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PsyCOLORgy 101: RED

March 18, 2020 2 min read

PsyCOLORgy 101: RED

Your favorite steakhouse is definitely onto something. In the presence of red, we tend to eat more – and eat longer – so it’s a popular choice for restaurant décor. Menus too.Red meat,redwine andred velvet cake need only those three little letters to entice us with an intensely flavorful experience.

That’s because red stimulates our brain’s pleasure center, enhancing glandular activity and urging us to not only savor our food but lose track of time while we enjoy it. The color d’amour actually does all sorts of wondrous things to our bodies. It raises blood pressure and heart rate, heightens our senses and evokes strong emotions (which is why red-hot passion only comes in one color).

Red draws the eye’s attention, so it’s heavily favored by advertisers in marketing their brands. Wearing red apparel tends to boost one’s confidence, authority and attractiveness. It’s said to be the most advantageous “power” color to wear to job interviews, first dates and even in the sports arena as research shows that athletes in red tend to win slightly more often.

Benjamin Moore - Red Color psychology

In home decor, vibrant red really brings the wow factor. Here are a few tips to tame the flame:

  • In general, deep, rich red (crimson, garnet, merlot) absorbs light while bright, playful red (candy, lipstick, ruby) bounces light off the walls and lets it gleam on shiny surfaces.
  • One red is never enough! If red is your room’s main color scheme, use a variety of shades and textures to bring a sense of depth and variety to the space. Using only one shade of red in the room will overwhelm the eye and overpower the visual effect you want to achieve.
  • Strike the perfect balance between too little and too much red. When adding accents, take a step back from your design periodically to determine if you’re unintentionally over- or under-emphasizing the red. Ask yourself if the space feels saturated and overwhelming or lacking in pop and pizzazz. Then ask someone you trust for a second opinion. 
  • Wake up the neighborhood with a bold red statement on the exterior of your home. A red front door, red mail box, red porch swing or red planters add a burst of color to curb appeal.


Disclaimer: There are no bad colors, only poor design choices. Many of the moods and reactions associated with certain colors are directly linked to past personal experiences and influences. Side effects may include relying too much on favorite or “safe” shades and the inability to try different hues. We firmly believe that every color has uniquely positive traits and, when used as directed by a professional, the potential to inspire and elevate really great living spaces. Ask our design team for details.   

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