Trendy Tuesday: Red & Aqua

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By Nicole K.

I first spotted this upcoming color trend when I got my copy of CB2′s July catalog. I was flipping through the pages admiring the furniture when I stopped on this two page spread:

image from CB2'S July 2013 catalog

image from CB2′S July 2013 catalog

“Ew,” I said, and kept going. Red and aqua? Who in their right minds would put those two colors together?

Still, despite my initial dislike of this trend, I found myself talking about it. “CB2 is trying to push red,” I said to a coworker. Later that week, I revisited the pages and decided that the combination really wasn’t too bad, especially paired with royal blue or black. And then I walked into IKEA the next weekend and saw a college dorm setup in the lobby with pops of black, aqua, and red on white…

“Okay,” I remember saying out loud, laughing, “I guess it’s becoming a thing.” And a weekend visit to Target only confirmed the trend: their dorm kitchen supplies for this year are all moving in the direction of black, white, red, and aqua.

The key to decorating with this color scheme is to avoid presenting the two in equal amounts. If you note the CB2 catalog spread, the color combination is “grounded” by either royal blue or black. A red rug and aqua couch could be fantastically overwhelming—but a red carpet, white couch, and aqua pillow…

image from nest2impress on Etsy

image from nest2impress on Etsy

mage from FestiveHomeDecor on Etsy

image from FestiveHomeDecor on Etsy

Now that’s what I’m talking about. Toss those pillows on a couch and you’ve got an instant piece of the trend in your living room or den. The great thing about using pillows to add color is that they’re so, so easy to change later down the line—just sew a new cover or buy a new one.

image from Blonde Design

image from Blonde Design

I could see this color trend going over well in a nursery, too. Combined with fresh white and girlish splashes of soft pink, red and aqua seem a little less startling—just as you see here on this bunting.

image from Project Nursery

image from Project Nursery

And this elaborate red mirror on a painted aqua wall in a child’s room adds a fun pop of color—without dominating the space. It’s enough to make you say “oh, wow!”… instead of “oh, no.”

Part of the fun of trending color combinations like this is finding a way to use them. It’s usually easiest to combine existing “evergreen” pieces with new, easy-to-swap items like wall art, pillows, small decorations, or even inexpensive furniture. If you decide in a few weeks or months that you’re ready for a new color combination, you can simply change those small details to accommodate your new interests.

our mia&co Flair transfer wall decals

our mia&co Flair transfer wall decals

For example, you could put up a set of our mia&co Flair transfer wall decals on a wall that is already painted aqua, or behind a white couch with aqua, turquoise, or deep blue pillows. Since the decals are easy to remove, when you decide another combination will look better in your living room or bedroom, the only thing you need to do is peel them away.

Despite my initial misgivings, I’m looking forward to seeing what the red and aqua trend evolves into. What do you think of this bold and playful new trend? Have you always been a fan, or are you thinking about incorporating it into your home now that it’s on your radar? Feel free to leave your comments below.

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