Thursday, April 24, 2008

What I've Been Doing

Mad guessed it: my new obsession with paint chips means that I am no longer obsessed with blogging. It turns out that my mind runs on two tracks at a time: on one track, I shop for groceries, grade exams, and pick up my kids from day-care; on the other track, which runs alongside the first one, I simultaneously do one other thing. Until recently, that other thing was blogging: I crafted posts in my head, thought about posts I had read, brooded over traffic, and relished the various kudos that came my way. Then I discovered paint chips. And now I find myself flipping through a mental fandeck as I go about my business, trying to combine the bits of conflicting advice I've received about paint into some kind of coherent whole.

For instance. Here is what I've learned about the science of paint-colour selection:

  • The colours people love the most on their walls are usually ones they hated on the chip. This means that when you go to the paint store, you should especially seek out the colours that give you a visceral reaction of nausea.
  • A good, safe choice is to use several shades of a single colour so that the rooms of your house flow together. Of course, what that means is that you may end up with a house in which every single room is yellow.
  • It's best to choose a palette of soft, neutral colours so that you can bring vivid colour into the room through fabrics and accents.
  • Don't be influenced by trends: pick the colours you love, the ones that make you feel good. If four shades of beige is not going to bring you joy, ignore the experts and go with what you like.
  • If you like a colour on the chip, go two shades lighter (unless it's a bright colour - then go two shades darker).
  • If you Google the name of the colour you're interested in, you can find plenty of people on message boards describing what it looks like on the walls (often with photos).
  • If a colour is popular and well-liked, that means everybody will be sick of it in ten years' time.

I've done my best to moderate my paint-colour obsession with other home decor related interests (especially ones that allow me to spruce up the house I actually live in so we can put it on the market). I've redecorated my bedroom:


and purchased a new credenza:


...but so detached have I become from my blogging identity that I didn't even take any "before" pictures to demonstrate the hideousness of my old Canadian-Tire entertainment unit before we dismantled it and put it in the basement. The best I could come up with was this:


If you look into the background at the right of that photo, you'll see me in my former incarnation, blogging away at the kitchen table. The most relevant "after" photo may not be the one of the new credenza but rather this one:


My new front-runners: Whitall Brown, Hiking Trail, Moccasin (thanks for the suggestion, Janet!), and Semolina (a step down from the more vivid Nacho Cheese). The red is for the accents, not the walls, though I may do the front door in Sangria if I have the choice.

What's the best cure for a one-track mind? New episodes of Lost? A good book? Finding ways to work the word "credenza" into polite conversation? Help a poor (former?) blogger out.

42 comments:

Occidental Girl said...

We bought our house from a couple, one of whom was an artist. He had hand-painted the entire house, inside and out. There is only one room which I do not love, it is painted a forest green color and is our neglected spare room so no big deal. The colors on our walls? Not what I would have picked so I am glad I was not doing the choosing! It's a kind of green that is very subtle and mossy, not springy. Hard to describe.

I love Theophile Steinlen! I see you have the Chat Noir on your bedroom clock. :)

Omaha Mama said...

A red front door is great feng shui! :-)

I do miss your posts, but understand completely.

Alpha DogMa said...

My tv stand is a really ugly shelf that use to house the recycling bins in our garage. I have credenza envy.

If a colour is popular and well-liked, that means everybody will be sick of it in ten years' time. But you'll probably need to repaint in five years anyway, so it's not a big deal. I can not believe how BAD my living room walls looked (we just repainted in there). Pre-kids we could have pushed the ten year life span of paint, but not since the little dears came around.

Mad said...

OK, you can't simply dispense with a two year obsession in favour WATCHING PAINT DRY. C'mon.

Karen said...

nice credenza! miss your posts, but you sound like you are having a good bit of fun. I trust you'll come back full force, no doubt there are posts upon posts in the undercurrent of the paint chip track.

kgirl said...

yes, red door. otherwise, can't help - lost IS my one-track right now!

Terri B. said...

First of all ... nice credenza!
Second, a question ... is that Moccasin in the picture of the bedroom wall?

Terri B. said...

Oh yeah ... I think red front doors rock!

Mimi said...

Come back, dammit. I miss you! At least blog about the paint, god knows I'm running on that track, too. (6 days to possession for me!)

Aliki2006 said...

I love that credenza and I think any chance to mention that word a few times over is too golden to pass up!

Bon said...

at least you're still wonderfully informative, even if in more sporadic bursts...i had no clue what a credenza was before this post, and would have guessed something far more Victorian that that lovely, erm, tv stand. :)

i vote for the Sangria door.

and we'll still be here when the house is painted. enjoy your new fetish.

kittenpie said...

Oh, it's hard not to be obsessed with paint colours - you have to live with your choices right in front of you every day, not like a bad pair of jeans you can shove in the back of a drawer until you give up and donate them to Goodwill!

And I don't think you have to stick to one colour for rooms to flow - yawn. But the colours do have to work together for harmony, I think. But then, my second floor looks like an easter egg of you take in more than one room at once. And my main floor, we never painted, so it is just the world's most boring beige, which I hate. I am a colour girl, and the whole "tasteful neutrals" thing just makes me wonder why we bother having eyes if we are not going to delight them?

minnesotamom said...

Three words: The Stock Exchange.

Chaotic Joy said...

Oh good golly, we've lost her!

the dragonfly said...

I think I wrote this before, but I cannot wait until I have a house so I can paint the walls any color I want!! :)

Beck said...

