Red Revelations: the ‘Unexpected red theory’

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The Unexpected Red Theory, initially coined by Taylor Migliazzo Simon on TikTok, proposes that adding red accents to a space where it’s unexpected can dramatically enhance its aesthetic appeal.

Historiska Hem – Photographer: Fredric Boukari Styling: Åsa Copparstad

Red possesses a transformative energy capable of revitalising any space, whether it’s through a painted furniture piece, a captivating artwork, or even the intricate details of the woodwork. Its impact isn’t limited to walls alone; it can make a significant statement in various elements of interior design. In this photograph captured by Fredric Boukari, the woodwork on the French doors adds a distinctive flair to an otherwise neutral space, demonstrating the power of red to elevate aesthetics.

Over the last few years, we’ve noticed a real shift in preferences for both clients, with what they request and location owners in how they decorate their homes. Gone are the days where a blank canvas reins supreme, clients and home owners are steering towards houses that feel more like homes, whether that’s a maximalist take with pattern and colour or more muted tones, showing some personality in your décor is favourable.

Shoot Location – Hooks (1st Option Locations, Photographer: Sophia Weston)

We recently photographed a fabulous example of this In Honor Oak, our location house, Hooks. This Victorian House includes a stylish palette of greens, pastel pinks, deep blues and even some yellow. One standout aspect of the house that caught our eye was the vibrant red curtains adorning the kitchen/dining space. Naturally, the owner has curated a selection of red accessories, ranging from ramekins to artwork. However, our personal favourite addition is the charmingly painted red dining chair. See, the red works well in this space, it brings in extra life, without the red the space would still work, being a neutral space with some muted tones. But the red brings another life!

Shoot Location – Invisible House (1st Option Locations)

The theory finds another compelling example in Invisible House, a brutalist concrete structure that would otherwise be monochromatic. However, a statement red sofa introduces a dynamic contrast, transforming the space entirely.

Shoot Location – Birchwood House (1st Option Locations, Photographer: Sophia Weston)

Similarly, Birchwood House embraces the ‘Unexpected Red Theory’ in its dining space. A bold red bench serves as the focal point, providing a vibrant counterbalance to the brutalist aesthetic of the room.

Shoot Location – Hanover (1st Option Locations)

Taking the theory to new heights, Hanover exemplifies the concept with ingenuity. In the lounge area, bespoke joinery is finished in a captivating red hue, complemented by a bold red interior door and a visually striking striped, red fireplace surround.

There are a plethora of reds available at the moment, if you are looking for something striking try Atomic Red (Little Greene), Volcanic Red (Dulux) or High Voltage (Valspar). Looking for something more subtle? How about Red Earth (Farrow & Ball) or Caliente (Benjamin Moore)?

Left to right: Atomic Red, Red Earth, Volcanic Red, High Voltage, Caliente

By strategically incorporating red accents, these spaces transcend the ordinary, showcasing the power of unexpected elements to breathe new life into interior design.