Coral Paint Colors, Another misunderstood Color

 

Hi Everyone,

If you missed my note last night, the post is late because I’m under the weather, with a fever a body aches. Covid is negative.

I am doing two follow-up posts to Wednesday’s post, focusing on Benjamin Moore’s and Sherwin Williams’ Color of the Year. (COTY 2023).

 

Why two more posts?

 

I’ll be getting to that in a sec, but the over-riding reason is:

It has to do with color psychology. While the majority agreed with me that Benjamin Moore’s COTY 2023 was the more desirable color. A few people felt the extreme opposite. And, I think a couple of you hated both colors. I don’t recall anyone liking both colors.

 

It is okay not to like what I like and vice versa.

 

However, some were questioning my judgment. Let’s not do that here. It’s fine to say, “I don’t like such and such.” It’s not okay to say, “Laurel, Red?” as if I’ve lost my marbles. That’s not nice. Please stand by what you like and don’t like; you don’t need to make someone else “wrong” to make yourself “right.” There is no right or wrong in this case.

Also, please understand that when I say a color is a “good color,” it doesn’t mean I would paint any part of my home that color. It means I appreciate its beauty. I appreciate golden blond hair. But, I’m not running out and having it dyed yellow. Well, that is, not this week. I can see from my roots that I have gone quite gray since moving to Boston.

 

In addition, note I am critical of “things,” not people.

 

The reason for two post is that I’m going to do a deeper look into both colors. Today, I’m going to tackle Raspberry Blush, and for Wednesday, Redend Point.

I am not attempting to do this in one post because I realize it will take a while to research and do two mood boards.

 

However, you might wonder why I want to work with a color I don’t like.

 

That’s a very good question. Thank you.

It’s a matter of fairness. I want to see if maybe I can turn both colors into a color we at least can say, “Okay, I concede, it does look good in that situation, and I can see why it turned me off completely before.”

It’s only fair if I attempt to make Raspberry Blush dislikers sway their opinion that I do the same with us Redend Point dislikers.

 

But, Laurel. Won’t you intentionally make Redend Point look bad so that you can say, “Seeeeee? I told you so!”

 

Well, I could, hehe. But, you guys would see right through that and decide I’m FOS. And two,  No way would I do that. If I have to look at sewer sludge mixed with beet juice all day long, you better be sure I’m going to pull out the stops to make it look as palatable as possible.

 

In addition, we will look at the reasons why some of us can’t stand red and coral paint colors.

In fact, one commenter shared the home of someone I admire very much. AND her dining room is painted a shade very similar to Raspberry Blush. In this case, I, too, can’t stand it.

So, after we go over a few things, I’m going to focus on this dining room and attempt to fix it. I am not presuming that this is what Ina will like.

 

But, WHY do some of us sit in judgment of specific paint colors straight out of the gate?

 

I believe it often has to do with color psychology and association with certain colors.

If it’s a negative association, it could be for many reasons.

In the case of red, it is often associated with anger, aggression, embarrassment, hyperactivity, intense emotion, and love. It is the color of our life force, blood. It is the color inside our bodies. Red is HOT. It spells danger. It’s the color of fire trucks and STOP signs. Red says, “pay attention to me.”

 

All of that intensity can be very fearful for some people.

 

However, maybe something bad DID happen in a room painted red. Maybe your first love was wearing a bright red shirt when he broke your heart.

It’s even possible that some shades of red actually hurt your eyes. I have read that some shades of yellow hurt some people’s eyes.

If a paint color that’s in your face is causing any discomfort, be it physical, psychological, or emotional, we’re probably going to avoid it. Or, at least avoid a big drink of it.

Sometimes, we haven’t actually experienced anything terrible; we just haven’t experienced it– period. In that case, we may be relying on our preconceived notions of what certain colors can do to our brains.

 

Does anyone think of “red” when thinking of calm and peace?

 

How many times have I heard? “Well, my son’s already plenty hyperactive, so there’s no way I’m going to make that any worse by painting his room red.”

I bet the majority of you out there believe this to be true.

Would you believe me if I told you that the opposite is true?

