For color without claustrophobia, paint a small, windowless powder room in a buttery shade. The background creates a soft glow for sconces and pretty floral fabrics often used in such dressy settings. If your walls are in good condition, choose paint with a semigloss finish for the pleasant effect of shine and for light reflection. above right: Though pale and airy, the lightest tints of yellow warm a traditional-style dining room without intense color. With just a hint of pale color, this yellow allows the antique chairs and painted pedestal table to be the focal points. Note the subtle contrast between the white table and the pale sunlight of the walls. A more vibrant shade would create a jarring contrast not as visually pleasing and not as easy to live with. Such a subtle yellow tint provides a soft backdrop for delicate prints, art and plates as well as silver and china. DINING OUT IDEAS Classic for kitchens and nurseries, yellow has good cheer that enlivens formal living and dining rooms as effectively. No room, from the most casual to the most formal, is immune to the power of this happiest color. Reputed to lift spirits, yellow gives the glow of the sun to dark, cheerless spaces and stands up to the color-draining powers of a wall of windows on a western exposure.