After the leftover barbecue is put away, the remnants of firecrackers and sparklers are swept up, and the American flags are carefully refolded, you might be thinking: It’s time to also clear out the red, white, and blue.
Not so fast! This classic tricolor scheme—often referred to as Americana decor—is actually a timeless and balanced palette that designers say can work in your home any time of year.
“You’ve got blue, which is a cool color, and red is warm, plus the white to ground them both,” notes Drew Henry, founder of Design Dudes.
But you have to be careful; unless your name is Betsy Ross, experts warn against red, white, and blue all over.
“And don’t get too cheeky with everything flag-shaped,” advises Karen Gray-Plaisted of Design Solutions KGP.
Be sure to take your home’s style into account, too. Country and traditional homes are particularly suited to this color scheme, Henry says.
1. Consider the tones
Before decking out everything in red, white, and blue, determine whether the undertones in your room are cool or warm, suggests Julie Ann Disselkamp, an interior designer and owner of Decorating Den Interiors in Woodbury, MN.
Be consistent with your shades, sticking with softer colors (rust, slate) or bolder ones (bright white, true reds), rather than mixing muted with crisper tones, points out Justin Riordan of Spade and Archer Design Agency.
As with any color scheme, use the 60-30-10 guideline (apply one color 60% of the time, the second for 30%, and the last one 10%). Not sure which color should be dominant? When in doubt, let white do the job.
“White is always a great background for a busier foreground as it becomes a place to rest the eye,” Gray-Plaisted notes.
“All the rooms shown in this bold red have white to balance it, with a pop of blue, which demonstrates a classic red, white, and blue theme that’s updated, yet timeless,” Gray-Plaisted says.
2. Use red, white, and blue in the right rooms
“This homey, classic look feels especially right in a guest room where you can have a little more fun with color combinations,” Henry says.
You can also try the loo—bathroom walls are ideal in blue, especially with white towels and small red accents.
“These open spaces allow for lots of layers, such as a red-brown leather sofa with a navy blue wall and a red and blue rug,” she says.
3. Focus on the details
Photo by Robin Gannon Interiors, LLC
“Relying on paint alone to create this look can cause you to veer into cheesy territory,” Henry warns.
Instead, look to fabrics, rugs, and accessories for a room that’s more refined. Want to make a smaller investment? Table linens, florals, window valances, and framed prints can all signal your national pride without breaking the bank.
4. Take it outside
“The vast majority of my own red, white, and blue decor is specifically for the yard and the facade of the house,” Riordan says.
Bunting, flags, and streamers signal a party, of course, but for an everyday look, seek out red, white, and blue accent pillows, lightweight throws, and lanterns.
Misty Yeomans, a senior color marketing manager at PPG, recommends a sky-blue ceiling on the porch.
“The color adds to the patriotic theme and gives a quaint feel, while also increasing depth in the space,” she says.
5. Make it a quartet
Some designers believe these three colors are busy enough without adding a fourth, but if you want to incorporate another tone, be subtle.
“Gold is worth considering because it’s reminiscent of the fringe found on flags,” Disselkamp says.
Use it conservatively with metal accents such as a mirror, candlesticks, or drawer pulls. And don’t forget neutrals in this space, Yeomans says. Try a true light gray like Glidden’s Universal Grey, she suggests. Or for more dusty combinations, Sutton Place Gray or Stone Harbor Greige might do the trick.parties from around the web; as such, the operators of this website assume no liability or responsibility for any of the contents contained herein, or the contents of websites that we may link to. Furthermore, all copyrights belong to their original creator(s). Use of any portion of this website constitutes full acceptance of this disclaimer.