Vicki Payne For Your Home

At this CR Laine showroom in High Point, the walls were aqua, and the upholstery fabrics and artwork injected vivid red.

I just love how the color red brightens up my house during the holidays. This is more than a festive look for winter. Designers across the country are embracing red for home decor throughout the year. From wall color to accessories, the color is hot, hot, hot.

When I first moved to Charlotte 20 years ago, almost every house my Realtor, Gayle Daly, showed me had a red dining room or living room and sometimes both. Not a fan of the color at the time, I began to think it must be just a Southern thing. I ended up buying a house with a red dining room and quickly painting it brown.

Now we’ve come right back to red rooms not only in the South but across the country. One of the most popular shades is known as true Chinese or Christmas red.

Now I’ll agree that it takes a lot of self-confidence to make the bold move from neutrals to red, but the uplifting feeling it provides is worth the risk.

CR Laine used red in its High Point showroom at the fall furniture market in October, mixing it with green and white. The effect was refreshing and energizing. The walls were painted a true red with white woodwork. The floors were dark brown, and the well-tailored upholstery pieces featured green and white prints. A red leather accent chair and artwork completed the setting.

In a second stunning room setting at Laine, the walls were a calming aqua, and there were touches of red in the upholstery fabrics and artwork. For the more timid souls, this might be a more doable transition than painting your walls red.

Accessorizing with red has never been easier. From colorful red and white poofs and accessory pillows to glassware, retail shelves are brimming with this cheery color. Perhaps it’s a response to all the neutrals that we have been surrounded with for the past three to four years. We’re ready for vivid colors.

Red is timeless. One of nature’s favorite colors, it surrounds us everywhere we go. From holly berries in our yards to red roses at supermarkets, it’s easy to find a splash of red to bring into our home decor.

There are simple ways to experiment with red before you transform a wall or two. Start with a few red accessories. I recently purchased a set of red pottery bowls. I love the way they liven up my Sunday supper table as well as the impact they have sitting on the coffee table filled with nuts and candies.

Try accessorizing your sofa with a red throw and some red print pillows. Buy a red tray for your coffee table or ottoman. If you like the look, incorporate a red occasional chair. For real fun, check out your local resale shops for wooden dining chairs that you can give a fresh coat of red paint for your kitchen or dining room. Even a small side table or red lamp can introduce this exhilarating color into a neutral decor and brighten your winter days.

When you pack away the red bows and decorations after Christmas, consider keeping the red throws, platters and bowls out.