Designer Decorating With Red

Known to stimulate appetite and conversation, red is most often used in dining rooms. But red can work well in just about any room design. From classic to cutting-edge, here's how four top designers re-imagine the paint color.

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Hide CaptionShow CaptionAlthough this apartment is small and the entryway tiny, designer John Loecke decided to go bold in color and pattern, and papered the walls with a red chinoiserie pattern from Pierre Deux.

All About

"I fell in love with the paper and decided that I wanted to use it in the apartment," says designer John Loecke. "The pattern was a nice fit with the homeowners' collection of 19th-century engravings of Chinese scenes."

The foyer became the natural place for the paper, says Loecke. "This area was all white and thus rather unwelcoming," he says. "The red gives the foyer a warm, welcoming feel. That's what red does for a space. It's inviting, puts you at ease and makes you want to come in."

To make you want to stay, Loecke carried the color from the foyer as an accent throughout the space. "The red notes throughout the rest of the apartment are a nice accent to the more neutral grays and blacks," he says.

Because red is such a powerful color, says Loecke, it can overwhelm a space. "I tend to use it en masse in smaller spaces, like foyers or powder rooms where you aren't spending a great deal of time," he says. "Rooms that you want to feel warm and inviting. Red will always create that warmth."

Photo by Wendell Webber