mini trends

mini-trend: red

by Grace Bonney

lately i’ve been unable to shake the fact that what was once my least favorite color is now my absolute favorite color. growing up red was just not a hue that i loved. i was more of a green lady. throw in yellow and you had my top two least favorite colors. but over the past month i’ve watched my new favorite color combination become a bright, chinese red combined with pops of bright yellow or kelly green. who would of thought?

[image above, clockwise from top left: apple pillow $95, red light district lamp $700, buckle hook rack $29.95, pop clinton street stevie bag $325, red sunburst clock $360, emma red rug, set of 2 red bookends $120, red coral bowl $59+, olauf cabinet $299.95, glass cocktail ring $62, turned walnut side table at 1stdibs]

so even though i know that purple is all the rage right now (and i agree it’s definitely everywhere), i’m feeling a strong pull towards bright red. i’ve talked to a few shop buyers over the past week on the west and east coast and along with purple, they’re all still picking up bright red pieces to accent the bold purples we’re seeing in textiles and furniture. so i thought i’d do a roundup of what i’m loving right now: red accented with pops of kelly green and bright yellow. i first fell in love with this combination when i was laying on my couch (kelly green) with my face against a judy ross pillow (bright yellow) and noticed some gorgeous red poppies i had on the credenza in my peripheral vision. the combination was so pretty that i decided to drag one of our bright red dining chairs into the room just to look at more red, green and yellow together. so, before i bore you with more stories of my haphazard chair-dragging here’s a mini-trend roundup of my favorite bright reds in the market. if you’re looking for more color roundups there is a red and white, kelly green, pink and black, delft blue and bright white roundup right here on the d*s mini-trend page. enjoy! (the mini-trend continues after the fold so click here for the full post or click “read more” below)

[image above, clockwise from top left: bo bowl $16, red lacquered bamboo coffee table at 1stdibs, red lacquered desk at 1stdibs, stem wallpaper $88, plaid blanket $428, candle #1 (solid wax) $72, red moroccan pouf $125, desk 51 $699, hable construction cosmos fabric in sunshine, le punk keyfob charm (in ruby) $32.50, saarinen executive chair $1454]

[image above, clockwise from top left: heirloom tomato loveseat $998+, mag table $169, felt bird $18, hable construction “beads” fabric in green bean, eleanora by lauren yaggy, latte bowl $24, mini red pinto pillow $60, red wire basket $85, root stool $570, buick red bread bin $50, lena corwin field pillow $40-$60, set of 2 alpha water tumblers $115]

[image above: red mandarin bench $2259]

[image above: thank you very very very much card by bread+butter at etsy $3.50 each]

[image above: red revisited $319]

[image above, clockwise from top left: be mine greeting card by desTroy at etsy $3.75]

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  • grace – your roundups always look so great together! i esp. love the swatches with a push-pin – how do you make these look so great?

  • I’ve had this SAME experience. About a month ago I bought a cheap, chunky plastic bracelet at Banana. It was bright red and although I NEVER wear red and generally dislike it, the bracelet caught my eye and it was only five bucks. Ever since then I’ve been giving more thought to red, to the point where we’re considering painting a new telephone chair/gossip bench that will live in our entryway a bright, glossy red. So unlike me, but somehow I can’t resist it!

  • Couldn’t agree more. I, too, have been drawn to bursts of red here and there in my apartment. I think it just warms up my rooms that are mostly filled with earth tones. Love it!

  • Thank you for this post! I was once (and still am) a blue and green gal, but my lovely 90 year old neighbor eventually won me over to the red side. (She LOVES red, and wears it/decorates it without abandon). It tops my list, now!

  • i am so agreeing with this post. i still love spa colors – watery blues, greens, grays, but i’ve realised red is such a pure vibrant cheerful color :)

    and i totally 2nd what diane said about the ikea fabric — i just bought 4 yds yesterday – the black and red heart and the allover red flock.

  • I love the upholstered chair with wooden legs in the second group but its not listed!

  • red brings such happiness to a room! i love blues and greens in certain rooms, but red is so sexy and warm, it has to be seen somewhere in the home! (it’s in our guest bedroom… )
    plus, i love to wear red!

  • I never would’ve known the Olauf cabinet finally went on sale if you hadn’t posted it. Thank you!

  • I agree with Bridget. I love that upholstered chair – where do I find one?

    Happy to see the red spread. My favorite piece of art that I own is a graphic movie poster from a 1950’s Polish designer and it is all bold reds and yellows. I’ve been considering building my new family room around the poster but kept getting drawn back to the “spa” colors, maybe my initial inclination is worth revisiting…

  • Grace,
    Color is SUCH a wierd thing to talk about. Color can be a) a market/fashion move, b) a formal aesthetic decision, or c) a deeply personal, emotional pull that has no logical explanation. The market/fashion world can be very convincing – for a short time – but it is their JOB to convince you of its “rightness” time after time after time, so you continue to discard and consume. Aesthetics, though sometimes affected by fashion, are also a set of formal elements that generally make sense whether the world is in that mood at the moment or not. Red or purple will always be more related to passion and anger than, say, calm and peace. Finally, that unexplainable personal connection to certain colors, which none of us can justify, and (here’s my point) need not. My approach (in particular my home) is to acknowledge my personal colors, and then get them under aesthetic control. Fashion is of little interest to me, except for what it says about “us” in the here and now.
    Ronn Ives/FUTURES Antiques

  • Ooooo. When I was 3 my parents built a house and I got to pick the color of my carpet…..yep, bright red. Loved it, and love these inspiring objects!

