Wednesday, September 9, 2009

A Room of a Different Color

(The Color Changing Room)

We have still not painted any of the rooms since I moved in. However, the botched tile work has been repaired, so this weekend we may pick up the brush. I stress over everything, and the color of the bathroom is an equal opportunity for scrutiny.

As happenstance has it, my boss left an article on my desk and the opposite side has a brilliant (though somewhat dated) story on color. "There's a wish for a more home- and nest-like world, particularly in terms of more natural chromatic color versus the high-tech color that saw an extensive movement in the late 1980s and much of the '90s," Margaret Walch, director of the Color Association of the U.S.

Ms. Walch was correct. Just shortly after the publication of the article, Chris painted his house hues reminiscent of twigs and "dirt," my sister bluntly put when she first visited. The trend followed suit in other areas, namely clothing fashion. Does anybody remember the coterie of bridesmaids donning chocolate gowns? When the love faded, you would always have pictures of your friends dressed as giant-sized chocolate bars.

The brown stuck. It's the predominate color in our house, revealing both comedy and truth in my reference to Chris' "man cave," and it's also a blaring (despite the muted tone) reminder of our pasts, which were without the other. Color, as much as tchotchkes, invoke the past, but we rarely acknowledge this fact. When I moved into A.'s old house on Pierce Avenue in Oxford, Mississippi, I purposefully left the bedroom the blue she and her sister painted it. The color reminded me of her. The rest of house was washed in color that had significant meaning, too. The Tiffany blue kitchen a nod to my prized Tiffany box that lived under my bed; the pink bathroom and curtains a farewell to girlhood.

Our house in Atlanta is warm -- cozy on most nights -- and though I still remember falling softly asleep on Chris' brown bed linens for the first time, since then we've arrived at a different color. We'll start with the bathroom first, and see where it leads us.


Peter said...

neat site Mary.. just subscribed to your RSS.. keep it up..


Sallie Ann said...

Mary, glad things are going well (sorry about the flooding). Because so much of my work involves picking colors for clients, I say take your time. I finally chose the perfect color for my bedroom and it is the most peaceful and elegant room...but it took me forever. I am still living with big streaks of color in my living room, but I'll take my time here too. You'll know when to leap!