Mia Shulman, Managing Editor

Mia Shulman, Managing Editor

Mia Shulman is a lifestyle writer and managing editor of


Colour Trends: Decorating with Oxblood Red

Posted by Mia Shulman, Managing Editor Monday, October 29, 2012 8:09 PM EST


Diana Vreeland Living RoomDV’s Red Living Room (detail), via Diana Vreeland.


Decorating with the colour red can be intimidating. But there is good reason to get comfortable with this daring shade, beyond Halloween!


The key lies in picking the right shade. For when you find it, it can transform and warm any room in your house. This season’s must-have shade is oxblood: less garish and abrasive than a fire engine red, more sophisticated than cherry, and richer than maroon (there’s a reason they’re calling it “the new black”).


Oxblood_dish cloths and bedding Striped Dishcloth ($28/set of 8), from Williams Sonoma; Rivulets Bedding ($68-$368), via Anthropologie.


Start with Baby Steps
If you’re new to decorating with colour, test the waters by introducing touches of oxblood red with linens. In a neutral kitchen or bathroom, colour can make a big impact without requiring a big investment. Striped tea towels, like these ones from Williams Sonoma, look great with a tablecloth in a complementing colour scheme.


Alternatively, consider introducing the trend du jour in décor that tends to swap out seasonally, like bedding. This dramatic duvet by Rivulets looks so inviting; what could be better through the cold months ahead?


Oxblood_canvas print and tray table Stretched Canvas Print, “Mood in Red” by Nancy Ortenstone ($200), via; Belvedere Butler’s Tray Table ($372), from Crate & Barrel.


Use Colour to Make a Statement
Accent pieces, such as artwork or unique furniture, are a bold way to showcase a trend. Make sure you feature an accent piece in a central space, and try not to crowd it with additional accents or furniture. If you’re going to make a statement, make it loud and proud.


Oxblood_wallpaper and dining chair Wallpaper, “The Silvergate Papers” ($285/roll), from Farrow & Ball; Cross Back Dining Chair ($228), from Terrain.


Balance Bold Colours with Neutrals
Play with a red pattern — significantly less dominating than a solid. This applies to upholstery, rugs, and pillows, and even wallpaper. Look for prints that feature red against a neutral backdrop. If you’re feeling bold, pair multiple prints in complementing colour schemes.


The same goes for furniture. A mismatched set of chairs around the kitchen table looks relaxed but can still give a nod to your target trend. Sit red chairs at the ends of your table and pair with natural materials, which makes the colour to pop.


Oxblood_cookware and DV living room

Cookware Line, in Enamelled Cast Iron (prices vary), from Le Creuset; DV’s Red Living Room (priceless!!), image via Diana Vreeland.


Think Outside the Box
Open yourself to the possibility of applying trends beyond decorative pieces, to practical household items. A set of oxblood red cookware is a charming surprise in the kitchen — one that’ll speak to your sense of playfulness when it comes to design.


Or, make like the legendary editor Diana Vreeland, who painted all of her doorways red. How’s that for a dramatic entrance?!



Topics: Halloween, Colour, Oxblood Red, Art, Wallpaper, Diana Vreeland, Le Creuset


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