The Power of Red

February 15, 2022

The month of February is a month filled with red. February highlights holidays like Valentine’s (and Galentine’s) Day as well as celebrations of the Chinese New Year. Additionally, February is American Heart Month, which focuses on the ways Americans can prioritize heart health. Red is an emotionally intense color, with varied and complex meanings. It draws the eye and calls attention to itself; making it a fun, vibrant color to use throughout your home in many shades. 

Symbolism and Meanings of Red 

Red is filled with various emotions. As a color that demands attention it is often associated with passion, power, and call to action. It is highly energetic and stimulates the viewer, drawing the eye towards it in a dramatic way. Red is often associated with love, however unlike the color pink, it symbolizes a more intense and lust filled romance filled with passion. However, red and its connections to love can also have a negative connotation, with deeper shades sometimes representing jealousy and anger. 

Beyond the connection to love, the color red has many positive draws. It is seen as a confident color, filled with excitement, vibrance, and power. However, red also is a color used for caution (think red stop signs on the road). Red can denote something dangerous and aggressive, making it a color that can quickly shift from a positive feeling to a negative one. 

Fun Facts about Red

More so than other colors we have featured, red has many physical effects on the body. Red is known to increase hunger and appetite, making it a color commonly used in marketing food companies. In addition to the association with hunger, red also draws our attention, making it a common color used by companies to draw customers in and make purchases (think about the red letters reading “SALE”, they never fail to allure us). Red is also a color with a long wavelength, making it often appear closer than it is and drawing the eye towards it. Red is also the color that humans first perceive after black and white.

Beyond the physical effects, red has symbolic meaning throughout many cultures and religions world wide. In the Christian faith, red is often associated with the Blood of Jesus Christ, appearing in textiles and art dating back for centuries. As far back as the Paleolithic period, red clay was used to protect the dead as they traveled into the afterlife, protecting the body from any evil spirits it may encounter on the way. Red also has roots in the celebration of Chinese New Year, believed to bring good luck, fortune, and prosperity into the New Year. 

Designing with Red 

Since red is a very powerful color, it is important to consider this color as an accent piece so as to not overpower your room. Play with varying shades of red: pinks and softer red may be better in larger quantities in your decor than a vibrant bright red. Red can be a great color for small spaces, adding depth and drama without overpowering the whole home. Pops of red throughout common spaces add a feeling of luxury. Be sure to check out our customizable made-to-order decor in all of your favorite styles and shades! 

Check out the other colors featured in Domanda Design’s Color Series: White, Blue, Yellow, Green, and Pink.

Looking for a belated Valentine’s gift for a special someone before February is over? Check out our 2022 Valentine’s Day Gift Guide for inspiration. 

This blog post was written by Emma Becker.