Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Ordinary paint

Another paint job. With a color consultant I picked rose based taupes. The painters started rolling it on and I quickly realized the house was going to look mauve. Shriek!!! We ran to the Frazee paint store and brought home some bland, very light beige paint. What an improvement. The color consultant, who I called with my decorating emergency dashed back over and said, "Oh, but it looks so ordinary." And she's really right and I'm very happy. I just don't have the color gene I guess - she could glance at a paint and say that's green based or blue based. It's all Greek to me, but I know I couldn't sell a mauve house. My painter tells me not to worry about the last minute change. The record holder for changes is a woman who tried 28 colors before finally settling on something. I have 26 to go.

Mauve on the left, ordinary beige on the right
The painter looked at my kitchen ceiling and said "hmmmm..somebody had trouble with a ketchup bottle." Sure enough when I got my glasses on and peered along with him, there are some little dark red dried dots..the famous condiment got splashed up there sometime. As I was peering I realized I was faced with the rare opportunity to interject a poetic quote into the conversation. As I only have two or three left in my rapidly disappearing mental inventory, I turned to him with glee and quoted that perfect jewel of food poetry, the two succinct lines that sum up life for me. Ogden Nash, The Catsup Bottle*.

"If you do not shake the bottle,
None will come, and then a lottle."

My painter cocked his head and I repeated it and he cocked his head again. It was sort of lost on him - not that he isn't a bright guy - but the context wasn't right for poetry I guess. 

New colors
Not to 'dis the color consultant. She has been great. She has given me all kinds of excellent ideas and carefully reviewed colors with me from a color deck before we started. Her approach was logical and I was happy with our choice based on the small swatches and even 2 x 2's placed here and there. Oh, but when it started really covering walls and the house was literally vibrating with the purply mauve, it made my stomach churn.'s mauve
I love color but realize at last that I love it in tiny bits - small paintings, jewelry, designs on tile and dishes. Great expanses of it make me uneasy.  

*There are all kinds of variations on this two liner and all kinds of opinions as to who was the author .


  1. I don't think that was a lottle mauve.
    But, as much as I love color, I've been wanting an all-white house for a long time. I mean really white- no mauve, no blueish, no cream. WHITE!
    Painters hate white, for some reason. They've always managed to talk me out of it. Their favorite color is Navajo White, which is ,of course, really cream. All apartments are painted this color because it is so unoffensive to everyone.
    I do really like the colors that you've labeled "new colors". When it comes to beiges I like "taupy" beiges.
    Nancy and I both had the "now out of favor" red kitchens. Nancy still has it and it looks great. However you're sure right about the saleability factor. When I was showing my house with the red kitchen to some prospective buyers the husband said " Of course we'd have to paint this right away".
    P.S. You made me laugh out loud,once again, with the Ogden Nash quote.

  2. I'm going to think of the paint in here as melted vanilla ice cream to glamorize it a little. The fact is that it's "sellable beige". I just don't have guts or conviction for the bolder choices. A red kitchen would be totally out of my grasp. Not that I wouldn't like it, I just couldn't do it.

    Also I'm completely out of imagination...the rancho project sucked every bit of it out of me.

    I'm throwing on my beige jacket over my beige pants to get into my neutral colored car to go to Temecula to buy some more bland stuff.

    What do you expect from somebody who likes all the books? BLAND is my middle name.

  3. I'd never, in a million years, think of you as bland.
    Look at all the decorating magazines
    lately,...all beige.
    Beige is the new red!