How to Decorate Around a Red Wall

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By Laura Gaskill

Red walls can be bold, vivacious, classic ... and hard to decorate around! If you loved the idea of red walls when you painted them but now feel at a loss for what else to put in the room, these decorating ideas are here to help.

Gallery wall. Red walls create a striking backdrop for an eclectic collection of artwork. This is also a great way to tone down the red a bit - the frames will cover up some of the surface area, leaving just enough red exposed to be exciting without overwhelming your space.

Black and white. What will go with your red art wall? Try white upholstered furniture, a crisp black and white rug, and simple white curtains. Tie in the wall color by choosing toss pillows covered in interesting textiles with a bit of red in them - perhaps made from pieces of an old kilim rug or sari silk.

White and blue. Red, white and blue can read as all-American or a nod to the French - either way, this color combo is undeniably chic. Take a cue from the dining space shown here and pair a modern light fixture and chairs in white with red walls and blue cushions.

For a more relaxed take on the red, white and blue scheme, add a weathered farm table, simple wicker chairs and a plate rack filled with blue and white dishes.

Design dilemma: accent wall or all red? As a rule of thumb, large rooms, open floor plans and kids' spaces can benefit from a little more white space. Define a nook or an alcove with red paint and leave the rest crisp white. Small, cozy dining rooms and studies are better able to handle four walls of red.

Beige and orange. When a comfortable, cozy look is what you want, turn to natural shades of orange (with a little brown in them), beige and off-white. Pair these warm tones with rich red walls and natural fibers.

Marble and cream. Red walls in the kitchen are unexpected - and have the potential to be utterly gorgeous. Try them with marble counters, cream cabinets and wood floors for a fancy take on the farmhouse look. Looking to save? A marble-topped island is a more affordable way to include this luxurious material without breaking the bank.

Oriental or kilim rug. These rugs tend to include red, making them a natural choice for a room with painted red walls. Roll out a plush Oriental rug or flat-weave kilim in shades of red and blue or brown, and your red walls will instantly feel more settled in

Wildcard: hot pink and navy. If you like bold colors, push the envelope a bit by pairing red walls with hot pink and navy blue furniture. Like the opulent hues of an Indian sari, red, pink and navy make a vivacious combination.

Dark wood and tile floors. Red walls look classic and refined with warm-toned tile floors and dark wood furniture. Add layers of visual interest with a statement pendant light, a carved wood mirror and lush potted trees.

Blue end chairs and printed curtains temper the warmth of the red walls, rug and tile floors here. This is also good inspiration for changing the look of your space down the road, simply by adding new seat cushions and window treatments.

Chocolate, black and gold. Try a plush chocolate-colored sofa, lamps with black parchment shades, and picture frames and mirrors in either black or gold (or a mix). On the floor you could go with either a traditional rug in red tones (as seen here) or keep it simple with a natural-fiber rug.

Tell us: Do you have red walls? How do you decorate around them?

More: Houzz guides to working with red
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