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Dear Peeps,

I once had a client contact me about a big mistake she made in selecting a new paint color for the waiting room of her wellness skin clinic.

As we sat together sipping sweet chamomile tea in her reception area, she gently explained how one year earlier (after a big breakup) she decided to have the walls in the 500 square foot waiting area and retail zone of her wellness biz painted RED.

After six months, she grew tired of the color and wanted to change it. She let six more months go by before she contacted me.

Her staff didn’t like the color and spent as little time as possible in the area.

Her clients (she noticed) seemed agitated and excessively talkative and fidgety when waiting for their appointments–the opposite of the calm feeling she wanted to create in the space. They didn’t spend much time in the retail area either.

She suspected the problem was in those red walls.

She was right.

6 Things To Know About The Color Red

  1. When you paint a wall red, it usually takes many coats of new paint to cover it up. Red is like a tattoo that way. Think hard before you commit. And then don’t do it. Get the tattoo instead.
  2. Red stimulates hunger and increases anxiety. That’s wonderful for the walls of your favorite restaurant. Not-so-great for your healthcare practice.
  3. Red increases the heart rate. Red is passionate. Great for love-making. Not-so-great for deep relaxation, rest or calm.
  4. Red is associated with addictive behaviors and can trigger aggression. That’s not-so-good when you are trying to create a restorative wellness space where the body can receive and process a treatment.
  5. Red, used in your healthcare space, is best in small doses like a red lampshade. It’s not-so-great on walls or ceilings where it becomes overwhelming.
  6. Red and yellow used together speed up your nervous system and make you even hungrier. Think about the red and yellow color scheme at McDonalds where the message says, “Get in, get out, eat quickly, hurry up… more french fries please.” Nothing wrong with french fries, btw.

Red can also be a way of expressing passion, anger or a heartbreak, like my client did when she painted her waiting room red. It was her way of externally expressing what she was feeling inside. It happened to be the wrong choice for a wellness setting.

I highly encourage you to express yourself in red whenever the inspiration moves you. Heck, it might be moving you lately with the results of this cray cray election season.

I encourage you to do it on a canvas, in the garden, or other artistic outlet that can be easily changed if need be.

Be careful with the color red.

Learn more about what colors agitate the brain and the best paint colors for your wellness space here:

With love and red swirls,

P.S. I ended up selecting a beautiful soothing green for the walls of my client’s space. It took several coats and hundreds of dollars later to cover up the red paint, but the space was transformed into an oasis, which changed everything for the better. The green color I selected is in my book, The Color Cure. Get it here.