Warm Red Colour Recommendation for Painting a Focal Wall?

by Cat Herbert

Living room focal wall

Living room focal wall


We would like to paint our living room red and cream: the main fireplace wall a nice warm red and the rest a nice cream colour.

We are struggling with a nice warm red colour though and would like some feedback.

We have 2 black leather settees and a wooden fireplace (we were also wondering whether to paint it white)?

We have a lot of wood in the living area, ie. big mahogany table with 6 chairs and also double door glass area into the living space.


Cat, whenever you have several colors already present in the decor (and you do), it's better to re-use them for the walls, rather than add yet another (often unrelated) hue to the mix.

So in your case it's pretty easy: if you want red, just match that red painting on the wall. And the same goes for your cream paint color - just repeat the color of the flower painting above the fireplace. That's how you'll get a cleaner, more coordinated look in the room.

But I wouldn't recommend an accent wall here. Instead, my suggestion is to use red on the bottom part of the walls in the entire room.

Unlike an accent wall, the red on the bottom part of the walls will envelop and connect the space with the common band of color, and balance out the heaviness of your black furniture and electronics. The cream on the upper walls will open up the space and set off your artwork.

Cream and red wall paint colors for a living room

Now, you can leave the fireplace and chairrail unpainted, but if you're feeling bold (you want red in your living room - you must be feeling bold!) paint them both red also.

Why not white for the chairrail and fireplace? Because white will visually chop up the room and add busyness, whereas using the same color as the walls will let the eye flow.

And finally, it's clear you are trying to make a statement and create a strong focal point with the red. But the truth is, with all the stuff in the room, you still won't know where to look even after you paint.

Soo... want the biggest bang for your redecorating efforts? Declutter.

And while you're at it, rethink your wall art arrangement (remove the small pictures from the walls, floor and mantle altogether, or group them all in one place somewhere, gallery-style).

Leave a Comment:

Use of paint
by: Alex from UK Wall coatings

Hi (great site). I would maybe steer clear of painting that focal wall red, imagine seeing it as soon as you wake up early morning (after a few beers)! Maybe try a terracotta or burnt orange instead of red. Nice warm colours but easy on the eye. Good luck! :)

Go with Color
by: Anonymous

I would personally go for color and not white.
You already have a lot of items to help create a nice "warm" atmosphere.

Best of luck!

Focal or feature wall - go navy!
by: Grant from Joyce Painting

Having painted many interiors, I've seen some great feature/focal walls painted in darker colours. I'm particularly fond of navy blue feature walls, but of course it depends on other factors including your flooring, side wall paint colour, etc.

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