Q: For my entire life my favorite color has been red. And even though I really want to, I know I probably shouldn't paint my entire condo that color. How about a red accent wall? I think this will liven up my place, but my boyfriend likes the all-white thing and maybe, just maybe, a gray accent wall. What should I do?
A: This is a really good question! It's great that you know what you want.
If you were planning on selling soon, or if your boyfriend were moving in soon, my advice would be that neutrals are usually a better idea. But this is your condo, after all.
Decorating with exciting red tones is great. But, trust me, even if you love love love red (or any color, actually), it may drain on you with every room in your house painted the same color. For balance and interest, strong colors need neutral surroundings., Think about the frame of a colorful painting. A neutral white, metallic tone or black frame with a white or very neutral mat makes the colors pop and feel special without being overwhelming.
An accent wall creates a focal point where there might not otherwise be one, or helps strengthen an existing focus. A fireplace, nice view, or otherwise strong feature helps organize a room visually. You can even use an accent wall to emphasize a feature that isn't very big or strong on its own. So why not make it your favorite color. Paint is so easy to change, especially if it is just an accent wall. Otherwise, stocking up on accessories such as throw pillows, artwork, vases, area rugs, and vintage treasures in your favorite red tones will give you the red you want, without overwhelming even yourself.
Good luck and let me know how all this works out.