red. So where to begin? Here are some design recipes tips to help get you started.


–– DO utilize a technique called “color mapping”. This involves repeating the same or similar color, in this instance red, throughout a space.

–– DO mix different shades and tones of red in the same room.

–– DO use red as an accent color.

–– DO layer your color, by creating different “color opportunities” throughout a space.

–– DO infuse color in a space through the use of accessories such as artwork, toss pillows, blooms, and books.


–– DON’T overwhelm a space with too much color. Often, “less is more.”

–– DON’T forget that red can be blended in a space with foundation colors such as black, white and taupe.

–– DON’T overlook the opportunity to use bright shades of red in dark spaces, which often can serve to help “cheer up” a space.

–– DON’T miss small design opportunities to introduce a “pop of red” –– often small touches such as a single bloom or coffee-table book can make a powerful statement.

–– DON’T use color as an afterthought. Successful color schemes are often achieved through thought and planning.

Cathy Hobbs, based in New York City, is an Emmy Award-winning television host and a nationally known interior design and home staging expert with offices in New York City, Boston and Washington, D.C. Contact her at [email protected] <mailto:[email protected]> or visit her website at <>.

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