The Pink Room

In defence of red

Evie KempComment
Red raises a room’s energy level. The most intense color, it pumps the adrenaline like no other hue. It is a good choice when you want to stir up excitement, particularly at night. In the living room or dining room, red draws people together and stimulates conversation. In an entryway, it creates a strong first impression.
— Freshome
 From Anthropologie.

From Anthropologie.

Red got a bit of a bad rap in our podcast episode on colour - I've got some real hang ups on it, it's actually quite unfair. These hang ups all stem from the 90's and 00's, otherwise known as the age of the "pop of red", and I admit, I was entirely complicit in it (as I tend to be with all trends both good and bad). I'm talking about the otherwise bland room jazzed up with some strategically placed red objects hurriedly bought in one fell chain-store swoop to "add some colour".  Our first kitchen was a text-book colour popper of very little imagination - it had the red knife block, red colander and red clock (I confess I still have the colander but it's no longer hung on the wall at least). My short time as a red popper was misguided, and as I moved on to more creative ways of using colour and being ok with having a silver kettle, I was kind of ashamed that I had towed the line so predictably. But I was young, and it was my first home and perhaps it's a rite of passage on our way to better things? For a long time it felt like decorator accents only even came red, at least in the stores I could afford, so no wonder if felt like everyone was doing it. 

Once I had removed the red, I fully rejected it in a very similar way as I rejected pant skirts, peach schnapps and my inflatable backpack (all 3 of those I stand by my "never again" stance). The suggestion of adding red was always met with a physical recoil. Since then, besides red lipstick I have rarely gravitated towards the most passionate hue and certainly not at home (and yeah, technically I'm a red-head but it's orange innit?). Pink, and orange have featured widely and are my favourites but there's this gap in the middle that is red.  It's really very unfair and I've started to almost feel quite bad about it, not to mention like I'm possibly cutting off my nose to spite my face by denying red back in to my life.  

So, i've decided to embrace red rather than seeing red. The reds I'm loving are bold and brash, combined with more red, pinks, golds and greens, instead of white and grey. They're textured and varied and seen by lamp light rather than the stark kitchens of my Real Estate nightmares. It's less about 'popping' some red and more about just guzzling down the whole lot.

 from "The  Way We Live With the Things We Love"  by Stafford Cliff and Gilles de Chabaneix.

from "The Way We Live With the Things We Love" by Stafford Cliff and Gilles de Chabaneix.

If i sound overly dramatic, it's because I am overly dramatic. But, I'm also passionate about colour and the way it enhances every moment our our lives and I if I'm discounting an entire (PRIMARY) colour, then can I really call myself a colour lover? In the words of Tim Gunn, you've got to make it work, and I will. Red or dead (another great 90's throwback!).

 From "Seeing Red" by Stephanie Hoppen.

From "Seeing Red" by Stephanie Hoppen.