Why Design Pros Would Recommend Against Red Curtains In The Living Room

If you've been bitten by the bright color bug, you may be considering adding some red into your living space, and one way to incorporate red into your home decor is through your curtains. However, though red is beautifully vibrant color, it may not give your living room the vibe you're hoping for. Many interior design pros suggest skipping this bright tone for your curtains and choosing another shade.

"With the variety of colors and patterns available now, the options are limitless in so many colors we might not have even tried in years past. However, we're still leaving those red shades in the past!" designer Jennifer Walters told Homes & Gardens. "Red darkens and pulls light into it, so it's a tricky color to make work in larger expanses of windows." Basically, red curtains can give your living space an old-fashioned, stuffy vibe — perfect if that's what you're going for, but not so ideal if you want to curate a contemporary decor style.

Curtains can negatively or positively change the mood of a room

Designer Deborah Bass agreed and told Homes & Gardens, "Red curtains make me feel like I'm in a stately home so I would avoid (although I love a red gingham kitchen blind)." However, Bass added, "in the right pattern, shade, or scheme then of course anything can work but with patterns it is so important to bear in mind the scale of the pattern, something that looks fabulous on a small sample can be totally lost when made up in tall curtains." Most people want their living rooms to exude a calming energy and be a place they can unwind in at the end of the day, and that's not the feeling that red (patterned or not) will achieve.

Red symbolizes energy and passion, and while these things are good, they're the opposite of a relaxing energy. Because of this, they may infuse your living room with the wrong type of vibe. Moreover, the color red has a heavy connotation with Christmas. This isn't a bad thing, but if you don't want to be reminded of jingle bells every time you enter your living room, it's best to steer clear. This mostly applies to deep, heavy shades of red and thicker fabrics like jacquard, both of which will never lose the festive association.

How to add red elsewhere in a living room

At the same time, red is a gorgeous color that would give any room an energy boost, which may make it ideal for some homeowners and not for others. If you really love red and want to use it in your living room one way or another, try opting for furniture like a sofa in this bright tone. Rules like the 60/30/10 rule (meaning a room should be 60% one color, 30% another, and 10% a third) allow for a splash of color in a space, and a piece of furniture is a great way to add in one of the smaller percentages. Many paint colors go well with a red couch, and this furniture shade choice is the perfect way to add a vibrant bolt of color. Unlike red curtains, a red sofa won't block light out but will instead act as a chic accent piece in an otherwise neutral room. 

On the other hand, if you really have your heart set on red curtains, try placing them in your kitchen instead of your living room. As a high traffic area, the kitchen naturally holds energy, so you don't have to worry about contrasting vibes. The bottom line is that design pros may advise against red curtains in your living room, but only you know your style and how certain colors make you feel. The most important thing is to create a room with an energy and look that fits your style.