Decadent, jewel-toned, yet earthy and warm all at once, rust red is a color we’ve got our eyes on as we enter 2023.
And it seems as though designers agree with this blossoming color trend. ‘To me, the beauty of rust tones is the concept of rust itself, and how it marries both nature and the man-made through the corrosion of metals through its exposure to air and moisture,’ says Samuel Pye, creative manager at interior design and architecture studio Echlin. ‘It’s a great metaphor for the way we live, wanting to combine the comfort and warmth of shelter with wanting to feel connected to nature for its well-being benefits.’
When we look to color theory, it’s clear that the qualities of rust red that make it a mood-setting tone for 2023 come from the sum of its part. ‘The strength of red, the stability of brown, and the energy of orange,’ explains Tecla Tangora, co-founder and principal designer at Labscape Architecture and Design.
Bringing a warmth to a stark bathroom, a touch of luxury to any bedroom, we think it’s the perfect color for any room in the home, but there’s something particularly wonderful about rust in a living room. These 7 are on our moodboard for redecorating in 2023.
Oonagh is a homes and interior design editor and writer. While searching for the best new interiors projects, she spotted this color trend extending through the most design-forward spaces.
Rust living rooms that prove this color is the next big thing
1. This living room using rust as a warming accent
This 1889 red brick row house in the Lincoln Park neighborhood of Chicago and is designed by the accomplished interior designer, Wendy Labrum (opens in new tab), who had to convince her client to take the plunge and move away from a much-loved neutral palette, towards something more indulgent. Enter the rust red look that is a fabulous study in living room color.
Red in all its hues is found throughout the home, the color used as a thread that leads visitors from one room to the other. From the powder room to the living room, where this cozy corner features a beckoning ruby rust armchair upholstered in fabric from Pierre Frey (opens in new tab), pairing perfectly with a pop in the artwork in the background.
2. This space enveloped in rust curtains
Aptly named Rosso Verde, this home has glimmers of rust throughout, not least in this living room where rust-colored living room curtains wrap around the perimeter, enveloping the space like a big hug. The light orange, rust colored curtains soften the sculptural, deep red steel that defines the courtyard façade, softening the building’s industrial bones.
‘The earthly colors were chosen to add warmth and a grounding experience to the home,’ says an associate of interiors at Carter Williamson Architects (opens in new tab), Julia Niass. ‘The clients love orchestra, terracotta, and earthy tones. The color sites balanced adjacent to the new garden, We also felt there was a timelessness about the color, with external steel windows and doors powder-coated in a bark color reminiscent of Frank Lloyd Wright’s famed ‘Cherokee Red.’
3. This LA living room with a statement sofa
I love this design from Night Palm (opens in new tab)‘s Tiffany Howell. A family home in a Spanish-style house in LA, Tiffany chose a Camaleonda sofa in a rust-colored velvet.
With tufted cushions, low profile seating and a touch of 1970s flair, the modular living room sofa looks sculptural as well as seriously cozy, and the deep red velvet adds real luxuriousness to the scheme.
4. This charming rust red mural
The Paris-based artist, Florence Bamberger (opens in new tab) was commissioned for this tasteful wall mural by art and interior curator, Joséphine Fossey Office (opens in new tab) for L’Etoile des Baux, a luxury rental house in the heart of les Alpilles, in Les Baux-de-Provence.
‘The mural evokes the surroundings of the house – the Alpilles mountains, the village of Les Baux de Provence, the staircases and arcades, the quarry of rocks just nearby, the terracotta of the baked earth of the region,’ says artist Florence.
5. This effortlessly cozy living space
Bellingham-based Lisa Staton (opens in new tab) is the mastermind behind this stunning color palette, featuring brassy glimmers, warm neutrals, a spectrum of beige tones, and rust red. Lisa sourced living room furniture and decor second-hand and through vintage resources, picking colors in a similar rusty red family that as a whole, comes together in wonderful harmony.
It is a work of excellence that transformed a small 1930s Tudor home in Seattle into a bright and airy space. ‘In the living room, every item shown is either vintage, handmade or small batch handcrafted,’ explains Lisa. ‘It is a stylish mix of high and low, with elements that are both glamorous and classic, creating a warm living room.’
6. This heritage apartment in London
Award-winning interior design studio Goddard Littlefair (opens in new tab) was appointed to transform the historical office space of 9 Millbank into a luxury residence, and used a rusty red on the walls of this informal living area/lounge. ‘English heritage is evoked and revered through an opulent colour palette of greens and blues and the chosen materials of plush velvets,’ explains Jo Littlefair, founder of Goddard Littlefair.
‘Traditional parquet wood flooring, along with tones of black and white, conjure the classical English heritage of Westminster, offset by rich leathers, beautiful silks, and aged oaks that provide a more contemporary finish.’ The rust complements the theme that is a celebration of heritage and brings a sense of sophistication and luxury.
7. This muted Parisian apartment
This elegant Parisian apartment in Monceau really encapsulates Parisian-style decor. Designed by Pierre Lacroix (opens in new tab), without the rust-colored sofas, the room might look a little minimalist, but the warmth emanating from the color really shines and helps to break up the room and give color to the white-walled space.