BuildDirect Blog: Life at Home

Emotional Interior Design: Using Red

When we choose colors for our spaces, it’s more than just the logical part of our brains that we use. Ever since we were children, we’ve responded to color in an emotional way. And so, as adults with spaces of our own, we still respond to colors in that way. Color has an emotional, and a psychological impact.

So, seeing as it’s December and we’re all seeing a lot of red around more so than at other times of the year, when it comes to this enduring question of color psychology I thought we’d start there. What is the impact of red? What spaces and contexts can red be most effectively used? How does red affect our emotions in those spaces?

Take a look at this infographic that helps to outline red as a design element, but also as an emotional one.


Color_Psychology_Red copy


Red has a reputation as you can see from above. It’s sexy, bold, and a little bit dangerous. It’s passion, and it’s blood. It’s associated with romance, and vitality. For this reason, a lot of people avoid overdoing it with red, just because it demands such high levels of energy.

But, as can be seen above, red as an accent can help to create a spark while also keeping fiery red in check. This is particularly effective when contrasted with more neutral colors, or complementary ones – like green! There’s a reason those colors are so closely entwined at this time of the year for many.

Home improvement products in the red spectrum

Here’s a select few links to consider when it comes to using red for your decor, depending on the surfaces you’ve got in mind.

How do you use red?

Do you have a lot of red elements in your space? How do you use them?

Do you find that red has an emotional impact on you? How does this affect how you experience your space?

What combinations of reds work best with other colors? Which ones don’t in your experience?

Tell me all about it in the comments section of this post.



Rob Jones

Rob served as Editor-In-Chief of BuildDirect Blog: Life At Home from 2007-2016. He is a writer, Dad, content strategist, and music fan.


  1. Sam Epstein Reply to Sam

    I absolutely love this post! Red is most certainly eye catching, and the use of it in the home is both commanding and exciting. The design of this infographic is also extremely well done, and I can’t wait to see more posts like it! Perhaps one for every color?? :)

  2. Diy Girl Reply to Diy

    Red has been my favorite color since I was 4. I had always heard that painting a room red would “make you angry… blah blah blah”…but last year I painted one wall in my dining room red. I love it. It is a color like cream of tomato soup. YUM. Looking at it while I eat makes me happy -not angry!

    • I think this reinforces the idea of personalization of spaces. It certainly proves the rule that even if certain colors have a certain vocabulary attached to them, a lot of personal associations with those colors are often the deciding factor.

      Thanks for comments!

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