Demon Decor — Red: The bold neutral

Men laying new hardwood flooring
Photos by Sarah Dorio

Beige is boring. There’s a way-more-interesting neutral in town, folks, and it pretty much goes with everything. I’m talking about red, the bold neutral. After three-and-a-half years in the design industry, I recently took a gander at my portfolio and realized just how versatile this color is. Kids’ rooms? Yep. Bachelor pads? Sure. Modern lofts? Mmm hmm. Here’s how this crimson wonder can be used successfully in three different spaces.



1. A Little Of This, A Little Of That

When faced with the task of staging an all-white loft for resale, red was my savior in adding high-energy contrast. Since the space was for sale, nothing attached to the property could be outlandish; however, a few pops of red on the sofa with pillows and in the floor with FLOR tiles brought in some temporary personality.

2. Piece By Piece

A client of mine wanted red throughout her kitchen—especially on the walls and cabinets. Concerned about resale, I talked her into keeping the overall aesthetic—white, silver and black—and punching it all up with a few heavy jolts of red. The solution? One large serving console, small accessories and layers of texture. The painted metal look of the serving console is a bit rough, which juxtaposes beautifully with the clean lines of the metallic wallpaper.

3. Go Big Or Go Home

While red walls are definitely not for the faint of heart, they’re a sure-fire way to bring drama to any space. In an uber-modern bachelor’s loft, I brought in formal and traditional touches with millwork added to the existing drywall. To spice it up, I painted the trim and the walls the same shade of red in a flat finish. The overall look was dramatic and sexy—in a masculine way.


Dé creator Brian Patrick Flynn is a television producer turned decorator/designer. The moniker “Décor Demon” comes from his fast-paced weekend routine of furiously raiding garage sales and flea markets for one-of-a-kind pieces. What started out of necessity as a cash-strapped film student has led to a unique design style (referred to as “Garage Sale Glamour”) seen in more than a dozen magazines as well as seven seasons of a hit television series.
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