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Unexpected Red | How To Use Red In Your Home

The Emergence of Red in the Home - Our Red Homeware

It feels like up until this year red was largely ignored in our homes as a colour for interior schemes and home accessories. Associated with traditional or out of date schemes, designers were reaching for colour palettes in anything other than red and homeware buyers were by-passing red home accessories for muted pastel tones and neutrals.  Find out how we are dipping our toes in the waters of the new approach to red and the "Unexpected Red Theory".

2024 is the year that the approach to red in the home has completely changed. You may have already heard of the viral TikTok trend "The Unexpected Red Theory" , but if not here is a little about it: invented by Taylor Simon , an interior designer on TikTok a couple of months ago, Taylor theorises that adding a pop of red to a room, even where it has no business being there, either by clashing with other colours or simply completely out of place, makes the scheme more interesting. Essentially red is almost used as a neutral. 

The more I see this, and apparently it's one of those interior trends you now can't unsee, the more I lean towards agreeing with Taylor and wanting to use more red in my home. I have to say this is almost a complete 180 degree turn for me both at home and at work. If you have been a customer of the shop at any point over the last eight years, you may have noticed that red is pretty much the one colour that never makes an appearance - even at Christmas.

I realise that we are all slight slaves to the algorithm these days and susceptible to trends left right and centre but I think that the increasing trend for red in the home, in particular in the form a of a dash of red homeware - a cushion, candle or such - has the power to bring fun and joy in to our interiors. Of course it isn't for everyone and there are other colours, but if this is a trend that makes you happy then go for it.

Our top five suggestions for bringing red into your interiors:

  • Dip your toe in the water - add a single red item like a stool you have splashed some red paint on or simply a red candle;

  • Go for a non-permanent object like a red striped tablecloth that is sometimes in the wash, sometimes on the table;

  • Swap in permanent but small red home accessories such as red lamps, red prints or red cushions either making them yourself, upcycling or treating yourself to a new addition;

  • If you are truly loving the trend and feel that you are going to really embrace it make a permantent change like a red piece of furniture, red paint or red wallpaper or like me cover an existing piece - I recently recovered my headboard in red stripe.

Photo credit: Pinteres

1. Test the water with a single item

You don't have to acquire any new red homeware to try out unexpected red theory in your home.  Why not grab a paintbrush and add some red paint to a chair or you've been meaning to upcycle or something you have picked up second hand. You can always pass it on if it doesn't work for you.

If time is limited, just the addition of a vase or jug or candle can give you an idea.  One of the prettiest pictures I saw on Instagram was of a simple, neutral colour scheme with an added red candle on a book shelf.  I did something similar in my living room and it worked a treat.  I really like the red jug on the windowsill in this image from Pinterest, even without the red chairs it adds interest to this very neutral colour scheme and isn't jarring at all.

2. Add a non-permanent item like a tablecloth

Based in Copenhagen, Bungalow focus on creating ranges of stunning printed and woven textiles and have excelled themselves this summer with their range of stunning woven stripes. The red striped tablecloths and matching red striped napkins are from thick woven cotton so will stand up to lots of entertaining. Use them in your outdoor dinners too. Red stripes always make me think of summer in the South of France so it's lovely to see them in the garden.

3. Add smaller red home accessories

Take the trend a little at a time if you want to try it but feel unsure.  Don't forget that most homeware shops like ours give a right of return so that you can try things in your home and see if they work before committing to them.  We have lots of beautiful red home accessories in stock at the moment, from red stripe cushions to red art prints for your walls. We especially love this Red Chair print by Sophia Lind and the unusual glass mushroom table lamp in red.

4. Make a bigger commitment - paint, paper, upholstery

I have no shame in admitting that I am all for launching myself full force into adding red home accessories. Having ignored it for years, I am loving the sense of fun it brings either to elevate a neutral colour scheme or just to add more colour to an already colourful home. We've had a tough few years haven't we with doom and gloom following more doom and gloom, the last thing we need is more beige and grey in our lives! I recently covered my grey Heal's headboard in red and white pin stripe and have had lots of fun mixing it with other colours, textures and tones. My absolute favourite home and my everyday inspiration is the Copenhagen house of Ditte Reffstrup

I may have got my inspiration from a stripy headboard in a blue painted bedroom from Ditte, but she has excellent taste so nothing to be ashamed of.

Whether you decide that red is a colour for you or not, there are so many ways to incorporate it in your home your way or not at all. As one slightly sniffy interiors blogger retorted "there are other colours". Of course we know this, but if you take hold of red with full force or ignore it completely your interiors should always about you creating a fun space to relax, feel at home and live your life. Red is definitely doing that for me right now and I am enjoying every minute.  I've even taken the time to cover a little lampshade in some of my left over red striped headboard fabric and added a touch of red to my living room in a single candle.

If you would like to shop our red home accessories collection click here

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