Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Brush Away Those Winter Blues

Ok so there are hundreds, excuse me, thousands of self-help books, CDs, blogs, podcasts etc offering solutions to improve one’s mood. If you’re anything like me, at the onset of winter, you’re ready for a change: change of wardrobe, outdoor/indoor activities (camping, sitting by the fireplace, skiing, etc), but by January, the psychological effects of dreary skies, chilling temperatures, and short days start to take effect.


Groundhog Day with Bill Murray is
one of my all time favorite movies.
Please, let the groundhog not see his shadow this year, I want an early spring. Sound familiar? Well, there’s not much we can do to change weather patterns (pretty sure the tilt of the Earth’s axis is not about to change anytime soon) but there are some simple solutions to brighten up your everyday life even as it remains bleak outside.

COLOR plays an important, if not vital role as an environmental factor of our mood. Since I’m no interior designer (although for a bachelor, I do have color coordinated linens), below, I’ve deferred to the advice of trained professionals.

Paint is one of the least expensive and best home interior decorating techniques to bring a room to life, but before you rush out and buy your favorite paint color, you have to ask yourself one question. It is...

"What mood do I want to create in this room?" Do you want it to feel warm and cozy? Or maybe you prefer lively and cheerful?

Your answer is very important because it will determine which side of the color spectrum matches your style and personality.

Soft yellow uplifts without agitating.

Warm up. If you feel depressed, your house colors may be too cool. "If you are a person with depression issues," Pike says, "you don't want to have cool tones." For people suffering from Seasonal Affective Disorder, for example, Pike recommends mood-enhancing warm tones such as yellows, soft reds and oranges. Energizing warm tones convey happiness. But be careful not to overdo it. Bright yellow, for example, can agitate. Look for a softer version of a strong color.

Cool shades slow the heart rate and lower body temperature.

Cool down. Are you a fast talker? If you feel antsy, your house colors may be too warm. Consider adding cool shades, such as blue and green. Cool shades slow your heart rate and lower your body temperature. "Find a blue that has its toes dipped in green," Pike suggests. "That is absolutely satisfying." And although it is a warm tone, pink is also tranquilizing, as are neutrals.

Neutrals create a restful environment.

Stay in neutral. While not the best medicine for people suffering from depression, restful neutrals are great for people who like a calm environment and who like to switch out colors in their furniture and accessories as their mood changes. Neutrals are also the best bet for those planning to sell their homes. Neutrals allow prospective homebuyers to envision themselves in a home.

Try a color before you commit.

Sample color. Before settling on a particular color, try it on your walls. Paint a large patch on the wall or on poster board and live with the color for a week. Because light changes our perception of color, the same color may look different at various times of day and in each room of the house. Most people are not afraid of color, Pike says, but of choosing the wrong color. "We all have emotional responses to color," she says, "so colors can serve as tools to help us feel better."

Eco Accents Low VOC interior latex paint by Eco-Protective Products is available in over 1200 colors. Click here for more information or email us here for ordering info.

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