 

Now, to be clear, I am not suggesting that anyone paint their entire home red or that you paint your kids’ room red.

 

And, I can’t say for sure, but my experience leads me to believe that red does not make people more hyper. I’ve been in at least 20 different rooms painted some shade between coral and red and have found myself feeling a strange calm but happy, too. I also painted a little boy’s room red in the mid-90s. As far as I know, it did not make him hyper and he’s quite a successful adult, now.

Red most likely stimulates parts of the brain that produce all of the “feel good” hormones.

However, for some, it might not work that way. My point is that sometimes widely held beliefs are not necessarily true.

 

This is the thing. If you’ve never spent time in several red rooms, how do you know?

 

Are you only supposing this based on what you read or heard, not your actual experience?

For me, I could visit a home, and six months later not remember what color the walls were. However, with a beautifully lit red room, the color is unforgettable and magical.

Please remember that I am not interested in painting my own home any shade of red, but my experience in red rooms has been extraordinary, even magical at times.

 

One of them happened in January 2017.

 

I went to the “Young Collector’s Night Antiques Show at the Armory in New York City.”

There was the most stunning red dining room I’ve ever seen. Well, a booth set up as a dining room.

 

Young Collector's Night 2017 - red damask wallpaper dining room - Photo LB Interiors

It’s a little difficult to tell, but the walls are a damask wall covering. This room features classic Federal-style furnishings, beautiful art, and jewel-tone accents in cool colors. There is also plenty of gold and sparkle. The room was dazzling and I had to visit it multiple times that evening. There was little else in the show that I remember this well.

 

Another time, I don’t have an image, but it was in a cosmetics store in Bronxville, NY.

 

The red, a Ralph Lauren color, was stunning!

The third example is an image many of you have seen many times.

 

racing orange red - photo LB Interiors Hight Point Market 2016

 

This is a booth at the High Point Market that inspired my curated collection of 144 beautiful Benjamin Moore paint colors. The one I ended up selecting is Racing Orange Red.

 

This post features the color red and some gorgeous red rooms. Here.

 

Red is a beautiful color for dining rooms, especially in the winter.

 

I made this mood board below, to help a reader whose dining room wasn’t coming together.

 

red dining room is not as formal and drab

 

Frankly, I think you could put almost any color on the wall and, in some cases, change the chests, and this room would look good: at least to my eye.

 

 

Now, we’re coming to the aforementioned dining room of someone I admire a lot.

 

I tried to find other images of this apartment belonging to Ina Garten. (You can see more images here)

 

There aren’t any. Maybe it’s being renovated?

 

I hope so. It’s not that it’s bad, it’s just that it’s completely lackluster.

Although I think Ina Garten’s Manhattan apartment has a lot of potential, there is no evidence of an interior designer. Maybe much of the furniture was brought in for the shoot.

However, is it worthy of Architectural Digest?

No, not as it is. None of it is.

That football field-sized living room is bland and forgetful, except for the bizarre seating arrangement by the fireplace.

Facing the fireplace with nothing around it is a daybed.

 

Well, yes, of course. That is because this room is one giant snooze-fest. Again, it too, is not finished.

Why do they do this to us and pretend that it’s incredible? They do it because they can. People will believe anything they are told. Not us, of course. We know better.

Considering Ina’s past homes, I find this banal decor perplexing. My favorite home is her Hamptons home, from the mid-90s pictured here. It inspired my living room decor immensely. That, and Victoria Hagan’s Hamptons home, as well.

 

Before I begin examining Ina’s dining room coral paint color, I want to reiterate that I adore Ina Garten.

 

I love her show, darling personality, and her cooking. And oh man, have you seen her Insta account? Of course, you have. She has millions of followers. But, if you haven’t seen it and you’re on a diet before the holiday food frenzy, I caution you to stay away.

The reason is that you will soon be ravenous, and it won’t be for a spinach salad. If we eat with our eyes, well, Ina has done it to us repeatedly.

But, what happened here? Yes, I know. Ina is not an interior designer. No, and she’s not a chef either. What I mean is she’s not a trained chef. She taught herself. And, at this point in her life, having lived and furnished several homes, some of it must’ve rubbed off.