  • Hey grace… I love this round-up too! I always get disappointed though, as usually your finds aren’t available in Australia :( still… probably safer that way! I just actually posted a Melbourne shopping guide on my site… inspired by your shopping guides of course! Would be honoured if you have time to check it out sometime… :) x

  • Wow, that is a great selection of red stuff! I’ve been working on building up a collection myself for the last year or so, over at It’s Gotta Be Red (http://www.itsgottabered.com), but you’ve got the eye, that’s for sure.

    I am glad someone else has recognised that red’s time has come! :)

  • We are also very ‘Red’ It makes a good background to almost anything. Your readers might be interested in our totally red site. http://spunique.com It is a growing collection of unique designs by designer Sebastian Bergne.

  • I love love love red! Having worn it on my nails for the past few years to show my love, I’m really into bringing it into my home! Ikea have some gorgeous red plastic stools, I’ve got 2 for seating or little tables. xx

  • lucy

    i wish more stores and manufacturers made their goods available in australia and new zealand. in 2006 i wrote an open letter to them, asking they they get their act in gear and start shipping or selling there:


    sadly so many still don’t ship or sell to your area. it makes me so angry. your country has such a thriving design community i don’t know why they wouldn’t want to take advantage of that.

    but, as people pointed out in the i linked to above, australia does have such a vibrant design scene that at least there is still wonderful local design to choose from.

    in the meantime, i promise i’m still bringing this up with shop owners and larger companies i meet. ;)


  • Thanks for the additional info…way out of my price range but still beautiful to admire….

  • My new favourite colour combination: robin’s egg blue with hits of Chinese red. Sounds odd, but we used it in our toddler’s room, and it’s AWESOME.

  • Does anyone have any ideas where to find a Moroccan “Pouf” in Silver Leather? I just tried the gold one at Calypso and missed the boat, it’s sold out.
    Great post, thanks Grace!

  • Hi Sharp Lily, you can look for your pouf on grahamandgreen.co.uk they have a gorgeous one. I have had their goods sent to Australia so US should be no problem!

  • Thank you, Grace. You’ve inspired me to action: I have a sweet little dressing table that was my grandmother’s that I’ve been contemplating painting a bright chinese red and using it as an entry table. I’m off to search for paint! (Know of any great red paints, by chance??)

  • Minna – a great red we use (we are faux finishers & also make our own line of products) is Raspberry Truffle by Benjamin Moore. It is a no fail. You may want to use oil-based for its durability.

    Grace – I always love your “mini-trends”. They are a great creative boost, although it doesn’t really help in the financial department:)

  • I bought orange and red versions of the felt bird at Kate’s Paperie in NYC in their post-Christmas sale. They hang in the doorway between my living room and hallway in my petit apartment. I smile every time I look at them!

  • The Italians started it all with their modern cabinetry, and I think the Ikea knockoff bright red kitchen has had a huge impact in the last couple years. So many people go through there and that’s hands down the most impacting vignette they have set up in the store….my two cents…..

  • what makes red a “mini trend” as opposed to an all out TREND??? Anyone have any photos on red as a restaurant color trend?

  • I too have just come to realize that I love red in my home. As I just added red accents to my kitchen, it occurred to me that I had also added red in my living, dining, den, and master bedroom over the years! I hope this is not a fad that will date my rooms in the near future. Oh well, it makes me happy, so who cares?

  • Oh! I absolutely love the reds and what you have put together.

    Growing up with orange seemed like a stigma, like red – orange goes well with clashed colours like greens, purples, yellow.

    I love what you have collected.


    It’s actually amazing how we revert back to the colours.

    After being over orange from growing up – RETRO that is back again, I use orange here and there.

    So, I see why you swayed back into the RED. Simply fabulous.

    Red really adds class and stands out. I love it so much it means PASSION to me.

    Like raspberry jam, plums, redcurrants, beetroot, strawberries, mixed berries, red wine, candles, lampshades, cushions.

    Thrown in happy colours like yellow or green merely has the earth tones of life blended in for a happy environment.

    Personally, I wear red lipstick, red bracelets and neclaces, scarves and handbags with black and it does look very smart.

    So, thankyou

    Will add this section.

  • So happy to hear that red is still a favorite choice as a punch of color in a room. No matter what the hot trends I cannot stay away from it! I love love love using it in paintings

  • Red is one of those colors one has to grow into… As a little girl I didn’t like it all that much either, but as a grown-up woman I find it very appealing and classy, (when it’s not overdone, of course).

  • I love how versatile red is becoming. It is important to pick the right hue, or else the color can make you feel anxious or angry.