Have you ever wondered why you often feel cosier in the presence of red? The basic theory of colour tells us that red, a warm-toned colour, tends to advance, meaning it appears to come forward and make walls seem closer.

Like other richly pigmented tones, red also absorbs light. This tricks the mind into believing the room is smaller and cosier than it actually is, and often assists in raising people’s perceptions of a room’s temperature. In fact, in some experiments, people estimated the temperature in a room painted red as being six degrees centigrade higher than in a blue room.

So, if you want to lower your energy bills, why don’t you try painting the north-facing rooms and other cool spaces in your house a warm red? It just might persuade your whole family not to turn up the heating.

Featured colours