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Red is never the color of a shrinking violet; to incorporate it into any design requires a certain boldness and desire to make an impression. A red living room can serve as a centerpiece for many design aesthetics, but can have some drawbacks as well. Before choosing to splash passionate crimson about the walls with abandon, carefully consider the pros and cons of a red living room.
A fiery color, red is symbolic of warmth, passion, and boldness. It can be a wonderful way to make a large, airy room appear warmer and more vivid. In cold climates, a red living room can be both inviting and intriguing.
Some design styles lend themselves to choosing a red living room. Modernism often relies on bold color contrasts in clear tones, such as red, white, and black. White or black geometric shapes will stand out fantastically against a red background, turning a living room into a walk-through work of art.
In some Asian traditions, red symbolizes masculinity, good luck, and power, and is often associated with Chinese design. Choosing ebony or lacquered Asian furniture and accenting the design with screens, silk furnishings, and Chinese art can make red walls a perfect choice. While still a bold color, using red as a main color in a Chinese-inspired room can allow slightly more subtle tonal choices. Crimson and muted reds may be just as effective as a bold, fire-engine color.
There are some drawbacks to a red living room that should be contemplated before embarking on a design. In a warm climate, a red room may feel or look uncomfortably hot. What looks fantastic in January may be stifling in July, so consider limiting the use of red to easily changeable elements if hot weather is a feature of the local climate.
Red paint is notoriously difficult to cover up or eliminate if walls are repainted. The bold color shows flaws far more easily than neutral wall tones, and may require frequent retouching. Red paint may be a bad idea if living in a rental unit that requires repainting when vacating the unit; it may take several coats and professional painting skills to fully cover a bold hue.
While red can enhance a feeling of warmth and creation, it may be detrimental to those seeking peace and serenity. The effect of a red living room is stimulating, and may not contribute to a feeling of relaxation or unwinding. If a person wants his or her living room to be a calming retreat, red is probably not the best choice for a main color.