How to Use Red in Decorating

Home Stager with Diva by Design™

I love it and red in one form or another is always popular. Red brings up very strong feelings and emotions. It is a very stimulating, dominant color and can make a space seem smaller than it is. If you are daring, use it in the entrance to your home to give a feeling of warmth and excitement. Since red is such an energizing color, I would be careful when using it on your bedroom walls.

Photo from Melissa Galt Interiors

Red can be warm and inviting as in the photo above. Mixing it in with colors that are lighter in hue can keep the overwhelm factor to a minimum.

When red is used on smaller accessories, it can increase the apparent size of those objects. In Feng Shui, red is considered to be too strong a color to be used in children's bedrooms or workshops. Since red stimulates the appetite, Feng Shui principles advise to stay away from using it on the walls in your kitchen and dining areas. Red is also Fire energy, fame and recognition.

image source

Though the above image is a nice example of red walls in a child's bedroom, it is considered to be bad Feng Shui. Bedrooms are meant to be restful and peaceful. Since red is such an invigorating color, the energy that comes from it would make it difficult for your child to go to sleep at night. If you are having trouble getting your young one to sleep, look at the colors used in their room. It could be that there is too much stimulation for rest to come easily.

In the Western world red symbolizes:

  • courage
  • passion
  • love
  • excitement
  • danger
  • martyrdom
  • anger
  • fire
  • strength

In Feng Shui, red symbolizes:

  • warmth
  • prosperity
  • shame
  • hatred

image source

If you love red there are ways to use it so that it doesn't overwhelm and make you feel closed in. One way is to paint your front door a deep red color. Million Dollar Red from Benjamin Moore would be a good choice. Use a ruby red in your small accent pieces, such as extra chairs or console tables.

image source

You don't have to use a real red hue. You can substitute a paler version of red like coral or persimmon. Pink is red with white mixed in. It is still a stimulating color, but can feel less overwhelming than a true red.

Image from Diva by Design

This picture is of the accent wall behind my TV cabinet. I used a rose pink color to highlight this wall. The color is a little bit darker than in this picture which was taken in the afternoon. Don't be afraid to use red! It is a beautiful color and provides drama and lots of energy to lift your spirits.

Copyright© 2011 Christina Rodriguez. All rights reserved.

Your story begins at home. Each room is another page that tells who you are. What does your home say about you? Let's get together and write the definitive guide to you at, or (956) 320-1246. You can also find me at, Facebook and Twitter.

Comments (2)

Mike Yeo
3:16 team REALTY - Frisco, TX

Great advise on how to use the color. It could be intimidating if the color was in a smaller room.

Nov 14, 2011 07:49 AM
Christina Rodriguez
Diva by Design™ - Harlingen, TX

Thank you, Mike. red is definitely one of the more intimidating colors to use. In a smaller room such as an entry way, a darker shade of red can make it feel larger because dark colors tend to recede. For some people it is just too much which is why I suggest other colors such as coral. Less intimidation, more color! :)

Nov 15, 2011 05:48 AM