Red Hot Fall: how to decorate using red accents

October 01, 2012

I love the Fall. It’s my favorite time of year, as you know if you have been reading earlier posts on this time of year. I love the way the light takes on a golden glow and the way this season changes the very smell of the air. We have been having an unseasonably hot Fall in Southern California but I still find myself yearning to wear boots rather than sandals. 

Bring on the new season.

I recently had dinner with a good friend, a woman with an impeccable eye for interior design. I was inspired by her judicious but dramatic use of red accents and it hit me that red is the perfect color to heat up your home when cooler temperatures arrive.

Check out the way red and becomes the defining characteristic of every room from the Great Room to the bedrooms and the bathroom.

In the Living Room, black, white and red art work add punch to the walls. A black painted feature wall is a bold move that creates an edgy aesthetic perfect for the graphic-minded. Playful wallpaper nicely offsets the rigor of the basic color scheme. 

Photo © Celeste Iuul

Above the kitchen, the owner used a projector to cast an image she calls “Isis” onto the mezzanine railing which she then traced and hand-painted.

Photo © Celeste Iuul

She also added red paint to the inside of the glass doors of the upper cabinets.

Photo © Celeste Iuul

The same red paint turns up on a feature wall in the Children’s Bedroom.

Photo © Celeste Iuul

In the Bathroom red paint, white fixtures and a dark wood carving play off each other to create stark contrasts that tie into the graphic drama of the living room. 

Photo © Celeste Iuul

Not for the faint-hearted, this kind of decorating makes a home into a statement that manages to be both dramatic and welcoming. All the more impressive considering that the space was literally a white box when my intrepid friend began the transformation.

The lesson here is to use your creativity and be bold.

How do we do that with our own homes?

  • As ever, I am an enormous fan of “change your pillows, change your life” — well, your home, anyway. Deeper changes are for a different kind of blog. Let’s stick to throw pillows for the moment. A favorite red silk pillow cover from is red with a pink leaf-print—a particularly sassy combination.
  • Create a collection of images that are largely black-and-white. Frame them in red frames and hang them salon style.
  • Collect small red accents

I hope that you have enjoyed seeing how one intrepid condo owner took her condo from blah to brilliant with her bold use of color.

Have fun searching out and sourcing red accents to spice up your home.

I know I will. 


Written by Catherine Holliss

Interior Design Blog Writer,, LLC

Director of Interior Design, Sander Architects LLC.  


Photographs © Catherine Holliss unless otherwise noted. 

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