 

So let’s dish. (no pun intended)

 

What is wrong with this room, aside from the fact that the vivid coral paint color is like somebody just flung an ice-cold pitcher of watermelon-flavored Kool-aid in your face?

Melissa, I believe you had your hand up first.

The lighting seems a little bright and white, which isn’t complementary to the paint color.

Ya think? Yes, you are right. The light sucks to high holy heaven. Yes, it’s too bright and waaaay too white. And the chandelier is horrible and cheap looking.

Anyone else?

Yes, Maggie.

Well, the room doesn’t seem finished.

Bingo. It’s not. It’s not even close to being finished.

 

raspberry coulis

 

This dining room as it is right now is like Ina serving her guests a huge bowl of raspberry coulis, but she forgot to bring out the mascarpone cheesecake with a butter cookie crust and shaved bittersweet chocolate.

Now, we know that Ina would rather walk on shards of broken crystal before she would ever do such a thing.

But, there’s more. There is no connection to the other rooms. Where is this color coming from?

 

Aside from the assault of this one intense color, hideous lighting, and fuddy-duddy furniture, there’s an acute balance issue.

 

We don’t know if this room is trad or contemporary. It should be 80/20 or 90/10 and right now it’s about 60/40.

That’s it. The architecture says trad. Then, we have a vast contemporary painting and a smaller one, and a contemporary, cheap-looking chandelier. And, no other furniture. The dining room is 11 x 14, which is a nice-sized dining room.

Ina Garten apartment New York City - 563-Park-Avenue-Floorplan

Never mind some other things wrong with this place from a design standpoint. That is another post.

 

Okay, now I’m going to post some inspiration images. These are rooms and vignettes I believe might win some of you over.

 

If not, that’s okay too. Please let us know. Hang on while I gather them all up. Once I’ve done that, I’m also going to share a mood board I made for Ina’s new dining room. (Laurel-style)

 

Mark D. Sikes - beautiful coral paint color in this dining room. Photo by Amy Neunsinger

photo: Amy Neunsinger

Mark D Sikes always gets it right. This is a beautifully executed dining room, even if you don’t like coral paint colors or blue or coral and blue together.  You can see more of this lovely home, here.

The secret? Mark cooled things down by adding a bit of dirty in that gorgeous breakfront. In addition, there’s a terrific balance of warm and cool. Warm colors like coral paint need cool tones.

 

gustavian-style-4-doo

 

Above is a gorgeous Gustavian-style breakfront I found on Chairish.

Please remember the most crucial word in the design of any kind.

BALANCE.

 

If something doesn’t look right, it’s most likely because the balance is off.

 

photo: Jan Baldwin - R beautiful vignette - coral paint color

Photo: Jan Baldwin – I don’t know who the designer is. The English often love saturated hues and learn how to work with them. This is perfect and timeless.

 

Mario Buatta 1970s red coral paint color

Awww, the late, great Mario Buatta in the 1970s. Yes, like 50 years ago. I am not one to argue with the greatness of his work. This room is timeless.

 

racing orange 2169-10

This is looking more like my Racing Orange Red. ROR is just a shade more orange.

If you want to see how to work with coral, please go to the Colefax & Fowler Instagram page.

 

beautiful vignette by Colefax & Fowler

 

coral paint - beautiful vignette by Colefax & Fowler

For the woman who said if the room had a coral paint color, she’d walk right out. Do you still feel that way looking at this? I think this image is breathtaking.

 


Hey, if you want to come up with a whole house color palette, use one of their exquisite fabrics. Please remember there should be one primary color, which could be white. And, I also feel a thread of one color going through all of the rooms. However, some rooms can have a lot more than a thread.

One more image. Gil Schafer, my love, who got married without asking me if it was okay, ;] first keeps adding more gorgeousness to his portfolio. I love his work so much that I can actually feel my heart pounding in my chest. I believe he often collabs with Miles Redd. Gil does architecture and interior design. Miles does interior design, fabrics, and furniture.

