Baker’s Dozen Love Story

If you’ve had reason to redecorate in the past ten years, you may have noticed that the array of available colors has increased exponentially along with the variety of names those colors are called.  The wall of paint color strips in your local Benjamin Moore is nothing short of expansive, an overwhelming sight to a woman like me (beige) who can be obsessive about what she wants, but uncertain how to best achieve it.  What I wanted was to rid my office of the peach walls the room had worn since it was Daughter’s bedroom.  For the past several years, I’ve been glancing up at those peachy monoliths while writing my school papers or blog entries, and dreaming of the day the entire show would be recast in a subtle coffee color with cappuccino trim.

My chance arrived last week when we engaged a painter, a sort of relative by marriage we’ll call Steve, to spruce up our house.  I wrote about the turmoil of home redecorating a couple of years ago in A Darker Shade of Pale, and how Husband and I embrace color differently.  Like he does and I don’t.  Husband is a color adventurer, a character trait made both exciting and scary by his self-acknowledged tendency toward color blindness.  It is because of Husband’s insistence on doing something different that the French Manicure (beige) walls of our bedroom are accented by a Mexicana Red wall.  Likewise, the living room of our upstate condo, with its Blue Heron wall surrounded by Dusty Sand (beige).  Guess which of those colors I chose.  Over the years of our marriage, I have become more and more amenable to Husband’s splashes of unexpectedly brilliant hues in our surroundings.  I have discovered they even make me happy.

Steve the painter is well aware of my color schizophrenia, so he was pleased that all the choices were made and agreed upon by Husband and me prior to his arrival.  My office, however, was strictly my project.  For two weeks I walked around with paint strips holding them up to various lights and angles to help me choose wisely.  Should I go with Outer Banks or Careless Whispers?  Love Story or Sunset Canyon?  Whatever happened to names you could wrap a color-blocked head around?  Like just coffee instead of Morning Coffee which is like brownish mauve, or Southern Coffee which is brownish apricot.  Is this really necessary?  Feeling more stressed than adventurous, I settled on Baker’s Dozen for an accent wall and Love Story for the other three.  I thought the flesh tones in Love Story would nicely accompany the sienna-tinged sandstone vibrancy of Baker’s Dozen.  Hold that thought.

Steve put up the accent wall color as I was leaving for an appointment that would keep me away most of the day.  Things always look different on the wall than on those little paint chips, don’t they?  Fully executed, Baker’s Dozen struck me as reminiscent of my old junior high school’s cafeteria, sort of a muddy clay.  I went and held my little Love Story chip next to it and imagined how it’s sweetness would bring out the flesh tones I was looking for.  Sometimes I don’t know what planet I think I’m living on.

When I arrived home, Steve was done and I was horrified.  “It’s still peach,” I said.  “When are you going to do the Love Story walls?”  He looked at me in shock.  “I did.  That’s Love Story you’re looking at.  What color did you think it would be?”  I said, “I thought it would be flesh tone.  This is Nicole Kidman’s flesh tone.  I wanted Beyonce’s.”  Steve said he had to start another job the next day, but he could come back in October to repaint it Beyonce.  I told him thanks, but I’d learn to live with Nicole.

That evening, after a lovely Rosh Hashanah celebration at my friend Caryn’s, I rode along with Son to drop Daughter at the train station.  Backing out of Caryn’s driveway, Son’s Audi began beeping mercilessly.

SON:  Fasten your seat belt, Mom.

OSV:  I did.

SON:  (over the noise)  The beeping says you didn’t.

I pushed on the buckle and the beeping stopped.

SON:  The car doesn’t lie, Mom.

Neither do the paint chips.

Daughter’s Fotos of street art throw Color Caution to the wind

baker's 1 kingtut

baker's 2 joaquinphoenixbyshepardfairey

baker's 3 sunhinebar

baker's 4 superstar

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