I am done pretending that I don't choose paint colors based on their names.
Here's my routine: I stand in front of the wall of paint chips and let my eye wander. When it lands on a contender, I pull it out and read the name. If it's something intriguing - something that evokes a feeling, something that enhances my vision for the room..........something like Baby Chick or Winter Lake or Coastal Fog - then I hold on to it. If the name calls nothing to mind or worse, has an unpalatable connotation - like Ozark Shadows (too hillbilly) or Princess Ivory (too Disney) or Night Train (too derelict) or Angel's Wings (too evangelical) or Buckland Blue (who's that? it doesn't even mean anything) - then I put it back and keep looking.
When my painter arrives to discuss colors, I have a stack of paint chips and a folder full of pages torn from magazines. We volley names back and forth in our conversation like scientists spouting mathematical equations. She shows me a sample of a colors she thinks may work - painted on a paint stick. And I hesitate because I need to ask what it's called. How can I judge the color if I don't know what it's called? I fear the professional painter (and rational human being) might think me a kook if I say, "I don't know. What's it called?"
So I'm silent.....incapable of mustering an opinion. I try to sneak a peek at the can out of the corner of my eye. But it's not labeled. BLAST! I crack and let the words slip - "hmm......what's the name of it?" She nonchalantly says she doesn't know. So I can't add it to the list of contenders. It has no identity, no personality, no vibe. So the color is dropped.
She suggests another color called Litchfield which I immediately reject because I'm going for a relaxed coastal feel......and Litchfield is a small farming community in central Minnesota that sits in close proximity to the world's largest ball of twine. It just wouldn't work. It doesn't hit me until later that she never actually showed me the color before I rejected it. Momentary embarrassment.
For the main living areas of the house, we create a list of finalists. They are Sea Pearl, Shoreline and Pale Oak. We paint boards and move them all around the house at different times of day, in different light, for days and days. I keep asking Mike "Which one do you like now? How about now?" And he keeps insisting that they're all the same color. So I take full responsibility for choosing the color that will surround us each and every day for as long as we live in this house. It gets narrowed down to Sea Pearl and Pale Oak. And it's close. Very, very close. But, in the end, I choose:
Of course I did! Like you didn't know that! Because, as nice as it was, Pale Oak just doesn't mean anything to me! How can oak even BE pale, anyway? It just doesn't make sense.
So now you're wondering what Sea Pearl is, right? Those of you who have been inside 4041 know that I have no tolerance for boring colors. A room should make a statement - I'm spicy! I'm bohemian! I'm sophisticated and worldly! Walls that go unnoticed are a miserable failure. A waste of paint. But, like I said in last week's post, the final decision rests with the house. And here is what she chose:
Introducing........ Sea Pearl
I can hear you all gasping....."Kristin is using WHITE?????!!!! I don't even KNOW her anymore!" But this house could never pull off Golden Cricket with any sort of authenticity. This house is like your sophisticated aunt, maybe she's an art dealer, who continues to wear tailored Chanel well into her golden years. And she always has a fabulous handbag. 4041 was more of a spirited young woman coming of age during prohibition. She's a good girl but she pushes the boundaries. Maybe a suffragette. Destined to be a flapper.
But don't let the white fool you; it wasn't chosen to blend into the background. It was chosen to illuminate and pop like Coco Chanel's designer sunglasses.
That should get the "Sadness" outta here.