Lady Gaga's controversially-hued rug has got color psychologists talking

The singer opted for this highly debated hue to make a statement in her living space – but should we follow her lead?

Lady Gaga
(Image credit: GettyImages)

Lady Gaga is instantly associable with her statement-making fashion choices, but a look inside her home suggests her interior design decisions are (almost) as bold. 

The singer-turned-actress shared a look inside her Malibu mansion, once labeled her 'sanctuary'*, but her living room rug exhibits a hue that is far from therapeutic. So, how does this impact her home's therapeutic energy? And, can we ever decorate with red to create a sanctuary-like space similar to Lady Gaga's home? 

While red has a controversial reputation – some color psychologists suggest that, in the right space, this tone can create positivity – and act as a talking point in the process. This is exactly what Lady Gaga has achieved. Here's how.

'The beautiful thing about red is that it raises the heart rate and even excites hunger,' says color psychologist Michelle Lewis. 'Of course, designers get nervous using it because it can sometimes be too stimulating' – but in cloudier or color-less contexts, this color can work perfectly.

'What if you live in a cloudy climate? Gray is known to cause certain depressions and to mute personalities when exposed to it over time, so imagine how helpful a red kitchen would be,' she adds. 

Michelle Lewis
Michelle Lewis

Michelle Lewis is a color psychologist, interior designer, and founder of The Color Cure. After gaining a degree in Interior Design, she studied color in the RYB color model to grasp combinations and aesthetics to understand how to bring color into a living space. She recently released Color Secrets, a book that teaches us how to use color to live to make better life choices daily. 

Admittedly, red isn't ideal for every space, especially in homes where vibrant hues already reign supreme – however, as Michelle suggests, this color has its place in calmer settings. In Lady Gaga's case, her room (rug aside) is primarily neutral, featuring white walls and marble accents – allowing her red rug to impress – without overwhelming the room. 

'Red isn't always the way to go, but it certainly can be the perfect fit in certain situations to bring more energy, excitement, and action-taking to the home,' Michelle says.

In cases where we're already working with lots of colors – or still (understandably) nervous about flirting with red, Michelle recommends working with red undertones as a subtler alternative. 

'It also can be a much more flexible situation when we look at the undertones we may use with red,' she says. 'For example, will we choose to add a gray tone? A black shade? A white tint? Or keep it the true hue? The choice here can alter the feel dramatically.'

In the right home, Lady Gaga's rug is an unexpected design statement and encourages us not to overlook this highly debated hue. If working with a similar neutral space, we recommend getting the look with this similar rug from Etsy. 

*According to an interview with Vogue

Megan Slack
Head of Celebrity Style News

Megan is the Head of Celebrity Style News at Homes & Gardens. She first joined Future Plc as a News Writer across their interiors titles, including Livingetc and Real Homes, before becoming H&G's News Editor in April 2022. She now leads the Celebrity/ News team. Before joining Future, Megan worked as a News Explainer at The Telegraph, following her MA in International Journalism at the University of Leeds. During her BA in English Literature and Creative Writing, she gained writing experience in the US while studying in New York. Megan also focused on travel writing during her time living in Paris, where she produced content for a French travel site. She currently lives in London with her antique typewriter and an expansive collection of houseplants.