The Color Red, A Misconception And How To Work With It


A preamble

It’s very difficult for me to start this post.

Two days ago, my dearest closest friend, Elaine passed away after a 17 month run-in with effing lung cancer. And NO, she NEVER smoked.

She was the nicest, kindest most giving, loving and generous person I have ever known…

She never read my blog [not personal, just not her thing] but she supported me steadfastly in everything I did.

My heart is full of gratitude and love and crushed beyond repair. But in time, I know it will heal; it always does.
Speaking of hearts— well… it’s February and we all know what that means…

Flowers, hearts, love and



 This will be a post in two parts. The color of the month is red! This post will show ways to use the color red in decorating and the next one will be further examination along with 10 or so wonderful shades of the color for you to try out!
The Color red is tricky and it’s one reason why people sometimes avoid it.
One misconception about red is that it’ll make you more hyper and nuts. Sure, any color will if it’s in its brightest chromatic value. In plain English. A super-duper eye-popping bright color!
However, I have found red to actually be a rather soothing color.
The Color Red is:
Photographer: Peter Smith

Buckingham Palace

Red is also modern

Maria Kowroski Adrian Danchig-Waring- wearing-the-color-red
Maria Kowroski and Adrian Danchig-Waring of the New York City Ballet. I just saw Maria the other night in Concerto Barocco and she was beyond magnificent. If you’re in NY and you like ballet, go see her. I had a great seat and it was only $60 at Lincoln Center!
A dramatic piece of art is a show-stopper in this living room. Is that a Sharpe taking a nap on the floor? ;]
102110362_wTraditional Home
cool red vanity is fresh and fun; love the bone inlay mirror!


betsy-burnham-lonnyBetsy Burnham

Wonderful red accents and a sage-green will not look like Christmas, especially with lots of black and white

The color red loves white and black
and it loves itself too. ;]
Analogous shades of red– Dr. [Hubba-Handsuuuuum] Pozzi by John Singer-Sargent
Red makes a great back drop for art and mirrors and books
Some Dos and Don’ts when decorating with the color red
  • Do not leave large expanses of a red wall.
  • In most cases, painting one wall as an accent red wall is going to look dumb. Don’t woos out on me! Either paint the entire room red or paint it something else!
  • Don’t make the entire room only red and green unless you want it to look like year-round Christmas. To avoid this, add in a lot of white and chartreuse and a touch of blue
  • Do think twice about ordering an entire kitchen with red cabinets. This is a very difficult look to pull off.
However, one accent cabinet in a country kitchen could be very cool
Consider the ceiling.
Sorry, no photos of the ceiling but I’ll try for the next post
I adore this dining room with the grisaille wallpaper!

joe-nye-flair-dining-roomJoe Nye

Stunning is right!

foyer-interiors-eclectic-entry-inspiration-decoration-ideas-color-redBryant Keller for the Kips Bay Showhouse

Scalamandre’s iconic zebra wallpaper.

and with that, I must get on my horse for an appointment.




  • Deb - March 26, 2015 - 11:22 AM

    Just found your blog in my search for red so I want to offer my condolences on the recent loss of your friend. Also love that red painted vanity you shared! I look forward to receiving future posts.ReplyCancel

  • Autumn Leopold - February 10, 2015 - 6:28 PM

    Beautiful post for a beautiful friend I am sure. I am glad her pain is over and I wish you peace and love my friend!ReplyCancel

  • Diane Stewart - February 9, 2015 - 3:23 PM

    Add me to the list of people who are sorry about the loss of your friend. Grief is the sort of thing that’s different for everyone. We all express it in our own ways, and there’s no time table. Enjoy your memories, and do what feels good.

    And, to red! I’m a big fan, but usually in small doses. I agree about accent walls. I think they’re silly, and try to discourage my clients when they want them.ReplyCancel

  • Carrie - February 9, 2015 - 10:21 AM

    I’m so sorry about your friend. Beautiful images of red rooms & accents. Xoxo~CarrieReplyCancel

  • Laurel Bern - February 9, 2015 - 2:14 AM

    I wish the ones I answered came directly beneath the comment. I have two ways of answering. On the front end and the back end. On the back end it looks like I’m replying directly. oh well…

    I’m so sorry about your friend Antonia.

    Vee, It’s funny, but crazy as I am… I’ve actually emailed her twice. She was still working until they day she was finally admitted via the ER because she was passing out. It’s quite cathartic as I’m able to say everything I have wanted to say for the last 17 months but couldn’t. And believe me, I had plenty plenty to say! But thank you for your kindness. I find that it doesn’t matter what anyone says. What matters is that they show up!

    I forgot to say if anyone reads these comments that she died the day before my birthday! Oh man, she would be so angry about that!ReplyCancel

  • Vee Evans - February 9, 2015 - 1:47 AM

    I am saddened to learn of the passing of your good friend. Words are inadequate so I’ll simply say, I hope you find comfort in your shared memories.ReplyCancel

  • Antonia - February 8, 2015 - 10:48 PM

    Hi, I love the color red as well. I have red accents in my living room. I also lost my best friend to lung cancer, small cell cancer. She unfortunately did smoke. I’m sorry you are going though the loss. Keeping busy is best. My friend died a week before her 40th birthday in June leaving 5 year old twin boys behind. So sad! That fall I started taking decorating classes for fun and to keep busy and to do something fun! It’s taken 3 years to get back to my somewhat happy self and smile again. Still miss her she was the sister I never had. I have seen pictures of raspberry truffle looking up the Benjamin Moore Affinity truffle (light brown color). Very pretty.ReplyCancel

  • lISA c. - February 8, 2015 - 6:13 PM

    I am so sorry to hear you have lost a dear friend.

    Your post about red is timely, as I am just finishing painting the bedroom of my new home in the lovely Benjamin Moore “Raspberry Truffle”. This is the third home over the years that I have used this colour in, I love it so much. It is very easy to live with and decorate around. Rich, deep, earthy and utterly stunning at night.ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - February 8, 2015 - 6:22 PM

      I’ll have to check that out and thank you so much for your kind words.ReplyCancel

  • Angela Toledo - February 8, 2015 - 4:14 PM

    Receiving your blog in my inbox is always a highlight of my day. Thank you for all your insights and humor. I am so sorry for your loss, your friend was lucky to have you!ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - February 8, 2015 - 6:24 PM

      Thank you so much for your kindness. It’s very comforting.ReplyCancel

  • Janet Barclay - February 8, 2015 - 4:04 PM

    I’m very sorry to hear about your friend, and impressed that you were able to pull off such a beautiful blog post when your heart is so heavy. Looking forward to part two!ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - February 8, 2015 - 6:29 PM

      Thanks so much Janet. I LOVE blogging. I love everything about it except having to search high and low to find out who to attribute an image to. It’s actually an escape for me. While others find it a major drag, I can’t wait to work on the next post! Thanks for stopping by and for your kindness Janet.ReplyCancel

  • Nancy in Alabama - February 8, 2015 - 2:58 PM

    Hi Laurel—–I am so glad you are talking about red! I adore my red powder room and am thinking of painting the dining room red. Will you be discussing what shades of red are your faves?