Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Happy Chinese New Year - and Hello Red!

For those of you out there recognizing and celebrating the start of the Chinese New Year (Year of the Tiger, for those keeping track), I wish you a prosperous and healthy New Year.

An important part of the celebrations for Chinese New Year includes adorning windows and doors in red.  Let's talk about using red in decorating your interiors on an everyday-basis.

Red is one of those hot, "pay attention to this!" colors.  It boosts our appetites and raises our pulse and breathing rates when used in large areas around us.  It is a great color to use in dining rooms for these reasons, and it keeps conversations active since our physiological response to it is to get more active.  For these same reasons, it is an obvious less appealing choice to paint the toddler's bedroom!

Designers will often inject a little red into a scheme through smaller details (think vase, book, pillow, flowers).  The trick to doing this well is to have an odd number of items in this color, and sprinkle them around the room so they eye keeps moving around the room.  If you were to cluster your only red accessories in one area of the room, the eye is drawn to them like a "bulls eye" and your eye would stop there.  The goal in a great design is to keep the eye moving around the room and view the whole space as balanced.  Keeping red in three or five small accents in various places will accomplish just that.  See the photo below of the home office of one of my fave designers, Sarah Richardson.   Plus, who knows what luck and blessings it may bring to the room's occupants during the Year of the Tiger... Gung fat hee choi!

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