A pop of red in your home: exploring the ‘Unexpected Red’ trend in interiors

At Sofas & Stuff, the word ‘timeless’ resonates far more than ‘trend’, and we are the first to champion individual choice over following the crowd. But that doesn’t make us immune to watching, engaging, and learning from the ever-evolving landscape of interior design trends. We’re always excited to explore new trends and interesting interior news, seeking inspiration to help you create spaces that are truly exceptional and reflective of your unique style.

There’s a fascinating interplay between the trends that captivate the fashion and the interior design world. Certain colours have a knack for capturing our attention and sparking conversations, igniting trends that permeate through both fashion runways and home décor magazines. There is no denying that red is having a moment in the spotlight. From haute couture catwalks to the world of home décor, red has emerged as the ‘color du jour’, captivating designers and enthusiasts alike.

One trend making waves recently is the “unexpected red theory”, widely associated with US interior designer Taylor Migliazzo Simon, who shared the concept on TikTok. So we thought we’d explore this through some of our recent campaign and customer images.

Pop of unexpected red with a velvet Howard arm sofa

Alwinton 3 seater sofa in House Velvet Red, @thejollytownhouse.


What is the ‘Unexpected Red’ Theory

According to this theory, the colour red is the secret ingredient to transforming any space. The premise is simple yet intriguing: add touches of red, regardless of size or form, to a room where it doesn’t traditionally match, or might not be expected to occur. The result? A space that feels dynamic, vibrant, and undeniably eye-catching. It’s a bold move, but proponents of the unexpected red theory swear by its transformative power.

Why red?

According to Taylor Migliazzo Simon, red works with almost any other colour, working almost like a neutral. Plus, red grabs your attention; it’s not accidental that stop signs and emergency lights are red. In interiors red catches your eye, drawing you into the room. So, is she right? Does adding a bit of red in places where it doesn’t necessarily match with other colors or styles make the room feel alive and more stylish? We asked Caitlin Sharp, Trade Manager at our King’s Road, Chelsea showroom, for her perspective. The TikTok trend had certainly caught her attention and, in broad terms, she agrees:  “I love the concept of enhancing a neutral space by adding a pop of red, not just for the sake of it, but to bring a new dynamic to an otherwise subdued area.  A good example might be adding red detailing such as red piping or trim to a piece of upholstery” which is entirely possible with degree of customisation available at Sofas & Stuff. In her mind, “It’s similar to how red nail polish can beautifully complement any outfit. I definitely think the Unexpected Red theory is versatile and has reason to be trending!”

Trend or timeless?

While the unexpected red theory may be making waves on social media, a deeper dive into the world of interior design reveals that this is not a new concept at all. In fact, seasoned designers have long understood the power of red to inject energy and personality into a space. From classic red accents like lampshades and throw pillows to statement pieces like red sofas and cabinets, the use of this bold hue has been a favourite trick of designers for years. It’s a tried-and-tested technique that has had many iterations over the years, and one that works for both traditional interiors and contemporary spaces.

Why does it work?

But what is it about red that makes it so effective in enlivening a room? Psychologically, red is associated with passion, energy, and excitement. It’s a colour that demands attention and evokes strong emotions. When used thoughtfully in interior design, red can be sophisticated and playful, creating focal points, adding depth, and creating a sense of warmth and intimacy in a space.

In practice, the unexpected red theory offers endless possibilities for experimentation and creativity. Whether it’s a single pop of red in the form of a vibrant accent chair or an entire wall painted in a bold crimson hue, the key is to act with intentionality, embrace the concept unexpected and let red speak for itself.

How we can help you bring red into your living spaces

In the realm of interior design, the power of colour lies not only in its presence but also in its subtleties and nuances. Red, often associated with passion and energy, can take on various personalities depending on its shade and context within a space. Successfully introducing an unexpected pop of red is not without complexity though, as the correct hue and depth of red does need to be considered against the other colours that feature in the space. Discussing your ideas with one of our design consultants will help you navigate this.

Red fabric sample wall and Snape occasional armchair upholstered in RHS Gertrude Jekyll Lattice Red

The reds in the fabric wall at our King’s Road, Chelsea showroom; Snape chair in RHS Gertrude Jekyll Lattice Red.


Our wide selection of fabrics allows you to explore the full spectrum of red, from bold and vibrant hues to softer, more earthy tones. With our extensive collection, you have the freedom to choose a shade of red that perfectly complements your aesthetic and vision for your space.

Perhaps you’re drawn to the drama and intensity of a deep crimson, or maybe you prefer the understated elegance of a rich raspberry or a deep terracotta. Maybe you are keen to inject a intense burst, perhaps through a vibrant red velvet, or a more subtle statement with a woven linen with a red stripe. Whatever your preference, our range of fabric choices ensures that you can find the perfect shade of red to suit your style.

unexpected red through a woven linen striped modern Chesterfield sofa

Exbury 3 seater sofa in Woven Linen Stripe Ganton Red.


Moreover, we understand that making an impact with red doesn’t necessarily mean opting for the boldest shade available. Subtle variations of red can still command attention and infuse a space with warmth and personality. With our diverse selection of fabrics, you have the flexibility to incorporate red in a way that feels authentic to you, whether it’s through a statement piece of furniture or subtle accents throughout the room.

Ultimately, our commitment to offering a wide range of fabric choices underscores our dedication to empowering you to create spaces that reflect your individuality and style. With the right shade of red, chosen from our comprehensive selection, you can transform your space into a true reflection of your personality.

Other than bringing a pop of red into your home through upholstery fabrics, here are some of our favourite ideas to explore:

  • Incorporate red into your wall art designs or frames.
  • Use red piping or trim on a cushion, curtains or blinds.
  • Paint a door or door frame in red.
  • Add a red shade to a lamp or light fixture.
  • Drape a red throw over a sofa.
  • Introduce a red console or side table.


Customer images showing the unexpected red trend in interiors

Customer images from left to right; top to bottom: Kentwell 3 seater sofa in Basket Weave Sage, @thepinkterrace; Aldingbourne 2 seater sofa in Fermoie Poulton Stripe; Kentwell 3 seater sofa  J Brown Guernsey Twilight @edinburghholidays; Brick Lane single beds in Barnaby Gates Scallop Shell Red. 


Used cleverly, with wit and style, and in line with your personal aesthetic, we feel that this trend has the potential for longevity. It’s a reminder of the power of colour to transform our surroundings and elevate our everyday experiences. And who knows?  With a little red, your living space might just become the envy of friends and family, if not TikTok or the metaverse!

Abby Gadd