A number of years ago, I painted my living room with Benjamin Moore’s Palladian Blue. It was instant love. It looked particularly beautiful in that room, which had an east-facing window and a south-facing window (shaded by a porch during midday) plus light coming in from the north and west through adjoining rooms.
This was the first time i realized how i could shape my winters. Previously, I had the room painted a creamy white with a Martha Stewart green trim (Arts and Crafts, it was called, which felt appropriate for my 1916 foursquare home – this was 18 years ago and the paint line long since discontinued). It was lovely and exactly the look I wanted.
But. I also had heavy velvet curtains up to block the drafts from the original wood-frame windows. I didn’t let all the light in during winter, and the reality is that while trying to make my house winter-time cozy, it only felt dark and gloomy.
So I repainted the walls, which called for fresh window treatments. Giving up entirely on the very opaque velvet, I opted for dotted lace, a now-discontinued pattern from IKEA called BRITT.
The light poured in. It was amazing how it changed my mood.
Even though the walls were darker, the pale greenish-blue put me in a very serene frame of mind.
For an extra bit of cheeriness, I put up Chinese-lantern style string lights around my doorframes and left them up year round.
I loved the way my Christmas tree contrasted with the walls. Somehow, the room makeover made the whole house and season that much more magical.
At least two people tried painting their rooms Palladian Blue after seeing my living room, but both found it too green in their lighting. It really was strange how different it looked. I had a bright white trim with very wide baseboards and lots of natural light from the south, so that probably made a difference.
There are other pale blues that would work. Rainwashed and Sea Salt from Sherwin-Williams are two pretty ones I also like.
My point is not to paint your room a shade of robin’s-egg blue, but to pay attention to how your room makes you feel. If you feel depressed and sad in the winter, changing your environment may very well help. And don’t forget to maximize light.
I’ve loved how the notion of Hygge (still don’t really know how to pronounce that, ha ha!) has taken root in the past few years. Delight in the cozy, happy, lovely parts of your winter.
Want a little companionship while brightening up your winter? Stay tuned for information coming in the next few weeks about my Use Your Pretty Things challenge, where we will be focusing on using the nice things you ALREADY HAVE.
To make sure you are notified when it goes live, get on the list here.
What are some things you do to make your winters happier?