A Brush with Success: Back to School


The back-to-school season is coming upon us. You're probably already thinking about shopping for your kids' school supplies and clothes, debating what the healthiest afternoon snack is, and trying to organize after-school schedules. But even with the the most advanced graphing calculator, the most comfortable shoes, or the highest-protein-lowest-sugar granola bar, there is something else that could be affecting your kids' grades: the paint color in their bedroom.

We are all moved by the colors around us, and studies have revealed many of the ways we are subconsciously influenced by colors. Colors can either be active, passive, or neutral. Bright colors tend to be active and do exactly as they suggest: give us energy. Muted colors fall into the passive category: they tend to be calming and comforting. Neutral colors (think mid-tone beiges) don't really affect us either way.

When picking paint color for you child's bedroom, you should consider their personality and needs in order to assess which color is best.


Sunshine, daffodils, and rubber ducks. Is that what comes to mind for you too? Most people think of yellow as a cheery, uplifting, energetic color - and they wouldn't be wrong. However, yellow is the most tiring color for the human eye, and studies have actually shown that large amounts can cause frustration and anger, which makes people more likely to lose their temper in yellow rooms.


Tip: avoid an all yellow room. But if you want your tantrum-prone kid to benefit from a little more natural cheeriness, consider painting a yellow accent wall and including yellow accessories like pillows or lampshades.


Known for being a calming, introspective color (studies have shown that blue can actually lower blood pressure), blue is surprisingly also the most productive color. However, too much introspection can be a bad thing: some blues can evoke feelings of sadness (hence the phrase "feeling blue"), so certain shades could negatively influence your already moody teen.


Tip: avoid dark and cool blues. To create more tranquility and productivity, choose warmer shades like cerulean or periwinkle.


The color of nature. Green is the most restful color for the eye; it offers tranquility and promotes good health (so no surprise that it is frequently used in hospitals). Studies even suggest that green can improve reading ability. Fresh greens can feel clean and vibrant, while muted greens (think olive) can be slightly depressing, and pastel greens can end up feeling sickly and quietly overwhelming.


Tip: pick rich and vibrant, but natural tones - like fern green. Whether your child is just learning to read, or is a Shakespeare expert, make all their friends green with envy over this color's natural influence.


The color least associated with nature, purple is instead associated with luxury, wisdom, and creativity. Purple elegantly balances the calmness of blues and the energy of reds (while leaving the hostility of red at the door). Darker purples can have a dramatic effect, whereas softer purples can be calming and relaxing.


Tip: use both! Give your kid the royal treatment by painting the walls lavender, making up the bed with plum sheets, and adding a purple orchid to the desk.

Choosing the right color for you kids' rooms can give you an A+ grade by positively influencing their success and well being. But don't let your own well-being be overshadowed - back-to-school can be such an overwhelming time in itself that we're happy to help you get the job done.