Blue baths have power to transport spirits far away

The power of color is magical. A specific hue can lift our spirits and transport us to another place, and even a different season of the year. If you have a favorite escape plan like most of us do in the winter (even if it’s just in your imagination), chances are it relates to sun, sand and water. You can take that trip any time you want by creating the right mood in the bathroom.

Of all the colors in the whole spectrum, blue is the most soothing. It represents the sea and sky in all its shades, from the grayest day to the sunniest. Blue evokes fresh air and cleanliness. No wonder it has always been a favorite for our bathrooms. Aqua is blue with a hint of green. A bathroom awash in this color has the ability to put a spring in your step when you start your day and soothe you in a bubble bath as you end it. Paired with purest white, this duo is always fresh and alive.

DEAR DEBBIE: I read your article on the gray paint tones popular for this year and need some help. I’m moving into a rented space for a while, and the landlord has agreed to paint as long as it’s a neutral shade. I don’t want beige. My sofa and armchair have a faded floral palette of soft cream, dusty pink and pale green. What shade of gray would look good with my furniture? Thank you. — Doreen.

DEAR DOREEN: I seem to spend my time pleasing landlords. I think you can get away with calling a soft pale gray a neutral.

The look of today’s gray has a hint of lavender, warm and succulent. It is a wonderful color, and you will see many rooms in magazines painted in these shades this year.

Another alternative is a gray with a hint of brown, what I call mouse gray. Always sophisticated, these grays can be accessorized with most other colors, including your dusty pink and green fabrics. It’s an easy color to work with; my only advice is to make sure your trim is a crisp white to bring out the full beauty of your new gray walls.

DEAR DEBBIE: I need help. The only wall where I can put my bed in my bedroom has a slanted roof. This eliminates a tall headboard, which I would love to have. I am not a fan of fabric on walls. Any ideas? I love your work. — Yolande.

DEAR YOLANDE: A slanted roof offers some imaginative decorative options. If you have no room for a headboard, but would like the look, then I suggest you create one with paint. This isn’t difficult.

Draw out the shape on the wall, overlapping the bed by 4 inches on each side. Paint a favorite color, or even just a darker shade of what’s on the wall. Then apply three coats of high-gloss varnish. Add some overstuffed cushions and pillows, and you’ll have a visual headboard that will be contemporary and inexpensive.

If the slant of the roof isn’t too deep, you could also cut a headboard in two pieces to fit the slant, using plywood or fiberboard. Bevel the edges and paint the same as above.

Debbie Travis is a columnist for King Features Syndicate. E-mail questions to her at

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