When Stacy Kon decided to remodel a small bedroom of her Los Angeles home into a multipurpose activity and sleeping space for her son, Mino, she wanted to use bold red without the color becoming loud, intense, jarring or dramatic.
"Although the room was intended for playing as much as it was for sleeping, I was afraid red-covered walls could become overly energetic, so much that it might keep Mino from being able to fall asleep," says Stacy. "And if my 6-year-old doesn't sleep, I don't sleep."
A designer introduced Stacy to the dos and don'ts of using red effectively in interior design. The color enthusiast and mother of two adds, "I'm always up for a challenge, and since Mino loves red so much, the color of his favorite superheroes, I figured, 'Why not?'"
One of the difficult things about using red in residential spaces is its tendency to be overpowering. It instantly draws attention to itself more than any other color. When you see signage associated with danger, you're certain to find red type font or graphics.
With one glance, one reacts to the red. The color is associated with energy, movement and speed, as well as its ability to elicit excitement. Keeping these traits in mind, it's important to know where, when and how to use this intimidating color successfully in interior design.
First and foremost, you need to understand the physical reactions people can have to red. Studies have shown that when surrounded by red, a person's heartbeat will increase. In some situations, red stimulates the appetite, as well. Depending on the intensity of red and how it's used, people may also experience shortness of breath or anxiety when surrounded by the color.
Keeping this in mind, it's best to consider using red in spaces where physical activity and social interaction are encouraged, such as playrooms, activity spaces, dining rooms, multipurpose rooms and lounges. "Mino's new room fits four out of those five categories," Stacy says. "That was all I needed to hear to give the project the green light."
Luckily for Mino, active spaces for children are a perfect fit for red. Since Mino's new room is geared toward playing with big sister Zoe, climbing around on a new loft bed, and being creative at a new homework and craft area, Stacy was certain red was the perfect fit. "As long as the space ended up being fun, warm and full of life, I'd be one happy mom," Stacy says.
Love and warmth are also associated with red, making it a favorite tone for dining rooms or eat-in kitchens. In traditional homes, it's common to see dining room walls covered in red paint. When using red in other areas of the house, it's best to use it in small doses, using red as an accent instead of a dominant color.
With a better understanding of how to use the color most effectively, Stacy decided to kick Mino's activity and sleeping space project into high gear. "My designer friend explained red tends to always steal the show, and to be certain to use it sparingly." Stacy says.
Rev up your appetite and energize your kitchen with this fiery hue.
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