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By our sheer numbers and interests, Baby Boomers are destined to change retirement forever. Many of us will continue to work; others will "downshift" or move to the Sun Belt. Find help with your dream here.
Color Your World

Does your age have anything to do with the colors you choose? Dee Schlotter says yes. Dee is the Color Marketing Manager for Pittsburgh Paints and in a recent presentation on color, she outlined the differences between the six different generations we now have in our society: the Digital Generation, Generation Y, Generation G, Generation X, Baby Boomers and Prime Timers.


You might recognize yourself in the following definition: Baby Boomers are educated and see themselves as philosophers. They may have a little more money to follow their dreams and that makes them powerful consumers, according to Dee. They also feel 15 years younger than they are, or so the research goes! (Here’s hoping that last part is true.)


Color trends in paint for homeowners are influenced by a lot of what is going on in the world, and that’s especially true today. Consumers are carrying a lot of worry on their shoulders about the economy, the environment and how to be “green.” Gone are the days of excess when everyone wanted everything they could possibly get. Life is becoming more streamlined and the color choices for 2009 reflect that. They are described as being optimistic and modern, authentic and sensible, glamourous and nature loving. Click here to see the trends for yourself.


Dee offered some color tips for those of us considering making a drastic change in how we color our world:


  • Paint is the east expensive way to change your home and the easiest to “do over.”  Dee suggests waiting two weeks for your eye to adjust to a new paint color before you decide it’s not right and repaint. Painting is not an easy job, but it is easier than calling a contractor back to redo a remodel. And you may be surprised at how you grow to love the color, especially if you used your instincts to make the choice.
  • C hoose colors that are personal favorites of yours and have meaning to you.
  • She suggests hiring interior designers to help so that “you get it right from the beginning” with your choices. 
  • White should only be an intentional color, not a default one. 
  • Use a color at least twice in a room, whether on the walls or ceilings or in the accessories. 
  • Connect your artwork with a color you are using on the walls. 
  • Paint the wood trim in your rooms the same color or darker than the walls. Use a color that is a 30 percent value of the wall paint to paint the ceiling. Think of the ceiling as a fifth wall and say good-bye to white ceilings.
  • Choose the color first for everything else in the room (floor, counters, accessories) and only then choose the wall color. 
  • Don’t hold little paint chips against white walls to see if you like them. You will get a false read this way. Hold the chips next to the window treatments or sofas and so on to see how it will look against these items that will be remaining in the room. 
  • White paint won’t help a really dim room look brighter. Dee suggests using a yellow paint or adding a small amount of yellow tint to accomplish that. 
  • Other places you can paint to make a difference: Backs of open bookcases, closets (where you can splurge on your favorite color and no one else will see it), the stairs to the basement and kitchen cabinets.

If you are looking for a colorful break in your workday, have a little fun with color by playing the Color Sense Game.  It will give you a sense of what colors you are drawn to.


By Teresa K. Flatley




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