behind the red door

Before you even set foot inside the Altadena home we recently staged, you’re met with a cute updated traditional exterior and a bright red front door. Sure, lots of people paint their front doors red. But what makes this home unique is that the door is painted red on the inside as well. Many might think this an obstacle to their design plan. We considered it a great opportunity. Our first thoughts were: Let’s pull together our bright red furniture, art and accent pieces… We can finally use them here with abandon!

We started the living room design with the grounding influence of a dark brown sofa, then added a Fair Isle-influenced kilim rug in soft tones of blue, green and tan. A handmade reclaimed wood coffee table takes center stage.

Here’s a view into the living room…

Over the mantel, we chose a Picasso print with red, blue and tan colors to carry the red across the room. A small-scale white slip-covered lounge chair and a traditional cottage-style floor lamp lend a cozy factor.

The reclaimed wood table was a craigslist find.

The small red side table was sourced at Crate and Barrel. We found the rug at Target. Blue and red books on the coffee table echo the tones in the art.

Is there a better way to use red in a room than via a red Modernica Eames style molded plastic rocker? We think not. Topped with a white sheepskin, it’s virtually begging to be sat in.

We paired the Modernica rocker with our tree stump side table on casters, the unofficial mascot of Madison Modern Home.

A wicker elephant and a Jonathan Adler vase on the mantel. Below, a view into the kitchen.

We pulled a couple of counter-height bar stools up to the granite breakfast bar

Closeup shot of a little wooden elephant box we found.

We styled the guest bedroom in neutral tones and carried red into the room via a bright pillow.

One of our favorite touches: a straw basket with a throw peeking out. We tucked some DIY book bundles tied with twine on the bottom shelf of the Victoria Hagan table we found at Target and reinvented in white.

The office sports an IKEA MELLTORP table used as a desk, a red Tolix chair, a retro starburst clock and various vintage accents.

The master bedroom’s bright white bedding is treated to rich contrast with red-patterned kilim style pillows. We put an industrial gray Tolix chair in the corner for an earthy touch.


The bathroom is styled with simple global accents to complement the earthy textures and modern fixtures. We framed a 1950s face cream ad and put it over the toilet.