Friday Faux Pas Title

Its Friday once again, so its time for another look into the fashion disasters and interior design failures that can sometimes cause headaches and nausea. This week's image is totally rediculously!

Now I often refer to the fact that fashion follows interiors and interiors follows fashion, but... wearing your living room is just... wrong, wrong, wrong! I must stress that I wish no personal offence to the lady in this picture, whoever she is, and I think if we’re honest with ourselves we can all find an item or two of bad taste in our homes that we've allowed ourselves to indulge in – a guilty pleasure if you like – but I think this is a little overboard. In fact if I'm brutally honest, it’s the height of bad taste. In fairness, I give credit to the lady for being what I can only describe as, bold, daring, brave and extremely individual with her style of interior decoration – it would definitely take someone of stronger character than me to live with this, so hats off to her!

There are no doubt some luxuriously expensive, stylish and probably even unique, bespoke, pieces in this image, as the lady looks like she is of affluent standing, but there is such an eclectic mix of styles, items and patterns embodied in the overwhelming overdose of red that it’s hard to actually define anything with any clarity. Red is actually one of my favourite colours and a gorgeous colour for living rooms, but one of the two colours (the other being black), that I often find it hard to persuade people to use in any volume in their interiors. Red and black are both strong, powerful colours and therefore  for anyone who is cautious about colour, they are often viewed as risky colours which could result in an interior design disaster.

Red is, after all, the colour of danger! I have often had to work hard to persuade a client to use red in any volume in an interior scheme, but usually with outstanding  effective and eye catching results, if you get the balance just right. Undoubtedly one of the strongest colours in the colour spectrum, red has a lot going for it. It is passionate, explosive, expressive and forward. It is associated with vitality, excitement and physical power and reputed to embody depth and wisdom, assertion and strength; and thus, seldom fails to deliver the ‘wow’ factor (except in the case of our image of course which, needless to say, I won’t be using as an example for my clients). Because it is a colour that flatters the skin, it can make an excellent backdrop in rooms that are used for social functions. It is a colour that advances and can appear to make the walls of a room draw in.

Deeper reds in particular can create an atmosphere of restrained opulence, so use it to create a cosy intimate atmosphere in a dining room for example. Vibrant, bright reds are energetic and stimulating and therefore, guaranteed to keep the conversations going in the living room. But, whilst sensational for the living room, reds are not reputed to be restful colours (indeed, Vincent Van Gogh considered red to be maddening) and unless they are used in calculated moderation as accent colours, are not best suited to bedrooms or children’s rooms. Nothing breaks up the intensity of red quite like white does, so for a less intense feel, team it with white.

Equally as effective though, as a grounding colour for red, is beige. The two work wonderfully well together as they are opposites. Red is hot and fiery and beige is cool and calming; and this combination does actually work well for bedrooms and children’s rooms. I’ll leave you with a lovely example of how modern, fresh and inviting red can look when teamed with bright white and a juicy citrus shade such as chartreuse green. The images are from a collection aptly named Zest. Take a look at all the images and some vibrant red curtains, cushions and home wares on our Spring feature page

Vibrant colourful fabrics Colourful living room Colourful interior design