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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.
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To give this bright-red staircase a clean, modern line, the banister was removed and storage cupboards and shelving were installed underneath it.
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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.
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Tone on Tone
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.
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Update neutral accent pillows to match your decor in just a few simple steps.
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The Red and The Black
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.
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Bold accents pop against white table linens, chairs, and plates. The inspiration for this table setting -- a beautiful sheet of wrapping paper -- is showcased at the center.
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With the help of these candle and flower centerpieces, the whole table will shine. For each one, use candle wax to attach a small floral frog to the center of a shallow bowl. Push a taper into the floral frog to secure. Pour water into the bowl. Clip amaryllis blooms (or other large flowers) from their stems, and arrange them in the bowl around the candle.
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This homeowner brings nature's elements indoors and turns them into pure decorating gold: The stools, for instance, are tree stumps from a nearby field that she coated with a latex primer and five layers of fire-engine-red porch-enamel paint. The Manila clamshell light, red coral pillow, and bamboo-inspired glass-topped table are all outdoorsy touches.
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An ornate, vividly colored fabric, such as this Turkey red damask tablecloth, instantly adds warmth and a sense of refinement.
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A screen painted scarlet showcases the best of functional design, punctuating the room while displaying playing cards and postage stamps.
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A 1930s Chinese Chippendale-style fish tank showcases a red mini-orchid. Even the covers of the books on the shelves -- a collection of Loeb classic, a series of works in Latin translated into English -- contribute to the color scheme.
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The Most Vivid Red Room
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.
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Red in the Bedroom
To create a softer, more restful mood in a bedroom, these walls were painted a pale khaki and red was restricted to accent pieces, such as the quilt and the japanned (varnished and gilded) secretary.
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Orange-Red Dining Room
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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A coppery-red arrangement of astilbe and celosia warms a cool-gray hallway. Above the flowers, a Directoire-style girandole holds a white porcelain model of a mandarin figure. A Chinese ceramic garden seat in a deep sang de boeuf red stands under the table.