 

Now, this room doesn’t have a coral paint color; however, it does have coral in the room.

 

But, it’s the combination of colors that is so incredibly masterful.

 

Please study this and then go to Gil’s website, and under the dining rooms, you’ll see the other side with the gorgeous white bookcases. This room is so perfect; I don’t even mind that they didn’t use rings for the silk draperies. Please understand, however, that those are not from Pottery Barn.

 

Okay, as promised, I made a board. Well, actually, two boards.

 

raspberry blush dining room -coral paint

This is Raspberry Blush. You know, it doesn’t look that bright here. In fact, it looks a bit pink. That doesn’t mean it will look pink in your room. BTW, if that fireplace looks familiar, it’s because it is. :]

I wish I could form a decent sentence right now, but I can’t. This is not trying to be what I think would work for Ina Garten’s dining room. But, if we put a gas fireplace on the wall, one sees how lovely it would be when walking in the front door.

For funsies, I also did another board with Racing Orange Red, one of the Laurel Home Benjamin Moore Curated Paint and Palette Collection colors.

 

Racing Orange Red coral paint walls

I like this version better. In fact, it reminds me a bit of Gil’s NYC townhouse that he sold after he got MARRIED. What do you think?

 

Gil Schafer stunning dining room library - with warm color scheme
Gil’s color is more orange.

 

gpschafer-mcg-jupiter-classical architects - classical fireplace mantel
And one last coral color in a gorgeous vignette by Gil Schafer.

Please be respectful of other people’s opinions. You don’t have to like what I like. I like a lot of things. That doesn’t mean I would do them in my home; it means they are well done-and well-designed.

For the next post, I will try to explain more about balance and come up with a beautiful scheme to go with dried blood.

Thanks to those of you who sent me kind messages. I’m a little better but need to take it easy.

xo,

PS: Please be sure to check out the beautiful HOT Sales. There are lots of early Black Friday deals. Also, the all-new Holiday Shop for 2022 is now open.

 

34 Responses

  1. Please forgive me if this was already stated and I missed it in the article or comments- but the Ina Garten Architectural Digest story is written in the manner of those that are repeating information from another source, which it clearly is once you click the the Street Easy link in that article- it’s almost the exact same article- and definitely the exact same photos. The photos appear to be listing photos of the prior owner when it was for sale, and not what changes Ina Garten had made upon purchase of the home. If it was truly a profile on the space post-purchase, we’d expect to see photos including Ina and her husband, as well as direct quotes about the process, selections, etc. Not that I disagree with anything anyone has said about the space- I would just attribute those choices to Nancy Novogrod instead of Ina Garten.

  2. Oooh, I’m swooning over the dark wine-colored room with coral drapes and green + blue accents! It’s a-ma-zing! How does one talk a client into something like that, I wonder?

    My vote between your two boards, Laurel, is the blush. I love them both, but the blush feels bolder. I’m not sure why I think that, nor why I prefer bolder, but I do. Hah!

      1. Right, Barbara? How can we secretly move in? Do you think they would notice us if we shacked up under the dining room table? I’m sure I’d be drooling over the room decor as much as the meals!

  3. This girl rarely comments. Maybe I’m an idiot, but maybe the individual, Ina, was going for a minimalist look with the color being the focal point. It’s really cheerful! Doing something a bit different – also depicted in the living room – is taking a chance. Sometimes it works …. sometimes, not so much, and sometimes tweaking is in order. It’s maybe doing something akin to a Lansdford Wilson play. Some critics will love it while others … not so much. Anyway, the designer is putting their artwork out there. That takes a bit of courage.

