Design trends: red - this season's fashion fix colour for the home

Red is the fashion fix colour this season as it glows from the catwalk into the home — fresh, lively and flirty, and teamed with fuchsia and orange.
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Pantone, the colour experts who point the way each season on top shades for fashion and interiors, are pushing a shade called sangria, billed as “an exotic, glamorous red”, paired with aurora red, a pinker shade they promise will add “verve and spark”.
Reds for this autumn and winter are not the rich, heavy tones we’ve used before, with liberal doses of metallic and thick damask cloths. This warm and luxurious colour has many guises, from rich ruby, scarlet or flame to sexy Chanel lipstick red.
It is inspiring and romantic, and the new take, with fuchsia and orange, brings an audacious clash of strong colour blocks that Vogue says is ultra-dazzling. Also, pair red with blue or turquoise, or serve it up in brilliant prints or embroideries for a contemporary take.
“There’s definitely a trend towards lighter, fresher reds in interiors,” says Rebecca Craig, head of design at Sanderson. “Go for the unexpected and use red with aqua mint, and icy blue, and throw in a geometric print.”
Firecracker: Sanderson’s new active emulsion shade for walls, £41.50 for a 2.5-litre can. Visit
Downstairs, a fresh bright red is an instant pick-me-up for the small rooms of a typical London terrace. It makes a perfect dining room backdrop, too. In the kitchen you can pick out red in small accessories, perhaps a kettle or a juicer, or in crockery and red or pink assorted cushions.
Upmarket paint makers have their reds ready for winter. Sanderson is pushing Firecracker for its new active emulsion, which, with just six per cent sheen, is desirably matt yet particularly hardwearing for high-traffic areas such as corridors, kitchens and playrooms.
Little Green has chosen Atomic Red as a key autumn colour. Get a wealth of advice on shades and paint at the new showroom in New Cavendish Street, W1. Call 020 7935 8844.
Colour and print: cushions in silk mix from £95 a metre, linens from £88 a metre. Montana curtains £145 a metre. All at Manuel Canovas from Colefax & Fowler (
American fashion designer Diane von Furstenberg, known for strong colours and bold prints, is making her first foray into furnishing fabrics this season, and her sizzling collection for top textile brand Kravet has just arrived at Design Centre Chelsea Harbour.
Ikats, animal prints, herringbone, stripes and florals are delivered in clashing combos of red, pink and orange, with the sure touch of New York’s first lady of fashion. Finish with matching braid or trim.
Nina Campbell, our own decorating doyenne, is also travelling the red route with her new Cathay collection for Osborne & Little. Inspired by travels in China, Campbell has created an opulent red paisley damask, and a glossy, lacquer-like wallcovering, loosely based on a kimono belt.
Glossy: Nina Campbell’s red Mahayana wallpaper, £56 per roll at Osborne & Little, Kings Road SW3
Matthew Williamson, too, has added red fabrics in prints and weaves to his autumn collection. All these have just arrived in the Osborne & Little showroom in King’s Road, SW3, which has ready-made cushions now in the new designs.
Across the street, Designers Guild has bed linen and cushions in clashing reds and pinks.
At Design Centre Chelsea Harbour, with a plethora of showrooms, get a free lesson in colour scheming with the latest mood boards on the third floor of the North Dome.
Browse more than 200 swatches in 102 showrooms. Coral, orange and copper feature strongly, as does the orange/pink clash. Call 020 7352 1900 or email to book a free sourcing session to track down what you have in mind.
From £1,375: chair, left, in Brera Lino aubergine fabric and Boratti crocus velvet; right, in Brera Lino currant and Boratti scarlet. Hanging silks £100 a metre, cushions £55-£90. All Designers Guild from
  • Red is great for warming north-facing rooms
  • Add red to a monochrome room for an immediate fashion fillip
  • Red makes surfaces seem closer — good for the end wall of a long corridor
  • Try scarlet in a dingy hall
  • Pictures look good against a red background, which was a popular 18th-century ploy. Hence the paint shade Picture Gallery Red at Farrow & Ball.
  • Red with white has a folksy feel — think gingham, hearts and cross-stitch samplers
  • Red with black is sexy and mature. Try varying textures and materials
  • Consider rich red leather as an alternative to tan

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