Just as quickly as a TikTok trend fades, a new one is ushered in the door. So what is the latest 'unexpected red theory' trend? And what are some easy ways to inject it into your brand spaces?

It's no secret that TikTok interior design trends tend to be passing fads thought up by Gen Z and certainly not taken seriously by interior design experts. But, the latest 'Unexpected Red Theory' coined by creator Taylor Simon, seems to be the anomaly to that notion. 

What Is The 'Unexpected Red Theory'?

While pink might have been the colour of 2023 thanks to things like Barbiecore, 2024 seems set to be a year dominated by red. Infiltrating wardrobes, entering home decor, and being applied to hospitality and brand spaces.

Red is an energetic colour and using it in an interior design brings excitement and enthusiasm into the space. Often considered an extroverted colour – one that symbolises danger, anger, and passion – this application of red in moderation not only takes the bite out of it but has turned red objects into a covetable symbol of style.

As creator Taylor Simon explains, the unexpected red theory is basically adding anything that's red, big or small, to a room where it seemingly doesn't match. It's like a colour pop but less contrived. 

According to Taylor, once that red piece has been added to a room, it automatically looks better. It can be as simple as a red lamp or soft furnishing, scarlet a painted window trim or doorframe, or a completely random brick red furniture that stands boldly in your otherwise neutral space.

In one example, she shows a traditional corner of a home with a Victorian painting that 'has no business having a red frame, but it automatically updates it and makes it look so fresh.' 

That's the key to this trend, it's taking something mundane and giving it a rather surprising lick of red to really uplift that piece in a way that gives you a good dose of dopamine. In theory, it's a trend that really shouldn't work, but when done right, it can seriously pack a punch.


We know when budgets are tight, refreshing the space in an impactful way can feel like an impossible challenge. I asked our Interior Designer, Emily East, how the Unexpected Red Theory can provide small ways to refresh and elevate brand spaces.

Lick of paint


A cost-effective way to add red to a space is by adding a lick of paint to an already existing interior. Selecting an area of panelling, a joinery item or even an area of ceiling and highlighting it through red paint is a simple yet powerful way to use red as a splash and a statement. 

The red can be used to enhance an element of the space (for example the ceiling above) or emphasise the craft of a piece of furniture’s construction and detail (as can be seen in the dresser above) – drawing your eye to something that may usually go unnoticed. 

Statement Chairs


Painting existing furniture or reupholstering current pieces can be a great way to freshen up a space without investing a lot of money. Alternatively, swapping out old seating that needs to be replaced with new vibrant focal pieces can make a bit impact on the overall a space – given the feeling that the whole space has been refreshed. 

Bringing red into seating can also create a desirable spot, somewhere that draws a customer’s eye and becomes the seat everyone wants to sit in. By focusing this colour use around a counter means energy and liveliness is brought to the bar without it needing to be busy. 

Textiles and draping


Full height drapes & curtains used to dress windows & divide zones within spaces don’t have to be part of the expected palette. These can be used to add drama and enhance the overall aesthetic rather than just extending it. Whereas changing wallpaper and furniture can feel like a big commitment and often come with a higher cost, adding or changing draping is an easy way to change up a space and add a bit of drama. 



Creating curb appeal is never one to shy away from. Whether its external seating, awnings or decorating the façade itself, unexpected red gains attention from passersby for all the right reasons.

Not your brand colour? No problem. As can be seen with the Artist Residence example above, their iconic blue is used alongside the pop of red in the awnings – a great way to grab attention, stand out and still reflect the overall brand colour palette.



Signage, both external and interior can be used to the same effect. Smaller external signage can be used to contrast the façade and provide a bold statement on a smaller scale. Internally this can also be translated into neon effect signage that casts a red glow/hue through the space after sunset. The warming glow provides spirit no matter how cold the existing interior environment is. And if you’ve already got colour changing LED installed, why not try changing this to red for an easy transition to the trend! 

More permanent adaptations


If not restricted by budget or you’re happy to embrace red long-term, more permanent additions like feature tiling or sanitaryware can really pack a punch.  Strips of feature floor tiles with geometric laying patterns can add additional diversity to the design. Whilst taking a whole zone and colour drenching it can create a huge 360-degree impact!

In 1995 we first created the Keane brand, with red at its core. We’re no stranger to using red and harnessing it to create impactful brands and brand spaces. Let us know if you want to know how the Unexpected Red Theory can be add to your interiors. Big or small, a bit of red can make a huge difference. 

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