Projects to Fall in Love With on Valentine’s Day
I’m personally not a huge fan of red when it comes to interiors but it can be used to make a powerful statement in subtle and not so subtle ways. Check out how these designers who love red have incorporated this fiery and beautiful color into their homes.
There are instances, such as this Victorian farm house, where red is the perfect color.
…or sometimes you just want to have fun with it.
These walls are covered in Graniplast, a tinted acrylic finish. Nathan Pereira Arquitectos y Diseño advised on the facade, floors, and finishes. Designed by Vanessa Clark.
Red gives a bathroom and modern appeal. This bathroom features Chromtech tile, a Toto toilet, Kohler vanity, and powder-coated steel countertop.
Red is perfect for a comfy kitchen nook. Eazy side chairs by Whiteonwhite line one side of the custom-designed table by LOT-EK. Castore suspension lights by Michele De Lucchi for Artemide hang above, and a custom rug by Liora Manné lies below.
Red is one of those colors where “less is more” often makes a bolder statement. Largely white monotone, the kitchen introduces a pop of red through the glossy AGC kitchen backsplash. Red Piston stools by Shin and Tomako Azumi complete the space.
Red is often used in commercial spaces. In Situ Design and Lilian B Interiors adapted a six-story brownstone in midtown Manhattan into a boutique hotel with 33 guest suites. Each floor received what the designers call a “visceral” color treatment using Benjamin Moore paints, including Outrageous Orange.
I love this red Eames chair. Magenta Togo sofas by Ligne Roset, a red Eames molded plywood chair, provide seating around the hearth.
Red used as a fun, happy accent especially when it comes to kids. E27 pendant lamps from Muuto a with matching red locker storage. The inside of the front door is painted bright green.
Designer Harry Bates designed a simple cedar house for a young family in New York in 1967. Forty years later he updated the place for its new owners. The addition of bright red cabinetry in the kitchen introduces a contemporary style without losing the rustic, vintage quality of the space.
Red can be interpreted as masculine or feminine. I love this distressed red couch;
mixed with the industrial surroundings it adds a beautiful layer of texture.
This bedroom features bright red bunk beds for a dormitory-like experience and can be
paired with adjoining rooms for larger groups of guests.
The kitchen’s red Venetian plaster walls makes for a nice textural detail.
Two great examples of how red is the perfect color for modern door.
Being Valentine’s Day I have the color red on my mind. On Valentine’s Day, red is everywhere.
Cave art paintings of Lascaux in France
If any color can stake a claim to be the oldest, it is red. We’ve been seeing red since our neolithic days. It is the most primary of primary colors – the very blood in our veins is red.
So how did red become the color of love? 400 years ago in 17th-century France, red was a color of power. Red was always a color associated with palaces, with Versailles, in fact Louis XIV put a little red into every step he took. He was a man who was very proud of his legs. Known as having gorgeous legs and he wore all kinds of fashion that would show them off. Louis wore knee-length tight pants and beautiful silk stockings. His heels — which were quite high for a man — were not just red, but scarlet.
Red was an expensive color in 17th-century France because at the time, the dye was made from a little bug found in Mexican cactus, the cochineal. Soon nobles all over Europe were painting their heels red. Red was chic, flashy… and expensive.
Nilda and Acopia women dying yarn red
These white bugs produced a potent red dye so sought-after by artists and patrons that it quickly became the third greatest import out of the “New World” (after gold and silver), as explains Victoria Finlay in A Brilliant History of Color in Art. Raphael, Rembrandt, and Rubens all used cochineal as a glaze, layering the pigment atop other reds to increase their intensity. A non-toxic source for red pigment, the cochineal bug is still used to color lipsticks and blush today.
The bottom fell out of the bug market in the middle of the 1800s, when synthetic dyes were invented. Previously, red was only for the rich who could afford the expensive insect dye. In some cultures, the privilege of wearing red was reserved exclusively for the powerful. When you saw someone wearing red in Japan or Italy, the person was of high status.
Toulouse-Lautrec – The Box with the Golden Mask
Today Red has many faces and is the color of extremes. It’s the color of passionate love, seduction, violence, danger, anger, and adventure. Our prehistoric ancestors saw red as the color of fire and blood – energy and primal life forces – and most of red’s symbolism today arises from its powerful associations in the past.
Felix Vallotton – La Chambre Rouge
Red can be a naughty color — red-light districts and bordellos. It is both the color of Satan and the color of the Roman Catholic Church. Red is often associated with divinity; medieval and renaissance paintings show Jesus and the Virgin Mary in red robes. Red is for happiness — Indian brides get married in red saris. Red for good luck — the one-month birthday of a Chinese baby is celebrated with red eggs.
I’ll leave it with this though. In 1888, Vincent Van Gogh wrote that he “sought to express with red and green the terrible human passions”. Ancient, complex and representing extremes – red is nothing if not passionate. Perhaps Van Gogh would have seen red, should he have lived long enough to see the reds in his paintings starting to fade away.
Vincent Van Gogh – Field of Poppies
There is no denying the power of RED.
Seattle City Hall has these fantastic red doors
that dazzle in sunlight. The first two images are
taken from inside; the third image is an exterior view.
Red is the color of fire and blood. Hebrew words for blood and red have the same origin: “dm” means red and “dom” means blood. Blood and fire have both positive and negative connotations: bloodshed, aggression, war, and hate are on one side, and love, warmth and compassion on the other side. In ancient Egypt, red was the color of life and of victory. During celebrations, Egyptians would paint their bodies with red ochre. The normal skin tone of Egyptian men was depicted as red, without any negative connotation.
Ancient Greeks associated the bright, luminous red with the male principle. Red was also the color of the Greek gods of war, Phoebus and Ares. In prehistoric cultures, however, red was associated with the female principle. Mother Earth provided the Neolithic peoples with red ochre, which was credited with life-giving powers. The association of the red color with the female principle in Japan survives to the present day.
The oldest pigment was probably red ochre, which was used in cave art. The ancient world had red madder lake, artificially-made red lead, and vermilion (natural mineral cinnabar). Artificially-made vermilion was the most prominent red pigment until the manufacture of cadmium red in 1907.