Beating the Blues- Naturally
Did you know?
Interior Wall Colors Can Reflect Your Mood
by Al Heavens
Do you see the guests at your dining room table start to nod off after a couple
of hours, and it isn't Thanksgiving?
It could be the color of the dining room walls.
Too many homeowners worry about what color they paint their walls. Or maybe they
do not worry enough. They sometimes err on the side of bland, or sin on the side
There are colors that can make you sleepy and colors that keep you awake. The
sleep-inducing ones - blues and greens - are "cooling and calming," according to
the Rohm & Haas Paint Quality Institute in Spring House, Pa.
From a real estate agent's perspective, dark walls (purple and dark blue) tend
to make a room look smaller and absorb light, while light and neutral colors
make rooms appear larger.
Blue is also an appetite suppressant, however, so unless you are on a diet or
are a bad cook, avoid using it in the dining room, the Paint Quality Institute
Red is a good choice for dining rooms, because it increases the heart rate,
appetite, passion and energy. And diners rarely go to sleep, or at least wait
till after dinner while their watching the football game on television.
Orange means warmth, friendliness and welcoming, and is appropriate for living
rooms and children's rooms. Violet is fine for children's rooms, because, while
adults find it repellent, youngsters like it.
Yellow brightens a room - a foyer, a sunroom, and a room for the elderly - but
if it is too bright, it can repel.
Still, choosing paint is no longer simply a matter of blue, red, green or
Colors are becoming more complex and sophisticated, and are incorporating a
variety of special effects, including 'pearlescence' and metallics along with
the dimension of transparency and translucency.
Texture is a necessary special effect among designers and consumers these days.
Wood and faux finishes continue to be hot.
And color choices seem to be immune to the economic downturn.
There are some guidelines that builders and other professionals should follow
when choosing paint for particular audiences:
a.. Primary, high-contrast colors appeal to children and the elderly because
they define space and items best.
a.. Older, sophisticated buyers or high-end buyers prefer a complex palette,
which includes rich chocolates or copper-orange.
a.. Ethnic buyers might respond to colors that reflect the familiar. For
example, reds, oranges and yellows are valued in Latin American countries.
a.. The typical homeowner could be intimidated when trying to come up with the
right color for a particular room.
a.. You should collect "color cues" from the room you want to paint. Such cues
can include swatches of fabric, a piece of carpeting, or accent pieces.
a.. Take them to the color display where you buy your paint, and look for
families of colors that work well with those cues, he said. By standing a few
feet from the display, you can better identify the best color options.
a.. After selecting several color cards that appeal to you, take them home so
you can observe the colors where you plan to use them.
a.. Tape the paint chips to the surfaces you plan to paint, or hold the color
sample at arm's length and walk around the room to see how the paint will look
on different walls.
a.. Colors may look different under different lighting conditions, so be sure to
assess paint colors at various times of the day - in both natural and artificial
a.. If you still cannot make up your mind, buy small amounts of paint, apply the
colors to pieces of wallboard, and view these samples where you plan to use
a.. Colors tend to intensify when applied to a large area. To compensate,
experienced painters know that it is wise to err on the side of a lighter color
value, rather than a darker one.
Published: March 27, 2003
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