May 22, 2024

Australian interior enthusiasts are embracing an adventurous new design trend that is a far cry from the beige-and-white styles that were all the rage only a few years ago. 

Stylists are getting more creative with colour and are turning to adventurous shades of red to make a space look more high-end. 

The ‘Unexpected Red Theory’ was popularised by US interior designer Taylor Migiazzo Simon on TikTok earlier this year and it’s taken the design world by storm. 

She described it as when you ‘add anything that’s red, big or small, to a room where it doesn’t match it all and it automatically makes looks better’. 

But many are taking it further than small flashes of red and adorning walls, ceilings and sometimes entire rooms with the striking hue.

Interior designer Kellie Richardson, from Melbourne, told FEMAIL she’s been seeing an increase in homeowners experimenting with colour and said red can be utilised to bring a space to life. 

The 'Unexpected Red Theory' is when a mismatched pop of red is incorporated to elevate a room and took off in the industry after taking TikTok by storm

But many are taking it further than small flashes of red and adorning walls, ceilings and sometimes entire rooms with the striking hue

Australian home stylists are getting more creative with colour and are turning to adventurous shades of red to make a space look more high-end

Celebrity interior designer Kellie Richardson (pictured) has been seeing an increase in homeowners experimenting with colour and said red can be utilised to bring a space to life

Celebrity interior designer Kellie Richardson (pictured) has been seeing an increase in homeowners experimenting with colour and said red can be utilised to bring a space to life

‘Red is one of those colours that is very powerful in a lot of different ways, especially in the psychology of colour,’ she said.

‘Adding something a little bit quirky in a pop of red to a room will definitely give the room more texture. It makes the room speak a lot more.’

Many of Kellie’s clients love incorporating red in their homes and in some cultures, it is associated with money, love and prosperity.

‘If you’re standing in a room and you see something that is red automatically your eyes get drawn to that colour and that object,’ she said. 

‘If you wanted your room to speak in a story about the people living in that house, red is the way to do it.’  

Kellie said she tends to opt for more muted, earthy reds like a ‘rich’ burgundy. 

'Adding something a little bit quirky in a pop of red to a room will definitely give the room more texture. It makes the room speak a lot more,' Kellie said

‘Adding something a little bit quirky in a pop of red to a room will definitely give the room more texture. It makes the room speak a lot more,’ Kellie said

Fans of a bold fire engine red or those who aren't brave enough to commit to the colour can add playful dashes in each room to spark interest

Fans of a bold fire engine red or those who aren’t brave enough to commit to the colour can add playful dashes in each room to spark interest

Many of Kellie's clients love incorporating red in their homes and in some cultures, it is often associated with money, love and prosperity

Many of Kellie’s clients love incorporating red in their homes and in some cultures, it is often associated with money, love and prosperity

‘It is a beautiful striking colour and a way to incorporate the red by adding more browns into it to soften the drama. You can use burgundy with black and pink and light blues, it makes the colour pop a lot better,’ she said. 

‘The new thing starting to come back is not as fiery, it’s a lot softer and still has that richness.’

Fans of a bold fire engine red or those who aren’t brave enough to commit to the colour can add playful dashes in each room to spark interest.  

‘You can do it with some cushions, throws and artwork. You can incorporate it with other colours and different tones to make it pop out, speak for itself and tell the story of the room,’ Kellie explained. 

‘Cushions, throws and artworks are not overly expensive in this day and age and as our styles change over the years, you can put those away and swap it out for a different colour.’ 

You can incorporate red with other colours and different tones to make it pop out, speak for itself and tell the story of the room,' Kellie explained

'Cushions, throws and artworks are not overly expensive in this day and age and as our styles change over the years, you can put those away and swap it out for a different colour'

You can incorporate red with other colours and different tones to make it pop out, speak for itself and tell the story of the room,’ Kellie explained

Dulux recently announced the residential finalists of its annual Colour Awards and proved the impact of red and how much it's taken over Aussie home styling

Dulux recently announced the residential finalists of its annual Colour Awards and proved the impact of red and how much it’s taken over Aussie home styling

Dulux recently announced the residential finalists of its annual Colour Awards and proved the impact of red and how much it’s taken over Aussie home styling. 

Homes from all over the country made the shortlist for their designers’ innovative use of colour.

There are spaces that show how the ‘Unexpected Red Theory’ can add an element of surprise or sophistication through the subtle use of art and homewares.

Others fully embraced red experimenting with different tones on walls and large furniture items. 

SJB Interiors’ Gold Coast Apartment did both, adding ruby red chairs in a sunshine yellow dining room and coating the entryway walls with a unique shade of vermilion. 

Six red home buys under $100 to elevate your style

1. Gigi & Tom Strawberry Glazed Ceramic Vase – $39.95

2. Target Waverly Fringe Throw – Ombre Red – $30

3. Temple & Webster Pom Pom Velvet Cushion Cover – $19.95 

4. Ikea GENESÖN Chair, metal/red – $39 

5. The Print Republic Red and Pink Botanical Poster – $34.95

6.  Little Fish Co Acrylic Tall Tumbler Ruby Red – $7

There are spaces that show how the 'Unexpected Red Theory' can add an element of surprise or sophistication while others fully embraced red experimenting with different tones on walls and large furniture items.

Brooke Aitken Design went all out with a deep red in the master bedroom and peppered cohesive pops through its green hallways and crisp white lounge room

Brooke Aitken Design went all out with a deep red in the master bedroom and peppered cohesive pops through its green hallways and crisp white lounge room

SJB Interiors' Gold Coast Apartment did both, adding ruby red chairs in a sunshine yellow dining room and coating the entryway walls with a unique shade of vermilion

SJB Interiors’ Gold Coast Apartment did both, adding ruby red chairs in a sunshine yellow dining room and coating the entryway walls with a unique shade of vermilion

Brooke Aitken Design went all out with a deep red in the master bedroom and peppered cohesive pops through its green hallways and crisp white lounge room. 

Kellie said people shouldn’t be afraid to play with colour and said to start with neutral big items and add vibrancy in the smaller details. 

‘You don’t need to spend a fortune to have a beautiful home, you can do it on a budget, you just have to be smart with how you do it,’ she said. 

‘As long as you’ve got your main things like your couches and your coffee tables in a fairly neutral colour palette, the colours and the things you can put together can be amazing.’


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