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Sunday Market

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February 18, 2014 at 8:07 PM

Color therapy: Boost your winter mood with a shock of bright color


By Kristin Kalning / Special to Sunday Market

The long march from now until July 4 — the unofficial first day of summer in Seattle — can seem endless. Stave off the gloom with shots of mood-lifting color inside and outside your home, as well as in your closet.


Welcome friends in from the rain with a cheery doormat, such as AllModern’s Hello Doormat ($26 at It has a sprightly green color and a simple, friendly message.

If your outdoor planters are looking a little sad, perk them up with some pretty primroses ($2 per container at City Peoples Mercantile, Laurelhurst). These hardy perennials come in pink, blue and white, and will bloom until late March. Just be sure to pick a sunny spot, and keep them watered if they’re in pots.


If your walls are as gray as the outside world, pick up some paint and lift your mood. Benjamin Moore’s In The Tropics is great for a bathroom, and the company’s happy Granny Smith green is a stellar shade for a kid’s room.

You don’t have to commit to a bright color on an entire wall, says Randi Orton, manager of Bellevue Paint and Decorating. Benjamin Moore’s spicy-red Tomato Tango, for instance, works great as an accent color in a dining room, she says. (All three colors sell for $68 per gallon at Bellevue Paint and Decorating.)


Winter mornings cry out for coffee. Contain yours in a bright, whimsical Bread and Badger Mug ($21 at City Peoples Mercantile), featuring sandblasted etchings of monkeys, astronauts and more.

For your table, there’s Crate and Barrel’s Grasscloth Placemats ($7 each), which come in a variety of scrumptious colors such as tangerine and lime. And make mopping up messes more pleasant by using the bold and super-absorbent Fiesta Kitchen Towels ($19 for four at Macy’s).

Living room

Give your neutral couch a boost with Crate and Barrel’s Marvis 20-inch Pillow ($40), which comes in either bright orange or sunny yellow. Curl up under the aptly named Softest Throw ($49 at West Elm), dip-dyed for an ombre effect. It’s most vibrant in the red and yellow shades.

For your desk or console table, consider the funky Lite Source Bellona Table Lamp ($77 at It comes in red, blue, green and orange, and boasts a distinctive circular base.


If shower time is wake-up time, you should outfit the area accordingly. The Moroccan-inspired print on the Crate and Barrel Taza Shower Curtain (on sale for $40) comes in a peppy blue, coral or yellow.

Once you’re safely under the spray, try Lush’s Happy Hippy Shower Gel ($29), which has an energizing citrus scent. Then make stepping out a little less traumatizing with Fred Meyer’s Performance Quick-Dry Bath Towels ($8), which come in fuchsia, orange, green and more.


Wearing something bright and cheery works like an extra shot of espresso on a rainy winter day. (Well, almost.) To perk up a black or gray top, layer on the Sunny Garden Infinity Scarf ($48 at Anthropologie).

Or reject Seattle black altogether and don the Boden Cropped Cashmere Cardigan ($138 at, which comes in an array of happy hues including bold pink, green and coral.

Add color head to toe. Up high, wear the lambskin Daly Bird Evy Earrings ($50 at Show Pony), which come in cobalt, marigold yellow and fuchsia. Down low, the zippy color choices on the New Balance for J.Crew Sneakers ($80 at J.Crew) will have your toes tapping.

Guys, you could stand a little color in your closet, too. Go big with the faded-red Gap Lived-In Slim Khakis ($60), or pair your neutrals with the vivid blue Gap Cotton V-Neck Sweater ($40). And finally, add a spring to your step with the far-from-dreary Banana Republic Placed Argyle Socks ($12.50 per pair).

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