I think blogs have a lifespan. Mine is winding down, too.
One way to make sure colours flow together is to grab one of those cards from the paint store that show a room with lots of different colours in it and then use THOSE. Or you can fiddle around with the software on the Benjamin Moore site....

nomotherearth said...

I have credenza envy.

I could read countless posts about paint chips, so blog away. I would say yes to sangria door, yes to boring neutrals in the house you're going to sell, no to boring neutral flow in the house you're going to live in. That's my two cents anyways.

Magpie said...

I like those colors and I love the quilt!

We may have to re-stucco the outside of our house. I saw a VW Beetle in the most beautiful shade of icy light blue, and I keep thinking that would be a beautiful color for the stucco.

Anonymous said...

Here is some pop-psychology: choosing paint/color is completely in your control. Raising children is not. It is a needed break in the action for you to dwell on paint, fixtures, furniture, etc. because you can control the outcome. Like a color, paint the color...done.

Raising children? Little control over the outcome.

Good for you and don't be a stranger!

DaniGirl said...

Heck, I think the blogosphere is plenty big enough for a blog about paint chips. Worlds collide!

(And, in my ideal world, I would have a house that was entirely yellow. Not so great with the reality of our entire house being carpetted wall-to-wall with sky blue carpeting, but that just gives me an excuse not to paint.)

Tina C. said...

don't forget that paint is easy to paint over if you don't like it or get sick of it. you probably don't have to take the decision too seriously, since it's so easy to change... there's also the concept of living in the house for a while before deciding exactly what colors you want where, so you can always readjust after you've been living there a while.

Julie Pippert said...

As much as I enjoy your blogging, as a big fan of paint chips, I am loathe to dissuade you from the pleasure that is planning paint. So I say ENJOY!

Jaelithe said...

Well, I certainly understand, given I just bought a house a year and a half ago. But, here is the thing I learned to tell myself:

Paint can be painted over.

(At least, the lighter colors can be. Heh.)

So just pick something. You are always going to second-guess, until it's on the wall.

Jill said...

Nothing much, except to say that I have a red kitchen which I LOVE and which makes me happy.

Gwen said...

Hmmm. I think I prefered it when the other train was running on the blogging track. Not that there's anything wrong with paint ...

lildb said...

my mind, as you might already be aware, lives on several tracks at any given moment.

a) hulu.com The Riches.

b) carlisle cream, clay, white dove, oklahoma wheat (zomg LOVE this; equal parts butter and cheer) and november rain: all utterly amazing.

c) you will come back to blogging when you begin missing the community. you will. i *always* do.

d) you will want to come back because you'll want to brag about the level of awezome that is the color palette in your new home and all of your IRL friends are like, um, yes, *pat-pat* *yawn*.

etc.

xoxo

Jenifer said...

Ralph Lauren 'Devonshire' the colour of much of our house...mind you it was 9 years ago, I was obsessed with that colour for quite a while.

I do miss you, but everyone needs a break sometimes and for you to put all your energy into something so important I would hardly call that a bad thing.

The very thought of moving and facing all that though frightens me to death!

Kathryn said...

I am the same way. If I were in the process of building a house and picking out colors/knobs/handles, etc, I don't think I would be heard from for months. It would really consume me. I love that stuff.
Hope you are having fun!

Kyla said...

We've missed you! I hope this whole decorating thing is just a phase and you'll be back where you belong soon. ;)

AliBlahBlah said...

Brilliant suggestion for googling the paint colour to gauge people's reactions and possible photos. Genius.

slouching mom said...

Heh. You are SO cracking me up lately.

painted maypole said...

we love our red door.

do what you love. it's ok to jump around a bit

KAL said...

Miss your posts, but I can completely relate. Thanks for the tip about putting your color name into google! That will help as I narrow down colors for our family room. (We love our red front door too--)

cinnamon gurl said...

Time, I think... Or at least that's what works for me. You'll come back, I know you will.

(and nice credenza!)

bren j. said...

Semolina sure sounds better than Nacho Cheese...but I'm noting that you stuck with a 'food' colour in the kitchen. Nice!

The ebb and floe of a blog is an interesting thing. It's okay to be sidetracked once in a while...as long as we still know you're around. :)

Christine said...

as obsessions go i think this is a pretty fun one. i have loads of paint chips laying around all the time and i don't even plan on painting anytime soon!

Pieces said...

I never would have thought about Googling a paint color name. That is brilliant advice.

I feel like a former blogger too. It is so easy to get caught up in real life. What's up with that?

Emily said...

I'm with Mad. Maybe you're just feeling a little blog rebellion. Maybe you need to sniff a little paint before you realize that writing about it is so much more rewarding.

**And Semolina is a much more appetizing paint than Nacho Cheese

www.antiquemommy.com said...

I could talk paint chips all day. Some say the world is defined mathematically. I say it is defined by color!

LOVE the reds, especially when paired with that yellow chip. Although a little red can go a long way. I say if you are planning to stay in a house, then go with colors you love. If you are planning on selling, go beige.

Emily said...

Look what I just found:

http://www.colourlovers.com/

I was reading Bluelines blog, where they are discussing paint colors (of course!) I immediately thought of you. You may, however already know of this site. Anyway, just thought I'd pass it along.

Cheers.
Emily.

wheelsonthebus said...

I think you have found a fantastic obsession. I love paint chips.

Janet said...

I can dissuade you from obsessing about paint as it goes against every fibre of my being.

PS: Moccasin rules!