Shades of Insanity

It's beige, dammit! Beige!

It's beige, dammit! Beige!

Home decorating, as we all know, is a gargantuan business. Entire television networks are devoted to showing you how to buy a house, how to tear it apart, fix it up and then sell it again. No one should ever rest on their domestic laurels. Change is good. Change is constant. Change brings in the cash.

Newspapers are crammed full of daily supplements and magazines, all of which give you life-saving tips on how to live more beautifully. I am ashamed to report that I have neither granite counter tops nor stainless steel appliances. I know, I know. I might as well be living in a yurt.

For the past few weeks, I have been systematically painting much of the downstairs space in our home. It is what they laughingly refer to as an ‘ open-concept ‘ house which essentially means the architect was claustrophobic. Such a home lacks a sense of privacy because there are few individual rooms. One wall just turns into another as the kitchen flows into the family room which melds into the hallway which segues into the garage. There are no quick paint jobs in a home like this. Once you lay a roller on a wall, you’d better be prepared for a long, long haul.

I believe the shade I am using is some variation of beige. The paint manufacturers toss and turn at night coming up with exotic nomenclature for their product. It could be Eggnog splash, Mesopotamian dunes, maybe Dusky wolverine. You can spend weeks gathering dozens of paint chips in variations of beige and eventually you will lose your mind. This is why people hire interior decorators. Someone needs to make a decision. If you throw the weight of your wallet into the process it somehow legitimizes the choice.

Spin the wheel & lose your mind

Spin the wheel & lose your mind

I do not paint because a television show or a decorating magazine presents a new hot palette for the season. I could care less if dark colours are in or out. I paint because I am bored and have some time on my hands.

I know people who will spend $75 on a gallon of paint because they think it is the highest quality, even though they can get a perfectly acceptable alternative for half the price in exactly the same shade. You cannot tell the difference between cheap paint and astronomically expensive designer paint when you stand back a few paces. Perhaps the more expensive paint lasts  a little longer. Perhaps it covers more efficiently. Perhaps.

But if you spend that kind of money, you’ve somehow convinced yourself that the cachet is all up on the wall. You realize, of course, that you are the only one who sees it.

Tis a mug’s game.


3 Responses to “Shades of Insanity”

  1. That open concept style plan you’ve mentioned is the only reason why I haven’t painted my new house… I have no clue where to begin or end on the main floor, because the living room merges into the kitchen, which turns into the family area which rounds out into the dining room…. which connects to the landing where one can access both the lower and upper levels by stairs.

    I hate it.

    What attracted me most to the house, is now turning into the biggest pain in my arse. Worse yet, the walls are painted varying shades of what the realtor assured me were” designer colours” – all minute variations of yellowy, goldish, slightly greenish beige. He called it harvest wheat, I call it shades of diapers past.

    Off to the point store I trotted, and came back laden with samples. I even found some colours I liked. Then I stopped to look at the walls, and wondered how I could make it all work out. Do I stop on this corner, or that one? What about the trim? Should it just all be one colour? Can you stop in the middle of a wall?? Eggshell or matte? Low fume or toxic?

    That was three months ago. The walls are still the same designer shade of dirty diaper yellow.

  2. Reminds me of the old joke. To paraphrase; Guy picks up a Hooker who promises to do anything for a hundred bucks. Takes her home, hands her a brush and says “Paint my house”

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