  4. Laurel,
    I do hope you are feeling better!!
    Thank you for once again giving us great eye-candy but more particularly, food for thought. Every time you do a post on “orange” or “coral” (or red), I start to leave a comment, but I am a rare commenter — just a “have to” reader who tries to soak in all your wisdom!
    Your coral post, and your fairly recent post on the color orange, have left me with a number of thoughts that I have wanted to communicate, but haven’t taken the time.
    I am in the process of redoing a very modest house we moved into 16 years ago when my daughter was in high school. (I am now recently divorced and daughter is married with 3 precious children.) In abut 2009 after she had gone to college, I painted the living/dining room in a color that worked well at the time, at least for me. I don’t recall the exact name of the paint, but it is what I have always called “terra cotta”. The living room is a north-facing room that doesn’t have enough natural light to satisfy me. But the terra cotta has worked well all these years.
    I’ve been wanting to redo the rooms for a few years, but for many reasons, the process is taking a LONG time, and now I am waiting on some very necessary foundation issues to be addressed before any new painting plans happen.
    With all that said, every time you share Gil Schafer’s former house with terra cotta walls (very much of the color I have been living with), I am not so sorry to wait on changing the color. One of the main reasons I have worked so hard to hang on to this color is bc I was gifted a very lovely terra cotta-colored suede sofa from a former boss’s wife when she was redoing his law office years ago. To this day, I just love that sofa, in spite of it’s “orange” color. It is indestructible, built I’m guessing in the late ‘50’s or 60’s. I would describe it as a Chesterfield-style but sleeker/softer and without tufting. And I have really enjoyed the recent McGrath postings with the “orange” sofa. Inspiring! I find the color very relaxing to this day, although I am really pumped about redoing paint colors throughout the house — and just redoing.
    But the “orange” sofa will stay, even though I may make a slipcover for summer months.
    Thank you for all you do and for keeping our eyes and minds open!!!

  5. So glad you are starting to feel better.

    Orange is not a color I would put on my walls but I must admit that I love the color when it is mixed with other fall colors in decorations and in nature. I have a fall Thomas Kinkade painting that I absolutely love. But I always like to switch out the decorations and paintings with the seasons.

  6. Red is used in many fast food restaurants as it makes u hungry and also u eat faster.
    In Order to maintain my slim figure, I have cancelled red for the dining room.
    I love touches in a room and I don’t get hungry.

  7. Thank you for underlining how captivating red rooms can be. I once had the luxury of working with an interior designer. To our surprise she determined no furniture or art were needed. But, our art was poorly displayed and rooms looked flat before paint, lighting and the right window coverings. At the time I worked very long hours. Applying this to her solutions, the home was designed to show at its best at night. With lots of Asian art, she established reds as the common thread for cohesive decor. Various reds were used as Asian reds range widely depending on their country of origin. The most stunningly beautiful rooms — living and dining rooms. Their walls were painted red and aubergine, respectively. Beautiful at all times, come night nothing could be said but, “wow!”

  8. Perfect timing! A client of mine dropped her newest book off to my office on Friday and she’s a color psychologist. I enjoyed the whole book cover to cover on Saturday morning, starting with my coffee. The book is called Color Secrets by Michelle Lewis… Learning the one universal language we were never taught. She actually addresses each color from historic prospective as well as film. I highly recommend this book in addition to your color guides because they compliment each other. Now I understand why I never wear grey and why I decorate in variations of orange and green😃. Color is such a fun topic and can make moods change and change the feel of rooms and people in them. Thank you for such a well written post as always

  9. Hi Laurel, hope you feel better soon. Don’t rush it if it’ the flu. Great article, it’s sad that you have to teach adults to be polite and civil. I happen to LOVE coral/red/orange colors and rooms, though I don’t have any in my house. As a side note: did your reader ever redo her kitchen? After seeing her astounding transformation of her family room I’d love to see what she accomplished with her kitchen.

  10. Laurel, I started following Colfax and Fowler’s insta at your suggestion – they are experts at red/pink and green! Sometimes the images are so beautiful they bring tears to my eyes. Thanks for a great post.

  11. Hi Laurel. This is a great post. Thank you. I’ve never seen uplights like the ones in Ina Garten’s dining room. Do you think the photographer added them? It seems like they would be a tripping hazard, and at any rate, I don’t understand the purpose. Like everyone else in the country. I hid canister uplights under ficus trees in the 1980s, and the uplights did indeed brighten corners, but I don’t understand how I would use the ones in the Garten photo.

