Don't be intimidated by the robust intensity of red. Browse through our gallery to find all the ways you can use this color -- from small accents to overarching schemes.
A Chinese-style red painted bureau has a faux-marble top. Black tole candlestick lamps, a set of lacquered stacking boxes, and a grouping of eighteenth-century English prints depicting Asian-inspired scenes continue the chinoiserie theme.
This kitchen, which has windows on four sides, is further enlivened with glossy red paint on the window frames, some of the cabinetry, and a staircase that leads to a guest bedroom. Black-and-white linoleum tiles pull together furnishings and fixtures from a range of eras, including bobbin-turned English Regency chairs with rush seats grouped around a nineteenth-century Continental trestle table.
An assortment of lacquered plates and trays creates a bold display in a living room. To color it red, lacquer is tinted with cinnabar or vermilion. Lacquer can also be dyed black, green, yellow, gold, or brown by adding various pigments, as in the lacquered eighteenth-century Chinese side table.
In 1930, Emily Post wrote, "In its brightest tones, red is the most brilliant, stimulating, and approaching of all the colors." But she went on to say that "an unexpected encounter with much of it might be something like meeting an uncaged lion roaming through the house." A little bit goes a long way. This eighteenth-century Chinese chest, a mix of black and red lacquer decorated with charming Chinese motifs, achieves a happy medium.
In this formal dining room, a black lacquered Chinese screen, an Indian carved-teakwood table, and a pair of modest beige armchairs counterpoint the red-hued walls, upholstery, and carpet. The fireplace-wall paneling and the curtains are embellished with reddish faux-bois effects: The pine paneling was coated with a deep-red glaze and then grained with a reddish-black paint to mimic a luxurious, dark wood; the curtain fabric was silk-screened. Antique red Turkish Oushak carpets, such as this one, are rare. The arrangement of snapdragons incorporates the spectrum of reds used in the house.
Orange Fitzhugh-pattern Chinese-export porcelain inspired the dining-room color sceheme. The painted walls match the deepest tone on the china. A quince-colored velvet tablecloth and sunset-hued fabric on the folding screen highlight the richness and depth of gold-tinged reds.
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