Red is the colour of love – think Valentine’s Day – and is known to generate feelings of intimacy and passion. The sight of red is said to encourage circulation and increase heart rate and it is therefore a good colour to turn to when feeling the need for a lift or a spurt of energy. In décor, red is best used in areas where activity takes place, since it is physically stimulating and promotes movement and action. Red works well in dining-rooms and restaurants, where it can stimulate the senses and conversation, and can be used on a feature wall to give a room a dramatic lift. It would be less advisable in an environment intended to be soothing and calming – a nursery or hospital for example.
Red is seen to spell danger, passion, energy, warmth, adventure and optimism. Not surprisingly, studies have shown that teams or athletes who wear red are more likely to win. It is the colour to wear if you wish to draw attention, make your presence felt or be more noticeable. You’ll cut a bold, strong figure in red – perfect for business negotiations, say, but not for a situation where you wish to make others feel unthreatened, included or calm, for example if you’re to run a workshop or training session.
If red is your favourite colour, you’re likely to be a fiery person, full of adrenaline and drive. You have tireless energy, are determined to achieve in whatever you do and are quick to make decisions and get things done. You’re also likely to be an explorer or pioneer-type personality and a strong leader.
Wall-to-wall red can be overpowering and can even cause headaches. If you can’t resist, tone things down with neutral furnishings and accessories. A strategic spot of red, however, can work wonders in decorating.
Blue: cooler shades of blue will tone down red
Purple: purple and red can be striking and elegant – but beware, this combination can also easily look tacky
Pink and yellow: pale pinks and/or light yellow are a surprising match for red, provided they are not of the same intensity
Green: the best time of year for this combination is most definitely Christmas.