Hey Toby - Let me suggest you start by using Firebug on the resource page example you gave. Take a look at what they've done, and see if that gives you inspiration.
The where / what / how of this is 99% modifying the css of your child theme, and most likely you'll be writing some new css to get your desired effect.
A "secret" that I keep coming back to is that most every element in Genesis is wrapped in its own id attribute, followed by a class. So a lot of the parts of the Framework are referenced in this pattern.
For example, a widget named 'Home Widget 1' might have an id of #HomeWidget1 followed by a class .widget-class ... so you can get into the css and be pretty specific about the scope of the style you want to assign.
Give that a shot, maybe by modifying the background color only of the id you're after, see if you get some success, and then you'll be able to refine your choices pretty easily.
Thank you for the suggestions, I just need to carve the time for the research and to map out the approach. I will follow up if I get it done.
I just changed my site after 4 years of Thesis over to Genesis, interesting trade offs between the two.
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