Minka Kelly brings this on-trend color theory to life in her kitchen – designers say it makes her space 'more personalized and lively'

The Friday Night Lights star elevates her '70s-inspired wood kitchen with a bright red chair – tapping into one of the biggest design trends of the moment

(Image credit: Photo by Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic)

Colors come in and out of fashion, but there is one we can't get enough of ever since it dropped into the trending universe earlier this year. The unexpected red theory took the internet by storm, with many hypothesizing that a red statement item in a space, despite the room's existing palette, will always look good.

We have yet another example that this is true via Minka Kelly's Instagram page. The Friday Night Lights star shared a video of herself in her '70s-inspired wood kitchen, and we were immediately drawn to the cherry red chair perched up against a wall. While the rest of the room has a warm, earthy feel and favors neutrals, the pop of red is a beneficial dose of color.

A bold and unmissable color, red certainly commands attention; as such, it can really elevate a white or neutral kitchen using the unexpected red theory.

'When used as a statement piece in the kitchen, it instantly becomes the focal point, drawing the eye and energizing the space,' says designer Nina Lichtenstein. 'A red element, whether it be a striking backsplash, a set of barstools, or a bold appliance, can break the monotony of neutral tones and add a dynamic layer of visual interest. This pop of color not only enhances the aesthetic appeal but also reflects a sense of daring and personality, making the kitchen feel more personalized and lively.'

With this in mind, Lichtenstein says that for those new to using red in the kitchen, smaller accents are a good starting point.

'Consider red utensils, dishware, or even a set of vibrant red canisters,' she suggests. 'These smaller elements can introduce the color without overwhelming the space. To avoid an overpowering effect, use red as an accent rather than a dominant color. A red range hood, a set of red pendant lights, or a single wall painted red can add the desired pop without overwhelming the senses.''

Finally, though the unexpected red theory has an underlining theme of playfulness and fun, Lichtenstein recommends prioritizing practical red kitchen furnishings and accessories over items that simply function as decor.

'In the kitchen, functionality is key,' she adds. 'Ensure that red statement pieces are not only aesthetically pleasing but also practical. For example, red barstools or a red refrigerator can combine style with utility, enhancing both the form and function of the space.' We're taking this as our cue to experiment with the color trend to see how it works in our kitchens.

Hannah Ziegler
News Editor

Hannah is Homes & Gardens’ News Editor, with a focus on celebrity style and entertainment content. She got her start in media as a digital editorial assistant at ELLE Canada, and has since written about lifestyle and culture for publications such as Nylon and i-D.

Her love of film is rivalled only by one with a great soundtrack, and she hopes to someday decorate a Nancy Meyers-worthy kitchen.