5 happy paint colors
"I started out as a painter, and I'd always add purple to other colors to give them depth and richness," designer Peter Vaughn says. "Lavender reflects light well, which is why you see it all over Scandinavia. In the depth of winter, it's a very cheerful color to walk into." Spring Iris 1402 by Benjamin Moore.
"You never think you could get away with a color this strong, but here's how. Don't paint the entire room—just one wall," designer Suzanne Kasler says. "This is a gorgeous peony pink, with a bit of raspberry in it. That undertone is what keeps it from looking sickeningly sweet. It's a happy, cheerful color that makes everyone look younger. Even the house!" Walls are Checkerberry 32RR 50/260 by Glidden.
"What makes this color happy is how saturated it is," designer Suzanne Kasler says. "The depth and intensity of the turquoise gives it a chic, European look. It kind of takes you to a different place. And because we painted both the moldings and the walls, it becomes less decorative and more architectural." Seven Lakes 1244 by Glidden.
"This reminds me of green grass, green trees," designer Katie Ridder says. "It mimics nature, so it has a soothing effect. And it's happy because it's a real color—it's not grayed down. The light streaming in makes it more yellow during the day, and when the sun goes down, it becomes more blue. Green is fascinating—it's warm and cool at the same time." Soothing Green 535 by Benjamin Moore.
White walls lifted a dark 1820s New Orleans cottage to light and cheery and give the house a buoyant, happy feeling. "White reflects light, so it sends off a wonderful energy, a prism of color that you aren't necessarily aware of," says designer Susan Noble Jones. Frostine by Benjamin Moore.