    1. Tsippi, my thought about the uplights is that they are there to highlight the large artwork. I’m not a fan of them in that dining room!

  12. Wish I could embrace reds but they make we want to flee. I can tolerate a room with a cinnabar or coral so long as it has lots of light streaming in. When we were looking at homes in a relocation effort, I could not get beyond homes that had red rooms. Probably lost out on some nice homes because I did not rationalize that paint would solve the problem. Thanks for sharing this topic, as it demonstrates, there is something for everyone and we do not all have to agree – all the time. Hope you are feeling better soon.

  13. Beautiful post. I have loved the color coral. My only issue with it is that it doesn’t highlight beautiful wood tones as well as a cooler blue or green. Especially the colors in beautifully aged cherry, which I have a lot of, courtesy of my dad’s master woodworking skills. Some darker walnut tones are better with the red family.
    Glad you are better and making us laugh again!

  14. First, it sounds as though you’ve got flu, Laurel, look after yourself and get well soon.
    Second, you said to me that “I think it depends on the light and what else is going on.” Of course it does. But isn’t that always true? The most successful schemes are always those that are conceived as a whole, involving the layout, the style, etc, as well as the colour. (By the way, I wasn’t suggesting that F&B colours are always better, and I must confess that I don’t think they’re improving at the moment.)
    Third, your caption to the last photo here refers to a “gorgeous vignette”. Yes, it is gorgeous, but it’s also a vignette. This got me thinking that when we look at the photos, we’re looking at a vignette, even when it’s a photo of a whole room. And styling is an essential part of this. I think the Gil Schafer dining room depends for its success on the chartreuse green of the leaves on the table combined with the colours of the artwork above the buffet. Take them away and the image is less appealing.
    Finally, colour perceptions are influenced by our degree of sensitivity to certain nuances, but also by the names given them (a rose by any other name would smell as sweet — no it wouldn’t, not if it was called the fish-and-chips flower), and by a whole raft of associations. Our excessive reactions, whether positive or negative, are also a mental defence mechanism, in the same way as stereotypes are also a classifying mechanism to make sense of the world — which is not to endorse stereotypes or excessive reactions!

  15. I always enjoy your blog posts and this one was no exception. I always enjoy your “research”, the whys and wherefore of a life of experience in the design world. I think I will never paint a room red because I can’t afford to repaint it when I tire of it over time. I love versions of red as accent colors but find it too intense for daily living. my dining room is a red and off white toile, I use the room mostly in the winter months and it is the perfect Christmas room. I don’t hate red, nothing happened to me in a red room, just too intense and probably too dark, my living room is a sun saturated off white with yellow gold trim and so it will remain. bland and safe you might say but I have loved it for 24 years and plan to continue. lots of other colors in the rugs and furniture that can be more easily changed.

  16. I bought a home with a red living room and it took only a few months before my painter was called in for a rescue!
    I found it so UNrelaxing I thought I would go mad. Coincidentally, red is my least favorite color; the only time I like it is as a punch amidst all the Christmas greenery.

  17. Being a blue eyed blonde, my closet is full of various shades of blue. Can’t abide it in my home though. And when I see a magazine or article (and there are plenty) touting the latest blues I look the other way.
    I’m thankful for the reds which I mostly pair up with greens of all shades. Christmas is a great time for me to shop, it’s the only time I find red pillows.
    Isn’t it great we don’t all think the same, otherwise the red pillows would all be snapped up!
    Thanks Laurel for your most entertaining and informative blog. Love the comments as well.

  18. I had to think about this. I think working as a registered nurse in ICU and ER where people are often really sick caused some of my color favorites. Think about it. Green? Mustard? Blech. Coral? Yes!! Everyone looks good in the right coral. I love the Raspberry Blush. The other color I forgot what we were talking about….

