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From the Resene colour choices booklet

The colour red seems to be a perennial favourite at this end of the world.

Choosing colour

Feature wall in Resene Salsa, side wall in Resene Unwind.

Maybe it’s the saturated, strong quality of our light, or the brightly flowering pohutukawa and wattle trees to which we've grown so attached.

For such a strong colour, red comes in many, many varieties – from magenta like Resene Candy Floss with its pink undertones, through true reds like Resene Bright Red, to deep ox-blood, like Resene Dynamite. It’s a hue associated with passion, energy and a healthy appetite. Red stimulates activity, increases blood pressure and heart rate, making it the highest energy colour.


Although it’s a passionate colour, beware of using too much red in the bedroom – it could increase your pulse rate and stop you getting a good night’s sleep. The best option might be to have it as a statement wall behind the bed, so you’ll see and enjoy the colour when you’re in the room but it won’t be overpowering. Or use terracotta or burnt orange instead.

Red also represents the passion of anger and war, and is often seen in uniforms and national flags. It’s a highly visible colour, used in stop signs, on fire engines and also in advertising to attract attention and stimulate your senses.

Add more black to red and it becomes sophisticated and mellow, reminiscent of red wine, velvet curtains and Oriental rugs. Add white and, of course, it becomes pink.

In interiors, red has often been used as a feature wall, a backdrop of strong colour at one end of a room. It’s a good solution for those who find red too overpowering on all their walls.

Red is traditionally used in areas where food is eaten. It stimulates appetite, so restaurants love it – and at home, we can do the same in our dining rooms.

Feature wall in Resene Flame Red
Feature wall in Resene Flame Red.

Did you know…

That a red wall around a fireplace or on a chimney breast gives a feeling of warmth, even if the fire’s not lit, and a red front door or entrance lends a feeling of luxury and opulence?

Positive – Red represents physical courage, strength, warmth, energy and excitement. It raises our blood pressure, stimulates appetite and tends to make us lose track of time. Pure red is powerful, and so is best used as an accent, such as one red signature wall.

Negative – When misused or overused, red can trigger aggression.


Download a PDF of this article

Resene colour choices booklet
Choose colour with confidence and creativity


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Colours shown on this website are a representation only. Please refer to the actual paint or product sample. Resene colour charts, testpots and samples are available for ordering online.   See measurements/conversions for more details on how electronic colour values are achieved.

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