RED, SCARLET, CRIMSON, VERMILION, CARMINE, GARNET, BURGUNDY, CHESTNUT, MAROON, RUBY
When we stare at red for a period of time our breathing quickens, our heart rate increases and our blood pressure increases. We become impatient to act. We become filled with energy. Our desires become aroused. We become passionate about a cause. We want to move.
Red symbolizes not only our will to survive, but to do it with an intensity that makes it worth it. Red is action packed, emotionally charged and passionately exciting. It is self-assured and confidant.
Too much red makes us touchy, quick-tempered and even angry. We lose track of time, our appetites are stimulated and we can become frustrated.
Too little red causes us to be timid and cautious and withdrawn.
Red is vital to our psyche, if red is a color you avoid or hate this is an indication that you are overstimulated to the point of exhaustion and red becomes danger, fury or disgust. You find it aggressive and reject it.
It gives us hope, motivation, inspiration and eager expectation of what is possible. This is especially necessary when we have a 9-5 regulated lifestyle. Coming home from a long draining day, tired and wanting to relax, to a house filled with exciting red carpets or walls, can leave you feeling like you are going nowhere, unfulfilled, not in control of your life. No red gives you the feeling that nothing is ever going to change and will eventually lead you into depression.
Red is necessary to give us the little spark of “something exciting is possible”.
SHADES OF RED
Here are some psychological observations about the different shades of red:
1. Cardinal or Scarlet – This shade contains orange. It is rich and bright and indicates a defiant enthusiasm. It is lighthearted and more playful than pure red.
2. Vermilion – This orange-red is the most provocative, animated, fun-loving shade in the entire spectrum. It promotes social interaction without aggression, enthusiasm without obligation.
3. Crimson or Carmine – This shade is red with a tinge of blue. It promotes sensuality over sexuality. It is the most sensitive of all the shades of red, assertive without being aggressive.
4. Ruby – This shade is a transparent red with blue tinge. This red abandons all personal connections. It is used to convey excitement without becoming personally involved – it is a dry commercial color.
5. Burgundy – This shade is deep red containing blue and black. It suggests dignity in action. It is less attention getting and is loved by the affluent. It subtly states “I’m in control, my word is law”.
6. Chestnut – This is a reddish-brown shade and signifies a more nurturing mode of action. It is less assertive and more diplomatic.
A common misconception in advertising is that red is all about LOVE. It’s not: red is about the action, the intensity, the arousal and “the chase”, it is not about love (love encompasses all colors in balance). Red is passionate, not usually sensual. The color red directly influences flirting, teasing and anticipation – the chase.
Advertising teaches our young folk that “the chase” is the same thing as love… an unfortunate misdirection. When sex and love are confused, mature appreciation for the opposite sex goes out the window. An apple tree is not an apple. The tree itself has taken time to mature, its roots have dug in deep and it has formed weight-bearing branches. Once the time is right it will yield its fruit of apples. Think of the tree as love and the (red) apples as sex. Yet advertisers would have us place improper emphasis on passion and sensuality, and by our use of colors jerk our emotions around. For the less mature in society, this leads to brainwashing and stereotypes. Valentine’s Day is a prime example. Think of the red merchandise you wouldn’t even glance at if it were any other day. The bright (and gaudy) red is pounding away at your mind to think about sex. But isn’t Valentine’s Day about love? See the advertiser’s misdirection? Next Valentine’s Day, consider making some beautiful burgundy or crimson hearts and watch the result.
INSERTING RED INTO YOUR LIFE
Here are 10 suggestions of placing Red in key spots in your home. You need a balance. Items of red interspersed throughout our day give us unconscious spurts of expectation. I suggest many stained glass products because they are translucent, and allow a play of exotic shades during different times of the day.
1. Walls painted red in a kitchen unconsciously inspire us to try new recipes, often on a grand scale, it motivates the cook to veer away from mundane meals and attempt concoctions of greatness! (Make sure your smoke alarm is working!)
2. Hanging a stained glass medallion in front of the kitchen window with a pattern of multi hued reds will connect the outside to your indoor expectations. It expands your world and gives you the feeling that there is something to look forward to when you are finished cooking.
3. Red mattes around a framed photo or painting give a very personal touch of promise to the landscape or person in the picture. I suggest glossy red mosaic tiles for a distinctive flair!
4. Although quirky, red tiles scattered in the bathroom do tend to help get the blood pumping in the morning, and at night can spur positive dreams. Try to keep the tiles in either a localized pattern or a straight line, random scattering is too contrasting and hard to look at.
5. The bathroom or kitchen is also a good place to install a stained glass skylight with clear rippled glass and a few red jewels or glass chips in the pattern you choose (clear rippled glass will diffuse direct sunlight).
6. A red-infused decorative fireplace screen or a stained glass room divider in front of a bay window gives privacy and color to your space. Again, spot impressions of red highlights will create excitement and unconsciously allow your eye to find the perk it needs.
7. Installing a stained glass window saturated with red glass in your bedroom will increase the libido, bring in light and cast reflections throughout the room. Twisting red strips of fabric around tall bed posts or using a quilt with heavy usage of red fabric is a positive touch.
8. Red drapes do not work well unless they are custom created for the space. They can easily overpower a room. If you are going this route, choose a burgundy or carmine shade and offset with a lighter cream, champagne or blush under the drape. It also helps to have the drapery pool into a puddle of fabric on the floor or tie back with red or clear fringe beads. Red drapes will darken a room. Psychologically you want your room to be welcoming or you will not spend time there.
9. The fireplace is a wonderful spot to add touches of red. Wall sconces mounted on either side of the mantel balance the myopic focus of the blazing flame. If you use red infused stained glass, your eyes can see the color whether on or off.
10. When you are sitting in front of a lit fire, your vision is usually drawn to the brightest spot and the rest of the room can fade away. Let’s balance that wonderful warmth by diffusing the direct firelight and heat through a decorative fireplace screen made of stained glass. If the screen has a profusion of red and orange glass chips it will beautify the dynamic energy of the fire bringing a rich satisfaction to your comfort zone. This is one of the nicest things you can do for yourself!
Red does not have to take over your life, but put touches of red wherever you can to bring in the feeling of excitement, stimulation, hope for better things, passion and intensity.