Here’s a color painting idea for you. Why not consider the color oxblood for the Year of the Ox?

Oxblood is a color similar to maroon, vermillion, cranberry, or burgundy, with more brown tones than purple. This was a very popular color in 2012 and 2013, and it was seen all over, from fashion to furnishings to interiors. Seeing that the retro interior style is in right now, why not bring it back and celebrate the Ox in all its glory?

Choose The Color Oxblood for the Year of the Ox | MyBoysen

Oxblood is the color of movers and shakers, of leaders who don’t follow trends but make them. It speaks of energy and power, of old money and prestige. In the world of love, it’s unabashed boldness declares worldly intentions, not with a shy look but with a smoldering stare.

So how do you harness the potent power of this color in your interiors?

Balance Oxblood with Light Neutrals

Oxblood is an excellent painting idea if you want to bring a cool, sophisticated red (instead of a bright fire-engine red) into your home. The best way to deal with this heavy color in modern homes is to use it sparingly. However if your intention is to overpower and have anyone entering the room get electrified by its intensity, then by all means, paint the surfaces with this strong color.

Live loud and proud!

Obviously, these living rooms belong to owners who have a voice and use it. Life is too short to pussyfoot around your world. If Covid-19 has taught us anything, it is to know our truth and to say it boldly; being timid is a waste of time.

The oxblood wall is balanced by the light furnishings and rugs. The beige colors bring out the brown tones of the oxblood-colored walls.

It would have been too stark if paired with white and the combination would have been overbearing. This is much friendlier and cozier. The statement made by these living rooms is to invite, and to say, “Come right in and get cozy.”

Drench Your Entrance with Drama

Give everyone entering or leaving your home a propitious greeting.

Another oxblood painting idea is to make an entry that is worthy of an old-world Hollywood star.

Oxblood looks wonderful paired with wood furniture because of the brown tones in the red color. If your grandma has a hardwood console table that she no longer needs, maybe you can ask for it. Pair that with a Venetian mirror like the one in the photo. We’ve got lots of those in the Philippines, antique or pseudo-antique.

However, think about the rest of the house first before you go to Lazada, Shopee, the internet or social media to search for a Venetian mirror. This has a very clear style identity and would require that at least some of the furnishings you find in the other rooms in the home would match this period furnishing.

If you want your place to be modern, try a modern mid-century console table and pair that with a minimalistic mirror with a metal frame that has a gold, brass, or copper color.

Use Oxblood to Demarcate a Space

Carve a corner of concentrated energy and focus.

For small condos with ceilings that are less than three meters high, this is a good way to bring the color in. A functional painting idea is to use the oxblood color in just one section of the home so it won’t look overwhelming.

It is also a good way to demarcate space like a home office. Use oxblood as a color to block your work space in a bigger open space that you find in studios. Red enhances creativity and productivity so having this as the color of your home office should be a good choice.

Use Oxblood in Your Furnishings

Like essential oil, you just need a few drops of the oxblood color to permeate a room with its presence.

Accessorize with red pieces in your living space. Think of having this color for your sofa, or cushions, or curtains, or poufs, or throws, etc. Use the color with a light hand and don’t make everything matchy-matchy.


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Here is a modern living room with mostly blue and light wood colors. The deep reds you see are woven into the whole design, making the space look light, charming, and lively.

As you can see, you can bring oxblood into your space prudently and still achieve that energetic and powerful vibe.

Key Takeaway

Don’t be afraid of oxblood even if it sounds gory. It’s a classic color that has been a favorite in several periods in history and in many cultures. Even now with the preference for Scandi or Japandi or natural, biophilic interiors, red is here to stay. It is a flexible color that can be used for traditional, classic interiors to ultra-modern ones.

Remember the four ways to make oxblood work in your interiors:

  1. balance it with light neutrals
  2. make a grand entrance with it
  3. use it to demarcate a space
  4. use it for your furnishings

Harness the power of the Ox by painting oxblood in your home if you need a reminder that boldness will get you through these times.

For more color painting ideas, read about other color inspirations in this link. If you’re into the Chinese Zodiac, read about your lucky colors for the new lunar year.


Annie is the Managing Editor of Let it B | MyBoysen Blog. An unrepentant workaholic, she runs this blog and her own company Talking Lions ( She thrives on collaborating with people who are good at what they do, and working together with them to create something special. Annie learned interior styling while managing her own wholesale business in the Netherlands, importing high-end, handmade home furnishings to stock four outlets and a showroom in the country.

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