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Singing The Hues

Color your world, room for two.

If you find yourself growing sleepy, bored or hungry after a few hours in your home office, take a look at your walls. According to Jill Morton, a Honolulu color consultant and author of Color Voodoo: A Guide to Color Symbolism (an electronic book available for $19.99 at, a neutral, bland-gray or off-white home office is understimulating and can create boredom and anxiety. "Brain waves are at their functional best and your heart rate is slower in a mildly colorful room, compared with a less colorful room," says Morton.

But "colorful" doesn't mean you should slap a coat of red or purple paint on your walls. "People respond to colors differently," Morton explains. "In general, extroverts benefit from warm-colored walls, ranging from soft peach to a deep, muted brick color with accents of green or blue. Introverts benefit from very subtle cool colors like muted greens, soft blue-greens and blues in light to medium-dark shades."

If you're thinking of painting, Morton suggests these colors:

  • Soft green (with no yellow tinge) or soft, muted blue-green. It's very calming and colorful, it's restful to the eye, and it relates to nature.
  • Light peach. It's a friendly, warm color, and it harmonizes with wood.
  • Taupe (a rich, warm gray). It provides a neutral background but changes tones depending on the time of day and lighting.

Colors to avoid in large doses include white (it can cause severe eye fatigue, much like snow blindness), and pure, bright hues like red and yellow. "They're much too distracting, even for an extrovert," Morton explains. "Use bright colors as accents only."

Finally, Morton adds with a smile, anyone fighting that common homebased battle with weight gain should keep in mind that blue and purple are said to decrease appetite.

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