Does red uplift you? Here's why: Color Psychology - Part 4 in Decorating with Color Series

Updated: May 17

Red = Drama

The color psychology of this “notice-me” color gives you a kick and gets you going.


In its purist form, it is the most intense color, pumping the adrenaline like no other hue. It is a good choice when you want to stir up excitement.


In the living room or dining room, red draws people together and stimulates conversation. In an entryway, it creates a strong first impression.


Small amounts of this exhilarating color may be the way to go.



Light plays a key concept with this color. At night, in a room lit only by lamplight, the color will appear softer and more muted, perhaps even rich and elegant.


The amount of natural sunlight will affect this color. A sunny, southern exposure saturates the color giving it more energy. If the room receives less natural light because it is shaded by trees, or awnings, or small windows, the red color has less power.


Color psychology

Red-blue vs Red-yellow

You can take some of the heat out of red by moving into a shade with more blue undertones, such as burgundy. Blue-based reds will provide more rest and ease than a vibrant yellow-based red such as cherry.



Color Psychology

Do you = the power of red? Are you ready to take on red?

Decide if your laid-back personality needs a jump start. Or perhaps, you’re already running on high, then you might want to pass on this stimulating color, otherwise you’ll feel like you’ve had too much caffeine, or in room with preschoolers left to race around. Responding to your temperament will help you determine how much of this color to live with.


Red as an example



Painting the candle-making area of our shop a yellow-based red, named Auburn, the color provided the space with intimate warmth. Several key factors made it successful:


-The high, 12-foot white HIGH CEILING HEIGHT height added an airy, open feel to the room, whereas a lower 9-foot ceiling would have made the area feel small, closing it in.


-Adding to the airy feeling was the fact the area was painted red on three sides. The fourth side opened into the remaining large shopping area. If all four sides in a small room were painted red, the room could have felt tight and closed in. THIS OPEN FEEL WAS IMPORTANT WHEN USING SUCH A STRONG COLOR


-The wood tones of the floor, cabinets, and counters were a yellow-based brown which harmonized and extended with the warmth of the yellow-based red wall paint.


-The space was 70 feet from the front door so the intense warm color drew you to the back section.


To enjoy red ... determine your personality: are you high energy or a bit more subtle?

If you answer: "I am exuberant, I am alive!" RED IS FOR YOU!

Color psychology: Decorating with red is powerful.

Click here for the next color series: ORANGE - Part 5