Design Talk | All In for Red

the great fashion designer bill blass famously advises,
“When in doubt, wear red!”

By Julie Bass  |  Photography by Geoffrey Hodgdon



Red is dramatic. It’s vibrant. It’s charismatic. Red…. Is…. Confidence. Indeed, it takes a certain amount of courage to use red in home décor, especially on the walls. Most people are somewhat intimidated to take that bold step, so to add energy and visual interest, but keep risk to a minimum, I sometimes suggest red be used sparingly as an accent. It’s perfect as a pop of color to move your eye around the room. That might be a splash of red on the inside of a bookcase or a striking accessory such as a lamp, pillow or piece of art for just the right punch.

But this year Benjamin Moore is all in for red, proudly announcing its color of the year for 2018 is Caliente –AF290, and I couldn’t be more inspired to step out with color in a big way. This red is warm, enveloping and full of personality. And when used as wall color, the results can be a show stopping space that is inviting and full of life.

What, besides a great scarlet hue on the walls, makes a room successful? How do you keep it from becoming too intense? You need to add layers and give the red a chance to step back just enough. Here, in this elegant living room, drapery in muted shades of rose and blue/gray soften the edges. A silk rug in silvery blue grounds the space with an appealing glow, while neutral upholstery adds calm and contrast. Metallic gold accents complete a triadic harmony of red, blue and yellow (gold) equally spaced apart on the color wheel. Finally, these walls were treated with a lime wash for a subtle aged look. All of these elements combined allows the paint be the star, but not in a way that is overwhelming.

So, if you have a jewel box of a room just waiting for some drama, dare to be bold and dress it in red!



Julie Bass is the owner of Julie Bass Interiors, where she has completed many interior design projects in the greater Annapolis and DC area over the past 15 years. She holds an MBA from Boston College and actively pursues continuing education in the field of interior design.

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Annapolis Home Magazine
Vol. 9, No. 5 2018