  19. I love that you made a distinction between. Liking “things” and not attacking people. This is an inspirational post. I love coral. So show more vignettes and I’m in visual delight. Feel better

  20. I love color! And I love all of your examples. I learned a long time ago that there are no “ugly” colors, only ugly color combinations. And my favorite color is red although it all depends on the intensity, value, and range of the hue. I prefer a cool range of red to wear but a warm range in my home. I live in Minnesota which, as everyone knows, is cold in the winter so my decor is warm. Most of my living area is painted with a now defunct brand, Devine Paint, chosen from the Desert Brights collection. My living room is Devine Brick (a lovely warm midrange pinkish “red”), hallway is Devine Canyon (a shadowy purplish hue of haze between cool and warm), and kitchen is Devine Mesa (a midrange reddish clay). All of these paints have a lovely soft “powdery” quality that is difficult to describe, but perhaps it’s like feeling the finest cashmere sweater against one’s skin. I love your posts and can hardly wait for your next post on red, Redend Point. Feel better, Laurel!

  21. In 1997, I moved into an apartment, formerly the servants’ quarters, in an 1820’s big house. Remember the sponge painting craze? One room was poorly sponged red & white. It looked like a crime scene. A couple of coats of primer then paint finally covered it.

  22. I painted my entryway the color of a vivid Arizona sunset – when the door is opened, the hosts look fabulous, the guests look fabulous. Everyone is glowing! Red has that ‘wow’ effect.
    No other color comes close.

    Love this post and love how you write. Thanks Laurel. Feel better soon!

    ps a pal painted their laundry room in Behr Watermelon slice — ooh la la!! I could wash sheets in there all day long ;o)

  23. Coco Chanel, who I believe was standing in a red room in her residence at the time, said “I’ve been trying to get a painter to mix me a ‘perfect Chinese lacquer red’ all my life and no one even knows what I’m talking about.” That stuck with me. I think red is one of those colors that highlights how differently people see colors maybe because it’s so intense you can’t really not bother looking at it.

    I was looking at a condo in a beautiful old building and a large dining room had been painted “whatever” red. Yes, it takes many coats of stain blocker to fully purge that but it is definitely possible to get totally rid of a color like that. Still, I was so freaked out by it that I kept saying “Can that even be gotten rid of?” The agent said “Of course” and did I leave it alone then? No I did not. Embarrassingly, I came back with “Are you sure?”.

    So, to your point, I clearly experienced some sort of visceral sensory glitch. I mean it was red paint, not a wild tiger . . .we’re all nuts.

  24. I loved the “sewer sludge” description too.
    Do any of you find that either you (or a client) tend to prefer using colors in your home that you look good wearing? Of course there’s the odd one that I wouldn’t wear, but for the most part I stay with that connection in my home. That seems to run true with my clients, too.

    1. Always! I decorate in the same colors I look good wearing. The contrasting cooler colors are a nod to my handsome husband who looks dreamy in blues

  25. I painted my open plan living-dining room and entrance in Raspberry Blush over twenty years ago and kept it for at least 10 years. It provided the most glorious ambiance, gave a flattering glow in the lamplight and in the light of the suns’ rise and set. My daughters can’t believe it is a paint colour of the year as their friends referred to our house as the “pink house”. I like to tell them that I was a trendsetter!

  26. Question: What is that surround in front of fireplace? I’ve seen them before. Are they functional? Vintage? Decorative? Do you sit on them? Do you climb over them to add logs or stoke fire?

    1. Hi- it is a fireplace fender and you can sit on them. They are moveable. They may be found as vintage pieces, or you can have them custom made. Often seen in brass and topped in leather, they’re also sometimes made of wood (which seems a little dicey). You’ll often see them in British homes, but definitely found stateside. We love ours and enjoy sitting on them to warm up.

  27. The are indeed some beautiful red rooms in this post. My BFF used to have a gorgeous red dining room in her traditional home in Bucks County PA. The red was balanced with white trim, wainscoting and some gorgeous custom curtains with a black background. That being said, I love the color for a sweater but it sure wouldn’t work on any of the walls of my bright, casual Colorado home.
    I can’t wait for your next post on Redend Point. You had me at “sewer sludge mixed with beet juice”! LOL!!!

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Hi, I’m Laurel, and Laurel Home is the website and blog for Laurel Bern Interiors.
I’ve been creating new-traditional interiors since 1988. The blog is where I share all.

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