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For the Love of Reds

Rachel Perls, a decor8 reader, an artist, and an IACC accredited color consultant, wrote in recently to tell me all about what she does and how color consultants help people chose just the right mix of hues for their home, office, product design or marketing. I thought it would be fun to have her write a bit about color and how it affects our mood, starting with Red, often known as the color of love and passion. Rachel, take it away…

For the Love of Reds

By decor8 contributor: Rachel Perls

In honor of Valentine’s Day, we’re paying tribute to the color red. Ever notice how this color gets all the attention? Ah red, so passionate, so fiery. Like that crimson velvet sofa you can’t help but drool over. Reds make statements, whether a brilliant ruby, understated burgundy, or sexy fuchsia. A study in contradictions, they can represent love or hate, sex or innocence, power or passivity.

(images top left clockwise: Design Assistant, Domino, House + Home, Miles Redd.)

Why does red tug on your emotions? Scientific studies have shown that the color can actually induce physiologic changes. As a visual stimulant, red can accelerate a heart rate and cause an adrenaline rush. As such a dominant color, red works great as an accent: a rich scarlet Oriental rug, cheerful cranberry throw pillows, or cluster of persimmon-hued candles can really perk up a space. And for bigger spaces, by first understanding the different personalities of this stimulating hue, it can be used to its fullest potential. A heart-pounding fire red will evoke a dramatically different response than that of a cool, regal wine red or a soft, romantic pearl pink.

More than any other color, red has the ability to stir up emotions and set a mood. Because of its incredible power, take care in its application to avoid over-stimulating your audience.

For professional advice on effective use of color, please visit Rachel?s blog Hue.

(images top left clockwise: Ralph Lauren, Eastern Accents, CB2, Pottery Barn.)

Any questions for Rachel regarding Red? Ask her by commenting below.

[Update: Reader Vanessa pointed us over to a fabulous article on Red over on NPR. It examines how Red has been used throughout the ages, and for those who haven’t taken a color theory class, I think you’ll find it rather fascinating. Thanks, Vanessa]

Posted in Color Inspiration on February 14, 2007

Anthropologie Bags

These graphic totes from Anthropologie make me happy today. I imagine casually hanging one over a chair and not really needing to store it someplace since it would make a lovely decorative accent. So, so pretty… Priced between $68-78 USD, which I think is quite a steal for Anthro!

(images from anthropologie)

Posted in Fashion + Accessories, Shopping + Products on February 14, 2007

Illu Stration Lighting (Germany)

When I came across the lighting of Maryann Williams, I had to learn more about the lady behind Illu Stration.
Born in Cape Town, South Africa, and settling in Leidersbach, Germany, Maryam has studied nearly every design disapline imaginable, from textiles to fashion, interiors, pattern design, and architecture. Using mostly felt, she designs home accessories, lighting, greeting cards, rugs, hats, totes, and fashion. Three dimensional, tactile, sensual, I could gush on forever. Her work is to die for. Porteguese fashion student and design blogger, Coxi, recently interviewed her over on his newly redesigned blog, Life*Fever. (Congrats on the redesign, Coxi!)

(images from illu stration)

Posted in Objects on February 14, 2007

Au Lit : Antique Style Beds – Tres Chic!

I dream of living in one of those pre-war city apartments with soaring ceilings and ornate crown moldings. If I ever do, I’m purchasing a French antique style bed like the ones shown below from new designers Nicole Gale and Jane Jones of Au Lit. I love the green bed with the butterfly print in teal, and the other one with the large graphic palm leaves (sigh), it’s captivating. Now I really want to go to Brimfield in May and comb the market… Just imagine something like this in your bedroom…

(images from au lit)

Posted in Rooms on February 13, 2007


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