“There is a shade of red for every woman” -Audrey Hepburn
“Everything utilitarian needs a little red edge” – Reno Dakota
The Color Red
Red is a warm, primary color. It is a bold and symbolic hue that is often associated with strong emotion. Red grabs our attention, pulls us in, and makes us aware of its presence. It calls us to action and gets us motivated. If you are looking to create a cozy and intimate space, red is the way to go. This catching color reminds us of beautiful things in nature like sweet strawberries, delicate roses, falling autumn leaves, and calming sunsets. Let’s not forget red is also a symbolic color of our great country, representing hardiness and valor. The flat
lay below incorporates a mix of red, white, and blue, inspired by our beautiful star-spangled banner.
How Red Affects Mood & Behavior
Did you know that all colors have a different psychological effect on us? The human mind processes colors in diverse ways causing us to feel and act differently. Colors affect how we react to sounds, smells, taste, and time. Some colors can even help heal sick patients and aid in their recovery.
Red is often associated with love, danger, anger, excitement, fire, strength, confidence, and luxury. In Chinese culture, red is very popular for weddings and acts as a symbol of happiness. Bright, warm colors like red are also quite prominent in the restaurant industry, a perfect choice to stimulate the appetite of consumers. If you think of it there are tons of fast-food places that use red, McDonald’s, Wendy’s, Kentucky Fried Chicken, Chick-fil-A, Sonic, Pizza Hut, and Dairy Queen, just to name a few. The reason behind this is simple, red is bold, catches our attention, and somehow makes something in our brain say, “Hmm I could go for some food”. Not only does this hue cause change in mood and behavior but studies show that it can physically cause our body temperature to rise and make us feel warmer.
All these emotions and meanings behind just one color! Because red is so lively and simulating it should be used in moderation and with care. As designers, we take into consideration these effects that color has on the human mind to help us determine the best use and fit for each space. We suggest using red in entertainment spaces such as the living and dining rooms. Red is also a great choice for window treatments, pillows, and accent furniture. Here you can see how red steals the spotlight in a dining nook. The drapery, art piece, and accessory tray all pull red from the seating creating a fun layering effect that fills this small space with excitement.
This nightstand is a perfect example of using red on a piece of furniture to create a fun accent and carry it throughout the room within the artwork and area rug.
Colors That Pair Well with Red
There’s no doubt that red makes a statement on its own but that doesn’t mean you have to pair it with neutrals to make a space look great. Many times, red looks best when paired with colors that are just as vibrant and eye-catching. Check out the interesting mix of patterns in this photo! The scheme in this living area uses red in combination with blue, teal, and green making a space that is daring yet visually appealing to the eye.
Red’s complement is green and although most of us associate those colors with the holiday season they can be combined in a way that is not so literal by using variations of the hues. To avoid making your space look like a holiday party we recommend pairing it with a sage green or mint green. Other select colors that work well with red are teal, navy blue, peach, and yellow. If you choose to take the neutral route but still want to create a dramatic ambiance, use black, white, or gray or a combination of all three to really make the space pop. In this unique bedroom, we placed red accents on a neutral black and white background adding to the already existing moody vibe of the artwork.
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