Saturday, February 08, 2014

Color Me Incompetent

I come from a line of women who can decorate. You know, the kind of people who can take a room and make it look like everything is supposed to be there, instead of like some random furniture was taking a walk and paused to catch their breath. The kind of people who can make colors who weren't on speaking terms sit down to tea together. And take eclectic and turn it into a style.

I wouldn't say I completely missed out on this talent. At least I got enough to be discontent when the walls are plain white. But somehow things never come out on the walls they way they do in my head. When I put a bunch of mismatched furniture together, it doesn't look "eclectic," it looks "bunch of mismatched furniture." When I put colors together, instead of reinforcing and highlighting, they just glare sullenly at each other.

But hope springs eternal and every house is a new chance. I wasn't going to paint anything at the new house just yet, as the walls are in good shape and resources need to be devoted to the flooring and door widths, but then I realized that the room that is ideal for the schoolroom is also painted powder blue. While I can tolerate plain white with sufficient stuff on the walls, powder blue I cannot tolerate anywhere for any length of time. So I'm going to try again, and see if this time I can get a color on the walls that doesn't turn into something else as soon as I get it up there.

I try reading books about color design, but they all start out with the first-grade color wheel, and then they start talking about how colors next to the main color can coordinate, or colors on the opposite side, and then my eyes glaze over when they start talking about hue and saturation and I go away with the impression that you can put together pretty much anything and it will look great in a decorating book and terrible in my living room.

One thing I haven't actually tried yet that I do have some hope in: I'm going to try matching my paint chips to the curtains and pictures I already like. It doesn't require me to read about hue and saturation, for one thing.


Dawn said...

This post had me laughing out loud this morning, Queen. Best of luck on this latest adventure in decorating.

Anonymous said...

HA! I so sympathize. My mom can make amazingly quirky, rustic decorations out of anything at all. I can take brand-new furniture and make it look like it's had a hard life. A major reason why I fell in love with our current house is because I liked the colors already on the walls.

I'm not sure if I like your wandering furniture or the sullen colors better.

-- SJ