Design and Ideas

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Post-holiday painting is supported by some strong logic: winter is an ideal time to start an interior project.

If you’re blue now that the holidays are over, you may be able pick up your spirits by adding some new color to your home. Interior painting can be a panacea for much of what ails you after the holidays.

It’s normal to have a letdown this time of year, but jumping right into a project that freshens your surroundings with some attractive new color can re-charge your batteries and even brighten your outlook. Try it!

Happy Painting,

D_Zimmer_sig

Debbie Zimmer
Editor
dzimmer@dow.com

Post-holiday painting is supported by some strong logic: winter is an ideal time to start an interior project; with no holiday event on the immediate horizon, you can work at a pace that suits you best; and your walls may well need to be painted after enduring the wear and tear of the festive season.

Even so, the biggest beneficiary of new interior paint color may not be the bricks and mortar you call “home” . . . but rather, you yourself! Keeping busy, whether by painting or doing something else, helps create a feeling of wellbeing; and painting typically produces a rewarding sense of accomplishment. Plus, introducing certain colors into your surroundings is a proven way to improve your mood.

Any new wall color may help lift your spirits, but for the biggest psychological lift, choose a happy hue. You might have a personal favorite that fits the bill; if not, psychologists have identified some specific wall colors that have a positive effect on nearly everyone.

Top among pick-me-up hues is yellow, according to those who have studied these things. That’s because yellow surroundings actually boost the level of serotonin in the brain, making one feel more joyful – creating, in effect, a “natural high”!

If yellow doesn’t turn you on, then consider its close cousin, orange. According to color psychologists, tints and shades of orange give off positive vibes that we perceive as energy and warmth, both welcome feelings as winter sets in.

Not a fan of yellow or orange? Then brighten your surroundings with an off-white paint color or another very light tint. Any of these will help combat the gray days that are so common this time of year. Just stick to the lighter side of the color chart and go with a color you love.

No matter what paint color you end up choosing, pay close attention to the sheen level. Gloss, semi-gloss, and satin paints are more reflective, so they make the interior brighter yet; gloss is great for trim, while semi-gloss or satin is better for walls.

So, if you’re one of the many who need a pick-me-up after the holidays, think about picking up a paintbrush or roller and a can or two of top quality paint (100% acrylic is best). By doing some interior painting, you’ll likely improve your spirits as much as your home!

For more information about interior painting and the psychology of color, visit the Paint Quality Institute website at www.blog.paintquality.com.

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