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One Important Decorating Color by Barbara Jennings

Well if you haven't notice it by now, red is making a big statement in interior design these days. It isn't just confined to living and dining rooms either. It's sizzling up bedding, tableware, accessories - even appliances: mixers, coffeemakers, vacuum cleaners and step stools. You can even buy a red range for your kitchen if you want.

Perhaps this renewed interest in red was stimulated from the American flag-waving after September 11. Or maybe it the return to nostalgic times of the 50's when red was common. Red is the color of optimism. And as we become more global, we are embracing ethnic cultures from India, Asia, the Caribbean and Latin countries - and all of those countries include a healthy dose of red in their fabrics, architecture and furnishings.

The Eastern influence is making people more brave about color too. There are no geographical boundaries to colors even though we often associate bright colors with warmer climates. Red also seems to be the color of choice when we want to add just a "touch" of color in a room. Like in a painting, a throw or pillows, a vase, an area rug. Red flowers in a vase. Beautiful!

Since most of us are more comfortable with red in small doses, you probably don't want to paint a large wall or two in red, or even upholster a sofa in the color. But a single wing chair in red is awesome! Only the truly confident can stand red in huge doses in a room. It can be very overpowering.

So if you're a bold personality, have fun with it. There are plenty of red shades from numerous paint companies that might cover a foyer, bedroom or library. For a family room, mix it up with white for the "diner-like" look. It can be fun. Consider red and white checked vinyl floor for the area. It can give you a really crisp, enlivened feeling. But it's not for everyone.

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One Important Decorating Color
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List of Free Decorating Tips

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(2004-05 Copyright Barbara Jennings)

Barbara Jennings
is the West Coast Pioneer in Redesign, author of 7 decorating books, a published artist, corporate art consultant, and furniture arrangement consultant. For training in professional furniture and accessory arrangement, or to start your own redesign or art consulting business, please visit: