Pops Of Red Are Having A Moment, Here's How To Make It Work!

For as long as we can remember, red has been a polarising colour, that most tend to avoid in interiors.

Bright and impossible to ignore, this eye-catching hue was central to the Bauhaus basic palette, and equally popular in mid-century modern designs.

Where it lost favour, was in the ’80s and ’90s, where it found its way into glossy black and white kitchens, or where it became too prolifically used in one space.

Below, we show you how to use small ‘pops’ of red in your home to instantly enliven any space — with a few top picks from The Directory!

Bea Taylor

‘Classic beiges and caramels become more spirited with a small dose of red.’

- Juliette Arent, Principal Arent&Pyke

Soft Serve by YSG. Hex Side Table in red glass from Spence & Lyda. Wrought iron sculpture from Spence & Lyda. Photo – Prue Ruscoe

Home of Monique and Scott Woodward. Dulux White Polar Quarter wall paint. Shutters from In Vogue Blinds. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Editorial styling – Annie Portelli

Bea Taylor
20th of June 2024

Red is not the interior world’s favourite colour, or at least it wasn’t until recently. As with most trends, we can trace this latest one back to the runways — where a mere drop of this dramatic hue is being seen on the stylish majority.

The lesson here, for interiors, is that red doesn’t need to be applied widely in order to capture our attention, rather, a ‘pop’ of it is enough to immediately elevate a space — a la the ‘unexpected red theory’, as coined on TikTok.

And let’s be clear, we’re talking about bright, fire engine and cherry red, not rust.

‘It’s all about selecting the right tone of red for the space,’ explains Juliette Arent, Principal Arent&Pyke. ‘When deep in tone, it adds richness and drama. When brighter in tone, and used sparingly, it becomes more playful and can provide a focal point for hero pieces or accents.’

This hot hue pairs best with its complementary colours — blues and greens. In the moodboard above, we’ve paired the deep blue of Cult’s Colour cabinet and lighter greens and yellows in the artwork by Jennifer Tarry to complement the ‘pops’ of red from the No.18 Thonet dining chair, the Saliscendi pendant from Lights Lights Lights, and Cult’s Setago table lamp, remember, with red, a little goes a long way!

To balance out these primary hues, we’ve created a base of soft, natural materials and textural finishes including; Laminex Elegant Oak, Armadillo’s hand-knotted jute Acacia rug, the Akari paper pendant from In Good Company and a stone Ivy coffee table from Grazia & Co.

Juliette explains ‘classic beiges and caramels become more spirited with a small dose of red.’

The big ticket items in the moodboard — the couch and the dining table — also feature neutral hues, to ground the space, giving breathing room to the small pops of red, which are ultimately the heroes of the space!

Additional moodboard credits: (From left) ‘Garranali 365-23′ by Wulu Marawili, from Brunswick Street Gallery. Basketweave cushion cover, Amano cushion cover and Colour Study No.2 cushion cover, from Citta. ‘Shimmering Heat‘ by Jennifer Tarry and ‘Western Landscape‘ by Claudio Kirac, from Brunswick Street Gallery. 

Want to see more? Visit The Design Directory to discover our top picks in flooring, furniture, lighting and more!

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