With days getting shorter and sunlight decreasing, now is the time to add some color to your home and warm it up for winter. How about painting the kitchen yellow? Getting rid of that brown wallpaper from the '70s in the bedroom and choosing a gorgeous lilac? Just can't decide? You're not alone. Most people have trouble visualizing how colors will look. A new computer program from Glidden can help. Called Color@Home, the software package offers images of five house styles and more than two dozen interior rooms, all of which can be colorized with 350 professionally chosen color combinations, or with any of the 650 paint colors Glidden offers. Users can select the style of house closest to their own, choose a room similar to the one they want to decorate, select colors for furniture and accessories, pick a color scheme for the walls, and see on the computer screen how the ensemble will look.
Color@Home costs less than $10 and is available at retail paint outlets across the country. For more information, visit www.gliddenpaint.com.
Revealing a room's true colors
Most people know when they see a decorated space they like, but when it comes to doing it themselves, they haven't a clue about where to begin. Even something as simple as choosing a paint color can be daunting. But we all get by with a little help from our friends, so here are some sources of decorating help, with an emphasis on color.
Shades of spray
When it comes to painting accessories and furniture, many people prefer to reach for a can of spray paint. Krylon has introduced a new line of spray paints the company says offer acrylic-paint quality, easy application, low odor and soap-and-water cleanup.
The new collection, available in 26 colors and two sheens, comes in slender 10-ounce cans designed to be more comfortable for women's smaller hands. Even better, the caps are easy-on-easy-off, and don't require major manipulations with a screwdriver (and the strength of a gorilla) to remove. Some of the colors are wisteria, chenille sage and Chesapeake blue.
Suggested retail price is $3.49 per can; available at paint outlets across the country. For more information, call 800-4-KRYLON, or visit www.krylon.com.
Pigment and pottery
Now that there are shops almost everywhere offering people the chance to decorate their own pottery -- and maybe have a party with friends while doing so -- it's nice of Kate Byrne to write "Painting on Ceramics" (Laurel Glen, $24.95). The book offers eight different projects, employing a variety of techniques, including a bowl and saucer set, an African-motif mug and a pitcher with a bird design. The book offers tips and techniques, and provides alternate patterns for each project, so there's something to please almost everybody. There are also templates for the designs, for those who aren't expert at freehand drawing. Available at booksellers nationwide.
Today is Children's Day at Ladew Topiary Gardens, 3535 Jarrettsville Pike. The event, from noon to 5 p.m., features music, magic and puppet shows, balloon sculptures and, of course, face-painting. There will also be refreshments from the Ladew Cafe. Admission for adults is $12 for the house, gardens and nature walk, $8 for the gardens and nature walk only; for children, $4 for house, gardens and nature walk and $2 for gardens and nature walk. For more information, call 410-557-9570.
Pottery painters alert: Color Me Mine, 2400 Boston St., Suite 124 (in the old American Can Co. building) is offering free paint time from noon until 9 p.m. today, in honor of the paint-your-own-pottery shop's first birthday. From noon until 4 p.m., there will be activities for kids, including face-painting, balloon animals and birthday cake. For more information, call Jennifer Ondo at 410-522-6884, or visit www.baltimore.colormemine. com.
Home Front welcomes interesting home and garden news. Please send suggestions to Karol V. Menzie, Home Front, The Sun, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore, Md. 21278, or fax to 410-783-2519. Information must be received at least four weeks in advance to be considered.