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 of "bleahh."

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 suggests.

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 yellow.

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:

  • Primary, high-contrast colors appeal to children and the elderly because they define space and items best.
  • Older, sophisticated buyers or high-end buyers prefer a complex palette, which includes rich chocolates or copper-orange.
  • Ethnic buyers might respond to colors that reflect the familiar. For example, reds, oranges and yellows are valued in Latin American countries.
  • The typical homeowner could be intimidated when trying to come up with the right color for a particular room.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • After selecting several color cards that appeal to you, take them home so you can observe the colors where you plan to use them.
  • 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.
  • 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 light.
  • 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 them.
  • 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.
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    painterssanjose's Avatar
    painterssanjose replied the topic: #15376
    I adore this design. This is actually nice! I might need to buy one for my residential home.
    Olivia's Avatar
    Olivia replied the topic: #12994
    Light primary colors for wall paint are the most neutral and go with just about anything.