business interiors – how to use red to create an impact

Karen Haller 01
Karen Haller

The Ed Roberts Campus in Berkeley, California is the first structure of its kind in US. A non-profit community centre for the independent living & disabled rights movement. The designer’s brief  was to create an “eye-catching, functional ramp structure … while avoiding an “institutional” appearance”.

why red
Red is eye-catching!  Red says ‘look at me’. It is the colour of energy. It encourages movement which is perfect for this space. It creates excitement, raising the energy levels and motivation.

I think you’ll agree they did a superb job in using red to create not only an instant visual impact but an eye-catching focal point for the entire building.

Business interiors - red - Ed Roberts Campus top view. This opens a new browser window.

Business interiors - red - Ed Roberts Campus full view. This opens a new browser window.

Showing the full impact of the red circular ramp.

in the workplace
If red is your brand colour incorporating look at ways you can incorporate it into your client facing areas to subliminally reinforce brand awareness. And if it’s not, then using a touch of red can create an eye-catching, impact statement.

Business Interiors - how to use red to create an impact - Bigmouth Media Ltd reception. This opens a new browser window.

Using red in the reception area provides a clue this brand has a friendly, dynamic and vibrant personality.

Business Interiors - how to use red to create an impact - Google Spain reception. This opens a new browser window.

Google Spain - The injection of red creates a warm, friendly welcome.

home office
Sometimes working from home it’s challenging to keep the motivation, stamina going. A dash of red may be just the injection of colour you need. There are many variations of red so pick one that resonates with you.

Business Interiors - how to use red to create an impact - home office. This opens a new browser window.

Sitting on red seats will certainly keep the energy and motivation flowing.

To discover the positive and negative psychological qualities of the colour red read my blog post colour psychology … the meaning of red.

Does your business have the personality to carry off red?

Image Source: 3-form, interiormagz, homedesigninterior and rexohome

Share the knowledge


  1. Tanya Rennick on March 1, 2012 at 11:25 am

    I love red! I have a shiny red desk…it matches the soles of my shoes when I put my feet up…

    • admin on March 16, 2012 at 6:59 pm

      No doubt that red desk keeps your energy and stamina going throughout the day! Goes perfect with your Louboutin shoes! 😉

  2. Laura on March 13, 2012 at 9:11 am

    I have a red desk too Tanya! 🙂
    Great example of red being used in the architecture of the building Karen.
    Did I hear somewhere its good for bringing people into a building, so good to use in entrance halls?

    • admin on March 16, 2012 at 7:22 pm

      Hi Laura,

      Red is a good colour in say a high traffic area to get people moving such as in The Ed Roberts Campus in this blog post. The proportion of colour is very important otherwise the purpose is lost and it will be overpowering and the negative effects of the colour may be experienced.

  3. Charlene Hutsebaut on March 17, 2012 at 12:35 pm

    Hi Karen,
    Wow, thanks for shedding such great light on the subject of using red in offices and business interiors. I’m not usually a fan of red but I really like the subtle uses in the home office shown above. Mixing it with the natural wood is very appealing.
    I will be adding little splashes of red to our home office for that next level of inspiration!

    • admin on March 20, 2012 at 4:49 pm

      Hi Charlene,

      You only need a splash of red as it is such a high energy colour. That should be enough to lift your energy levels!

  4. Nicola Holden on March 19, 2012 at 5:52 pm

    My partner already complains that I’m too proactive, but perhaps if I start using red in his spaces he’ll be able to keep up with me more!!

    • admin on March 20, 2012 at 4:45 pm

      Hi Nicola,

      After all… red is the colour representing masculinity, stamina and strength!

  5. Wendy Kerr on March 23, 2012 at 11:23 am

    I LOVE red in interiors – we have it in our kitchen/dining room and in our lounge. I feel so ‘up’ when I go in, and now I know why. I love orange and purple as well – what do they mean?

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