The Colour Red

The colour red 

A friend of mine once said that every room should have something in red in its décor.  I never asked why, but I always remember her words.  I know there is people that don’t like red at all, but let’s see what it is with red and the effect it has on us.

Red symbolises danger, anger, excitement, energy, passion … and love.  We all have something in common with red – our blood is red after all.  Red makes us feel more alive and it is the perfect colour for rooms such as a dining room or lounge where you will be sociable.  It will uplift the mood to be more energetic and livelier.

Different hues of red

My dad used to love Signal Red.  He always had a tin of Signal red paint in his garage, and it is indeed bold and brave to use Signal Red or Post Office box red.  You, however, have many options in incorporating red in your décor. 

There are an endless number of red hues such as tomato red, burgundy, brick-red, chilli-red, maroon, scarlet, carmine, fire engine red, ruby red and even coral.


How do we incorporate red in our homes

As with the use of any colour, it influences the space in which its used. Red has the ability to bring walls closer, ceilings seem lower and making large areas cosier. 

  • Use it as an accent wall – paint it red or use wallpaper with a red design or pattern. Balance the wall with neutral colours on the rest of the room. You don’t want the thermometer to reach boiling point when you enter the room.
  • Add warmth and luxury with red upholstery for your sofa or curtains. 

  • A safe option if you are not in a daring mood, is to add red in the form of scatter cushions. Floral designs, patterns or art.     

  • Red furniture – paint old furniture such as a dining room chair red – even better: paint all the chairs in different shades of red.  It will compliment a wooden table perfectly. 

  • Use it in artwork and accessories – it doesn’t need to be overwhelming. Use it subtly. If you pair it with white or black, you will create a striking, modern look.  

  • Red is perfect as accent colour in a kitchen. Red chairs, red painted island, pomegranate artwork, red and white gingham roman blind, red pottery bowl for fruit…. a bowl of red apples. 

  • Red in a bedroom? …yes, you can.  What about a burgundy throw and scatters with burgundy, earthy-orange and a soft mustard yellow?  I think it will look gorgeous! 

  • Office

Red promotes energy and has an effect on productivity.  Keep it simple though as too much red can have a negative effect.


Keep the following in mind when using red in a room:

  • Use different shades of red together – don’t stick to only one hue. You will create depth and interest in using different shades.
  • Balance it with neutrals
  • Light, or the lack thereof, will influence the quality of red in a room
  • Remember: Less is more

Let’s paint the town red….

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