A red color palette is exciting and challenging: Red is an 'advancing' color that attracts attention and can easily dominate a room.
One of the simplest and most popular red color schemes is inspired by red white & blue flags.
You'll find several examples of this below - and many more colors that go with red!
In addition to red color combinations, this page has 2 easy strategies for successful interior design color schemes with red.
It's not just the States; many European countries have a red, white & blue flag that influences interior decorating colors: the French, Brits, Norwegians, Dutch, Russians, Serbs, Czechs, Croatians, Slovenians and the Icelanders.
Here in Britain, red-white-blue is a favorite nautical decorating color scheme that extends across the Channel to coastal French homes in Normandy. Understandably, it's also the decorating color scheme of choice for every, and I mean every, street party in England :-)
The secret with red, white and blue color schemes is not to use them as solid, primary colors. You want to vary the hues subtly and surround them with natural greys and browns. You can achieve a 'tinted' look for the flag colors by using small-scale, blue-and-white or red-and-white patterns instead of relying exclusively on solid colors.
Best wall colors: White, pale blue, écru.
Best wood stain: Any.
↑ If you like a red, white and blue color palette but don't want to be limited to flag colors, do as the French do and just combine any blue & red hues that look good together, then use neutral colors as a backdrop.
Best wall colors: White, light grey, or a tint of one of your chosen colors.
Best wood stain for this red color palette: Rustic oak.
↑ Ruby red/aqua blue is a highly popular wedding color palette. The warm, attractive ruby color is balanced by a cool blue that borders on turquoise. This is a delicious red color palette, but it doesn't really tolerate any further hues. You'd have to surround it with a lot of white & neutrals.
Best wall colors: White, pale grey.
Best wood stains: Dark hardwoods.
↑ Along the same lines as the ruby/aqua color scheme above, coral & tiffany blue combine a warm, striking red with a cool but equally striking blue. And just like the former, this is a favorite red color palette for weddings.
Best wall colors: White, pale grey.
Best wood stain: Bamboo.
↑ This one (and the next) are beautiful British Arts & Crafts color palettes. And they show that you don't need a lot of red in a red color palette. Here, surrounded by aged, dusty 'vintage' hues, a rich red hue takes center stage.The burnt orange is essential in this room color scheme - otherwise it would look too dark.
Best wall colors: Sage, duck-egg blue.
Best wood stains: Teak, oiled oak.
↑ The hues of a vintage country quilt: a red color palette that manages to be simultaneously bold and serene. It would be perfectly at home in a rustic chalet or log cabin. The complementary reds and greens are joined by a very unobtrusive dark blue. (Does 'cinnamon' count as 'red'? I think it does - it's a tone that sits somewhere between true red and reddish brown.)
Best wall colors: Pale sage green or a chalky white.
Best wood stains: Rustic pine, antique cherry.
↑ Any interior color combination that involves large amounts of tomato red is, of necessity, completely in-your-face. You can lower the impact by choosing soft, greyed tones rather than fully saturate colors. Use the red in small proportion, mainly for accents.
Best wall colors: White, light grey, pale olive.
Best wood stain: Antique oak.
Finally, here's an upbeat, life-affirming red color palette from a 60s European travel poster Lovely for a summer house, garden, back yard, veranda or deck. Also nice for giftwrapping, country kitchen accessories ... anything really. Enjoy!
Best wall color: Pale mustard.
Best wood stains: Oiled oak or teak.
Finally, here's some color scheme inspiration to buy (mini bookshop in partnership with Amazon):