Interior Painting to Beat the Winter Blues

Posted by Woodrow Aames ~ November 26, 2010

With holiday shopping in full fury, the last thing you're considering is the idea of repainting. But as most of you know, fresh interior paint can change your home--and emotional outlook--in quick order. It may be one of the surest ways to produce the greatest amount of change.

Remember: the post-holiday blues can sneak up on you. I find February especially unkind, unless I'm sneaking off to Hawaii. But not everyone can pack up the family into an airliner. And a fresh coat of paint in a couple of rooms will cost you less and the results will last longer. Suntans fade faster than house paint.

Writing for CBS Moneywatch, Ilyce Glink says that interior colors are sorted today by the moods they create in specific rooms of the house. Paint color theory is all about the relationships between the primary color of your room and the secondary hues that create harmonious accents. You don't want a drowsy feel in the kitchen or sizzling energy in the toddler's bedroom.

Hence, Ms. Glink suggests that the following formula works best: 60-30-10. The first number is the percentage of the primary paint color. The second represents the secondary color; and the last is for accent hues.

Room-by-Room Suggestions

For the kitchen, she suggests using light yellows to raise your mood and use green for accents. You can leave a wall of white for the 30 percent secondary color.

In the living room, Ms. Glink suggests a comforting deep blue color with brown furniture as an accent hue or white chairs and lamps for sharpening the look. Blue, she says, is the top color choice in America.

Bedrooms are increasingly moving toward deep reds, such as burgundy, but don't overdo it. Use a light or white color on one wall or for the moldings, while adding light and dark brown hues as accents.

I was amazed by her choices for the bathroom. Because of the way it works with your existing fixtures and floor tiles, chocolate brown is her call to remedy a drab or boring bathroom. Bright reds and oranges serve as the 10 percent accent hue.

My home office is a modified guest bedroom, and it's a little livelier in light green walls and blue accents than Ms. Gluck would recommend. She likes the use of gray and white for a home office, colors neutral enough to keep you awake and not lure you into a nap. Now that I appreciate.

Think about launching an interior improvement project right after the New Year when you take your unwanted gifts to the return desk at big box stores and get a refund to pay for paint. Save your exterior and trim painting for summertime when the warmth of nature is enough to chase away any lingering winter blues!

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