The psychology of colour – red – indulge your appetite

The colour of action and energy, red is classified as a warm, positive colour exciting emotions and motivating us to take action. It's also associated with sexuality, so it's hardly surprising that it's a favourite colour in the bedroom! It's also known for stimulating appetite, which is one of the reasons it's used extensively in restaurants.

Red is a confident colour, with leadership qualities, but if you use too much it can cause you to become irritated, aggressive and angry. The proverbial red flag to a bull and fiery red-tempers spring to mind! The variety of hues and tones makes red perfect throughout the home. Opt for darker shades of maroon, burgundy or claret to obtain a more masculine vibe or go for the paler pinker versions such as berry red or those which verge on pink for a touch of refined femininity.

As red is a primary colour it's ideal for use in children's rooms, more especially when used in combination with other primary colours such as blue or a neutral like white. You do have to be brave and have an out-going type of personality to use red, but when you use just the right amount it will have a dramatic visual impact on your décor and mood.

Red in the Kitchen:

Grey wall tiles and laminate flooring in a kitchen with bright red kitchen units White kitchen curtains with red checked trim and red flowers Burgundy red checked kitchen curtains at a window

Think along the lines of red tomatoes, cherries, claret and apples to get the hue just in the kitchen. Paired with bright white or metallics of polished aluminium and steel and you'll see how well they compliment each other.

Red in the Dining Room:

Red round leather armchairs around a table in a restaurant Dark red table cloth on a table with white soup bowls and wine glasses Bright red eyelet curtains at patio garden doors in a dining room

As mentioned above, red is renowned for stimulating appetite making a great colour choice for dining rooms. For a sophisticated and mature look in traditional decorating motifs go for the darker shades of clarets and burgundy rather than brighter shades which are a better choice for creating a modern, contemporary look.

Red in the Living Room:

Red leather sofa in a white, red and grey modern living space Dark red pencil pleat curtains at a window in a cream living room Burgundy red cushion on a grey sofa

With a regal and sumptuous vibe the darker shades of red offer a look of luxury for traditional interiors teamed with creams, soft greys or muted whites. For contemporary homes the more vibrant shades of post box red are ideal for injecting splashes of colour and can be coordinated with mid tone greys, blues and even black.

Red in the Bedroom :

Birght bedroom with sunlight through voile curtains and white and coral colour scheme Very dark red silky bedding in a cream bedroom Red rectangular cushion with sequins spelling out the the word sexy

Sensual and passionate red is a great choice in master bedrooms. Lipstick red or mid-tones are ideal and give you the opportunity to up-scale to luxury with tactile fabrics such as velvet or chenille. Modern bedrooms can be bought alive with red in jazzy shades, while elegance can be created using the richer, darker tones.

Red in Children's Rooms :

Dark red and dark green childrens room with green table and wooden bed with bright bedding Fabric swatch in cream and red depicting a cartoon donkey, rabbit and ladybird Blue, green and orange snakes and ladders kids bedding

Primary red is bright and lively for a children's room. Combine it with other brights to achieve a room that is great for learning and being creative without too causing any aggressive or negative behaviours.

Red in the Office :

a close up of an office desk with Filofax, red coffee cup, black laptop and tablet Dark red shaggy rug on a dark wooden floor Red ready made roller blind in a grey living space

Get motivated in the office using hints of red, to avoid confrontation and aggression use it for accessories and soft furnishings rather than as a wall colour. As you can see red is an adaptable colour that can be used with confidence in any room. Adjust the shade and tone according to your decorating motif and personality and you won't go far wrong.

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