Bright and Bold
Picking wall color involves individual personality, combined with personal response to the effect color has on an interior space. Some of us want calm and peaceful interior surroundings. Some would like things a bit livelier. Others can crave color at an intensity level that would wear out those seekers of soothing spaces.
Red is the boldest of colors. It’s striking, attention getting, eye catching. It’s a color that’s been shown to produce physiological effects: increased blood pressure, respiration, heartbeat, pulse rate, and more. For most seeking brilliant wall color, red is not likely to be used on the walls of more than one or two rooms.
Such seems the case for San Francisco-based interior designer Jay Jeffers. Known for his adventurous use of color, the designer used a rich orange-red for the living room of his San Francisco, Edwardian-style cottage residence. The red is repeated throughout the house, but in smaller doses, showing up in curtains, patterns, and accents.
The red of the wall is contained within the substantial crown moldings painted a dark neutral gray, and the deep stripe around the lower portion of wall. The deep blue of the upholstered chairs moderates the intensely warm red. The addition of a pale creamy yellow in the ceiling color and the lower strip results in a triad color scheme that combines variations of the three primary colors of the color wheel: red, blue, and yellow.
The choice of sofa upholstery in a red that’s close in tone to the wall actually serves to reduce contrast and any feeling of overly ‘busyness’. The patterns in the accent pillows are highlighted against the upholstered pieces. The white of the rug offers visual relief from the saturated color.
The wall art in the room is mostly achromatic. The black and white pieces provide further relief for the eye. This work has just a small touch of red:
In a view of the red living room from the dining room, we see that the dining room picks up the creamy yellow of the living room ceiling:
The consistency of trim color links the two rooms.
A Warm Embrace
Not quite the fiery red of a sunset, orange-red walls embrace Jay Jeffer’s living room with an intense warmth. The liveliness of the space is inviting. The bright red modern cocktail table with its chunky legs adds a sense of fun.
Some paint colors in the deep orange-red range:
Sherwin-Williams SW881 Cayenne and SW6622 Hearty Orange.
Benjamin Moore 1307 Geranium and 2171-20 Fire Dance.
Dunn Edwards and California Paints DE 5124 Southwestern Clay.
Whatever color you’re thinking of using on your walls, be sure to try out a sample patch first, preferably on each wall. And always test the color against a white background since colors affect other colors.
The above room images are from the website of Jeffers Design Group. The photographer: Joe Fletcher.