Changing the colors around you can be transformative. The New York City nonprofit Publicolor, a youth development program, works with underserved schools and recruits high-risk students to help paint the schools in exuberant colors: yellows, oranges, turquoises. Students who participate have higher attendance and graduation rates and fewer discipline issues, according to research sited by the group.
San Francisco artist and interior designer Lauren Geremia believes changing up your colors can give you a fresh start too: “A good reason to repaint is if you are going through a big life transition. Perhaps you are going through a breakup and want to redefine your space.” Geremia will sometimes start with monochromatic schemes, painting the walls and ceiling with the same color. “It gives a cohesive feel.” To this clean canvas, add some colorful trim or “portable” color–picture frames or pillows you can switch around. She likes framing beautiful wallpaper inside floor-to-ceiling panels. Follow your fancy and go big and bold. “People hesitate to make changes, but you can always do it over,” Geremia says. “It also takes a lot more energy to want to do something and never do it.”