What Color Goes With Red And Black

16 colour combinations for using red in your interiors

Red is one of the boldest and brightest statement-making colours in the spectrum. It can set all sorts of moods, from angry and warm to bright and happy. It’s important that you understand what colours work well with red before splashing it all over your home, and how the colour red can affect your interior space.

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What are some general colour matching rules?

According to design specialists 99Designs, the color wheel is made up of three primary colors: red, yellow, blue; three secondary colors (colors created when primary colors are mixed), green, orange, purple; and six tertiary colors, which are colors made from primary and secondary colors, such as blue-green or red-violet.

Generally speaking, the most complementary colours are those that stand opposite each other in the colour wheel, such as red and green, blue and orange, purple and yellow.

the colour wheel

The colour wheel.

Colours that go well with red

Creative media outlet Bright Side has a colour guide that suggests complementary colours for different shades of red. For example:

Primary red works well with yellow, white, tawny-orange, green, blue and black.

Tomato red works well with cyan, mint green, sand, creamy-white, and grey.

Cherry red works well with azure, grey, light-orange, sandy, pale-yellow, and beige.

Raspberry red can work well with white, black and damask rose.

Depending on the shade of red you want to use, you can generally pair it with black, navy, shades of blue, grey, white, cream, pink, metallics and timber finishes.

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industrial bedroom exposed brick wall red bedding

Professional advice for choosing colours that go with red

“Red is a very strong and dominant colour, so you don’t want to pair it with too many other dominant colours – especially if you want red to be the stand out colour in your home,” says interior designer Emma Blomfield. “Try using colours such as navy, black, white and grey. If you want to add more colours, stay away from pastel tones such as peach, lime and coral, etc. as these will clash. Go for stronger tones like a canary yellow, citrus orange or dark green.”

paper art in shades of red pink yellow

Red can be complemented by like colours.

Do’s and don’ts of using red in interiors

Using the colour red in your interior design scheme can be a big and bold move, so it’s important that you not only love the colour, but learn how to use it correctly.

“Don’t go painting the entire room red if you think you might tire of it in a year or two,” says Emma Blomfield. “Do use red in soft furnishings such as cushions or rugs, but use it in patterns rather than solid colour textiles. This way you can pick out some other colours from the pattern and highlight them in the room as well.”

Interior designer Chris Carroll of TLC Interiors says the best thing you can do is explore multiple shades of red before settling on one. “Maroons, magentas, burnt oranges and other similar shades won’t look so aggressive,” writes Chris on his website. “A grey wall can help tone down bright red, and less is generally more.”

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blue and red brick wall

Colours opposite each other on the colour wheel look great together.

Tips and tricks for choosing colours that go with red

Interior designer Jasmine McClelland of Jasmine McClelland Design firm has some helpful tips and tricks that she personally uses when decorating with the colour red.

Less is more

“A splash of the colour red can lift and enhance a room, whether on a large or small scale. I often add a pop of colour by having a small red item in a book case or on a side board against a more neutral overall colour palette in the space.”

Use red for decorative items

“I love using red in artwork, vases, books or decorative pieces that are not overly domineering. You can then have some fun and re-arrange these items throughout your home if you need to change it up.”

Only choose red if you truly love the colour

“I always gauge with my clients what they are comfortable with in terms of colour before using too much. I ask them have you always loved the colour? Or are you just loving it this year? Are you happy to go to sleep and wake up to the same colour?”

Make a statement with red

“If you want to make a bold statement, pair red with white and almost any grey, If not, pair red with linen, muted greens or a black back drop and use small amounts of red.”

Use red as an accent colour

“If wanting accents of red, I would go for an orange based, firecracker red. When using a lot more red in a space, I would use a much more muted, blue based red.”

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red wall in living room

Benito Martin

Colour schemes that work with red

1. Muted red colour combinations

“Linen tones work really well to pair back the dominance of red, creating a more neutral base in a space,” says Jasmine McClelland. A great bedroom combo is a red rug paired white linen sheets.