Watch how the color red turns up the heat and ignites energy into a cool living room and dining room. The homeowner got lucky when she inherited this subtle blue-gray…

Watch how the color red turns up the heat and ignites energy into a cool living room and dining room.

The homeowner got lucky when she inherited this subtle blue-gray wall color after purchasing this home last year. With its open floor plan, the wall color spills into every room on the first floor. It’s rare to move into a home with a “perfect neutral.” Even though the paint color here is gray it had a very obvious blue undertone.

The client already owned a large, red leather sectional which lived in the neighboring family room. Color and size-wise, it was pretty bossy and motivated the selection for the main level’s accent color, red.

Combining warm and cool colors can be a challenge without a jumping off point.

This is why we NEVER select a paint color before the artwork, fabrics, or rugs.

It’s easier to buy a $40 gallon of paint to coordinate with your accents, than to search tirelessly for items that live harmoniously with your new wall color.

Before I get into the details of how we brought it all together, here’s a before photo:



Picture Perfect

A vibrant abstract painting makes a grand statement in any room. Most importantly, it performs the “heavy lifting” needed to tie in the warm red and cool blue-gray in this living room. We were also thrilled to have the option to tie in additional colors in small doses. We added a hand-embroidered throw pillow, purchased during my recent trip to South Africa, to bring the accent color to the sofa.

Adjust the Temperature

When balancing warm and cool colors, we find success when we balance opposing colors in the same value. For example, the room’s overall color reminds me of a blue-gray sky. In nature, we’d find blue-gray skies maybe above a sandy beach. The new sofa, custom drapery panels, and wool rug in a sandy palette work together to raise the overall temperature of the room in a soft, subtle way.

Punctuate with Color

A little red goes a long way. I’m reminded of this each time when I wear a red lipstick. Adding the red chairs and custom throw pillows provides the punch needed to connect the living room to the other rooms on the first floor.

Antiques and Beyond

When designing a room, we are excited to include something old. It gives the room a sense of history and most importantly makes it feel more like a home and less like a showroom. We loved the shapely piano legs in contrast with the tapered legs of the sofa and chairs.

The African grain sifter baskets have proven to be one of my favorite accessories to bring texture and the global experience to any room.

We can’t wait to reveal the connecting dining room in the upcoming weeks. We’re expecting the gorgeous artwork any day now for the finishing touch!

If you’re looking to reimagine your home, then we’d love to design and decorate a purposeful room that best suits to your style. Please visit our services page for more information. After deciding which service best fits your needs, please take advantage of our convenient scheduling platform.
We hope to hear from you soon!

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2 Comments. Leave new

  • Erika, this room is so lovely! It feels both tranquil and vibrant. Red is one color my husband and I agree so I’m always looking for new ways to incorporate in into a room. Like your client, I too have a red sectional. Please consider posting a photo of your client’s family room in a future post. I would love to see how you’ve interpreted this color palette throughout her home. Looking forward to seeing the dining room!


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