Red is an inherently bold color to design a room around. Because anything that powerful, striking, and vibrant demands effort. You can’t just throw together a few cute pieces and trust that everything will work out. Red is loud. It’s eye-catching. And when used inattentively, it can easily overpower a space. But peruse some of the prettiest red living room ideas on the internet, and you’ll realize that overwhelm isn’t your only option. Give red the care and consideration it deserves, and you could end up with a space that’s not just pretty—but downright stunning.
When you choose to decorate with the color red, you’re giving up the possibility of curating a mediocre space—or even a good one. Your options are more polar than that. Succeed, and achieve absolute greatness. Fail, and earn only disappointment. Given these odds, many people relegate red to out-of-sight, out-of-mind spaces, like the bathroom or laundry room.
Only some choose to embrace the challenge and make red the focal point of the living room, the veritable centerpiece of any home. There, red can play an array of different roles—acting as a vivid pop of color, adding weighty vibrance to the space, or most daringly, serving as the base of a room’s entire palette.
Given all this, curating a red living room may seem like a daunting prospect. And in terms of the thought it requires, it is. But—as the internet’s collection of lovely red living rooms demonstrates—there are plenty of ways to do it right, no matter your aesthetic.
All Red Everything
The most daring way to do a red living room? Dedicate an entire wall to the shade. By opting for graphic prints and sleek lines, you can keep the space feeling crisp, rather than overwhelming.
You can have a red living room without making red the only color in the space. Opting for a two-tone color palette can leave the room feeling balanced, but veritably bold.
Many of us use art to echo colors that are already present in a space. But there’s no reason we have to. Why not, instead, allow art to inject a new tone into your palette—say, a vibrant shade of red?
A pop of red doesn’t have to be bright or vibrant. Darker shades of red—like burgundies—can ground a space, leaving a room feeling homier or cozier than it would otherwise.
A printed red piece may sound overwhelmingly vivid. But adding visual texture to a red pillow or painting actually tempers the shade, making it easier to decorate with. So don’t be afraid to stock up on patterned red pieces—and don’t shy away from mixing and matching them, either.
In any decor scheme, there are obvious accent pieces—things like pillows, paintings, and trinkets. These smaller items are straightforward candidates for color. But putting color in more counterintuitive spaces—like on your floor or along a fireplace—can be just as striking.
Lots of Light
When many of us hear the phrase “red living room,” we imagine a too-vibrant or too-dark space. But red can be a relatively bright and lightweight addition to a room—especially when it’s rendered in a print with lighter shades, like white and beige.
Red lends itself almost surprisingly well to earthier, more natural palettes—like those featuring rich browns and dark charcoals. If you’re craving a little color while cultivating a grounded aesthetic, consider adding a couple rust-colored printed pillows to the mix.
Often, go-to red accents include yellow daisies and pink paisleys—maybe even a high-gloss orange table or two. But red—particularly, red-orange—can look just as strikingly vintage. And when rendered in shag carpet form, it’s sure to transform your space into a nostalgic haven.
Pops of Color
Red doesn’t have to account for a majority of your decor to be prominent in your space. By opting for a monochromatic interior—plus an array of accent pieces—you can curate color without cultivating overwhelm. (And if you want red to be the statement-maker, simply feature it a bit more heavily than your other accent shades.)
Red rugs may abound, but red couches are decidedly rare. It takes guts to make the centerpiece of your living room a bold red sectional. But opt for a darker, earthier shade, and you may be surprised by how easily it integrates with your aesthetic.
Warm and Cool Shades
A palette doesn’t have to be warm or cool to be successful. It can offer some blend of the two, balancing the bolder pieces with the softer ones. (Or in this case, balancing a very bold warm rug with an equally bold cool ceiling.)
Many of us aim to keep our spaces as bright and open as possible. But those of us seeking coziness may find solace in darker, richer shades and luxurious textiles. Red is a natural fit in this elegantly snuggly aesthetic, whether it comes in the form of bold wallpaper, statement seating, or a grounding rug.
Opting for a bright red carpet may sound intimidating. But wash the shade out just a bit, and you have a decidedly versatile rug on your hands. Pair it with darker shades to add weight to the space, or combine it with brighter tones to open things up. Either way, you’re in for a seriously statement-making room.
A striking color combination can be the difference between an exciting interior and an obvious one. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box with your palette pairings—especially since your starting point is so vivid.
Use details to make your palette feel cohesive. Start with a bold red piece, like a sofa or rug, then offer echoes of the shade around the room. Books, works of art, lampshades, and picture frames can all bring a room together.
Put a tufted burgundy couch in the middle of the room, and you’re bound to have a conversation-starting space—even if it’s the only thing in there. Don’t be afraid to design a room around a single piece, especially if it’s a particularly stunning one.
Remember that your accent pieces don’t have to match your statement-makers exactly. Pulling from the same color family can make a room feel thoughtfully assembled, without feeling too matchy-matchy.
Fire engine red isn’t the only color on the menu. Washed-out shades can create a space that’s just as bold and striking, especially when paired with a few more vibrant pieces.
Red is such a powerful color that even when used sparingly, it can transform a room. If you want to play with a bold palette without committing to it entirely, opt for a bold pillow or two. You can always add more decor to the mix over time, if you see fit.