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Valentine’s Day is almost here, and red can be seen just about everywhere. While you’re surrounded by this vibrant hue I thought it would be a good time to ask you to think about the color red. What comes to mind?
This hue has more personal associations than any other color, but there are two that are most common. Red calls to mind love, romance, and passion: the hearts of Valentine’s Day or the sexy woman in a red dress. Yet red also is associated with fast cars, aggressive behavior, and even rage, made explicit in the expression “seeing red”.
So how is it that the same color has come to represent two powerful emotions that seem so very different? It’s because red is inherently exciting. It stimulates energy and increases your blood pressure, respiration, heartbeat, and pulse rate. Love and rage both produce similar physical reactions. Love can make your heart beat a little faster and your palms sweat. Anger also raises your blood pressure and increases your heart rate, but for a different reason.
Love, anger, and the color red all produce changes in our body that are very similar and signal that you need to respond. This makes red an attention-getter at an emotional level in addition to it being a bright, eye-grabbing color.
Red can be a great color for your exterior. It works especially well as an accent color. Put red on areas of your home where you want to draw attention like the front door or shutters. It can also be a great main color but take the time to find the right red.
With a variety of shades from traditional barn red to vivid watermelon, you have a wide range to choose from. Here a few of my favorite reds for your home exterior.
Benjamin Moore’s Cottage Red PM-15 was the color I recommended when last year’s Shake It Up color contest winner wanted to take her cute cottage from faded pink to barn red. Just look at the difference this color made in adding charm and presence to this home and I think you can see why Cottage Red is on the list of best red for a home exterior. If you need stain rather than paint Sherwin-Williams SW 3020 Cape Cod Red Exterior Solid Stain or Cabot O.V.T. Solid Color Stain Barn Red are also among what I consider the best reds.
For a front door or shutters I often use a more vivid red. The best red for home exterior doors are Farrow & Ball Rectory Red 217, Benjamin-Moore Caliente AF-290 or Moroccan Red 1309, Pittsburgh Paints Ruby Lips 434-7, and Sherwin-Williams Poinsettia SW6594, Lusty Red SW6863 or Heartthrob SW 6866.
If you are looking for a red that will work well with the color of your composite slate or shake roofing here is a general rule of thumb to follow. If you’re shake or slate roof shingles are neutral gray you can use either just about any tone of red. Select one that compliments the other colors on your home.
If your slate or shake roofing material is warm brown, terra cotta red, or even a very warm gray use a red that is slightly more orange than burgundy or pink. If you slate or shake roofing is cool gray, bluish or green then a cooler red will probably be a better choice.
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