Red paint can make a statement in small doses or big. To inject some red into your home, all you need is a little advice, a little bit of bravery, and a paintbrush.
The entry of a small Manhattan apartment triples as a dining area and library. To unify the irregular proportions of the space, designer Nick Olsen used a lipstick red hue on the ceiling and walls.
"Red is a neutral for me. Like red nail polish, it's classic. It goes with everything. I actually had that Coco Chanel red lacquer nail polish matched, and I painted the floors of my living and dining rooms with it. They're the most fun floors I've ever had." — Alison Spear
Make it yours:'s Ruby Red 2001-10
Who says that a pantry can't be stylish? In a New Jersey home, designer Jim Dove contrasted a chic black kitchen with a brilliant red pantry.
"Mmm…red! I'm glad it has moved beyond the dining room, because I adore the power and energy red brings to a space. As a child growing up in Okinawa, Japan, my favorite kimono — given to me by our Japanese gardener — was just this shade. It's oxblood, which has such depth. Paired with any blue, from cerulean to midnight, it's classic." — Traci Zeller
Make it yours: Glidden Red Delicious GLR30
In a Vermont farmhouse, designer Ramsay Gourd went for an eclectic palette. Some rooms are neutral, while others are very bold — like this vibrant red library.
"I prefer the warm, vibrant reds to the historic reds, which are beautiful but sedate. This is a daring red, a real fire engine red. It has a playfulness that reminds me of a little red schoolhouse." —Ruthie Sommers
Make it yours:Dutchlac Brilliant Tulip Red W1001B-M
A coat of red paint adds a surprising pop of color in a closet in the home of David and Monique Kaihoi. However, the focus on color doesn't necessarily translate into an equally vibrant wardrobe. Like her husband, Monique edits her wardrobe to a few classic pieces in basic colors. "We don't dress like our apartment. I can't see either of us in a tulip red blazer," says Kaihoi.
"Paint is relatively inexpensive and entirely reversible, so it's a little less scary to pick something bold and interesting, like this orange-red. Easier to change than a sofa in a similar hue." — Steven Sclaroff
Make it yours: Mythic Spring Cosmos 115-6
"Tomato-soup red" walls and hand-painted striped floors pack a lot of personality into the kitchen of Liza Pulitzer Calhoun's Palm Beach, Florida home.
"One of my favorite things to do when I travel is to visit the local food markets, and this particular shade of red reminds me of the dried chili peppers that hang in such abundance in the outdoor stalls throughout India. Red is an energetic color that denotes power and passion. It adds a lot of impact to a room at minimal expense." — Ellie Cullman
Make it yours: Benjamin Moore Habanero Pepper 1306
Lacquered walls reflect light and create a sense of depth in a dining area by designer Philip Gorrivan. It's an effect that makes the room feel larger.
"Red never goes out of style. It's full of life — always fresh, always fun to wake up to. We go for reds with less blue in them and more orange because they're happier to live with." — William Diamond and Anthony Baratta
Make it yours:'s Lattice Red IB57
In the dining room of a New York apartment by Markham Roberts, walls sheathed in Schumacher's Prestwick wool satin in Paprika are hung with antique watercolors depicting minerals from Cove Landing gallery.
"I'm very fond of cinnabar — deep red with a bit of orange and umber — the color of old Chinese lacquer and good paprika and the pollen in a lily. " — Mallory Marshall
Make it yours:
The glamorous red dressing room is part of a large walk-in closet in the master bedroom of a Los Angeles house. A 19th-century Regency mirror hangs from the ceiling on chandelier chains.
"Red is the color of excitement, and I tend to go for corally orange reds. With red, you know you've arrived and you glance in the mirror and realize how great you look and breeze right in." — Keith Irvine
Make it yours:Salsa 2009-20
A soft shade of red sets off a streetscape, beach scene, and portraits in a master bedroom by designer Alexander Doherty.
"This paint has a strié effect, very obvious brush marks that appear as it dries. It can take a drab space and give it dignity. Paprika is warm, welcoming, and slightly dramatic — it makes food look great, people look great, candlelight look great." — Joe Nye
Make it yours:' Paprika 013
Connie Newberry wanted to use one of her favorite prints, but needed to temper the swathes of fabric. "I didn't want guests to come in and think they were going to be eaten alive by those giant apples and pears," she says. The solution? Quilting the curtains and painting walls 's Chili Pepper took the edge off.
"This is a really deep coral, kind of like a cheerful Chinese red. Pinks and reds to me are synonymous with frozen drinks and relaxing." — Richard Mishaan
Make it yours: 's Chili Pepper 2004-20
The kitchen in this Vermont cottage is only 88 square feet, but Studio Due founders Deirdre Heekin and Caleb Barber have no trouble cooking dinners for 25. Heekin believes the best part of entertaining for guests is "that shared moment that a great dinner or lunch can give." The unusual red hue on the walls helps give this small space presence.
"Plates would look great on the wall against this warm cayenne, and I'd do teak countertops and cork on the floor — very soft and warm to bare feet." — Paula Perlini
Make it yours:Warm Sienna 1203
Designer Amanda Kyser renovated her eastern Long Island house to reflect both its camp-in-the-woods history and her background as a dealer in Asian antiques. An 18th-century Italian farm table displays a mounted puppet head from Burma. Beside it, one of a pair of midcentury chairs that Kyser repainted. The chair's red hue echoes the statement wall in the staircase.
"This rich Oriental red works wonderfully in an entry that you pass through into lighter rooms where you spend more time. It makes a small space more memorable. It's a warm, inviting, and very stylish color." —John Barman
Make it yours: Ralph Lauren Interior Paint Chinoiserie RL2241E
There's no red room as famous as Diana Vreeland's "garden in hell" by Billy Baldwin. The Bracquenié chintz, Le Grand Arbre, is available to the trade from Pierre Frey. Nobody knows exactly what shade of red was used in her room, but we found a good match in Benjamin Moore Red.
"All my life I've pursued the perfect red. I can never get painters to mix it for me. It's exactly as if I'd said "I want Rococo with a spot of Gothic in it and a bit of Buddhist temple" — they have no idea what I'm talking about." — Diana Vreeland
Make it yours:Red 2000-10