Thursday, May 20

a slight case of chromatophobia

The Man accused me the other day of being afraid of color.

I'm not afraid of color. I can do color. I love bright, colorful fabrics and spaces. I think painted furniture can be really pretty in the right shade. I am always drawn to images of homes with bold, fresh colors on the walls. As I sputtered to defend myself, I realized that it's the commitment to color that scares me.

Let me clarify. I'm not scared of commitment either. Okay, well maybe a little. (I've been burned before.. but we all have.) But when I commit-- I'm totally, completely, whole-heartedly committed. I'm as loyal as a hound-dog. The idea of massive commitment doesn't scare me either. Take, for example the fact that suprises many folks: the Man and I are not married. Nor are we engaged. We seemed to have defied many people's idea of logic by committing to each other in the form of a 30 year mortgage.

We know we're not going anywhere, and as I lovingly joke- at least I've got him locked in for a good 30 years (just like our awesome interest rate.)

So if I'm not scared of color and I'm not scared of commitment-- what is the big hold up when it comes to deciding what color to paint our kitchen?
Meet 1/10th of my sea of paint chips

I think I have issues with color commitment. Yes. That's what it is. I'm a color-commitment-phobe.
I'm suffering from chromatophobia.

I knew I wanted a lovely, warm but fresh neutral for our living space (we'll be painting both the kitchen and great room.) So I went for tans, and some greige. Then I tried a more grey color. Then this nerdy girl just went crazy buying paint samples.
Again, only a few of our options

Seriously, I went just a little overboard.
Here they are, the thirteen samples purchased over a span of two weekends.  You heard me, THIRTEEN!

Then we had to do the "paint-a-section-of-your-wall-and-see-if-you-still-like-it-or-not-so-much" test.
First by the fireplace- to see if it clashes with the stone. (Can things clash with stone? Is that even possible? I'm neurotic.)

I finally found a color that the Man and I both liked. But it was a little more blue than my color-shy self could imagine. I wanted something versitile and to me that was a "neutral". I wanted to be able to change fabrics and accessories as the mood struck and not worry about if things coordinated/clashed with the wall color. But I was still undecided.  I wasn't sure.  I wasn't quite ready to go for it and buy a gallon of the stuff.
And then the Man said those words that he knew would spark my defiant, stubborn and somewhat wiley self:

I think you're just afraid of color and that's why you don't want to get it.

My response: a purchase of two gallons of Antique Silver. 
Antique Silver by Glidden
We had it lightened by 50%. Yes, it's pale. But to me, it's lovely and grey-ish but with enough blue to seem fresh and inviting. We'll add in 100% Antique Silver for the adjoining greatroom and hallways.  I really do think I'll love it. 

That's one of the many things that rocks about the Man.  He can tell when I love/want/covet something and even though I'm scared/unsure/trying to be logical or frugal, he'll trick me into doing what I really wanted in the first place (except for when it comes to "plain" crab rangoon). 

For example, when we were first going into this renovation I was very concerned about money.  I didn't want to get overwhelmed with reno expenses or with the time and effort it could take.  We've had an eventful year and I didn't want to add any more stress or strain and I knew the renovation could do just that.  But, oh, how badly I wanted to customize our house and make it into our home

So one night, after a long discussion I decided we'd write out our priorities as individuals for planning our rebate.  I gave the Man his piece of paper, I took mine and (in my sometimes bossy fashion) declared that we were to write out our top three ways to spend our money between paying off bills, building our savings, or working on the kitchen.  Then we'd look at the ones that match and go from there.

I wrote mine, and did so honestly.  The Man apparently did too:  1. A Hayabusa (reaally fancy, extreeeemly fast, expensive motorcycle) 2. Whatever Eva wants.

Yes, I know how lucky I am.  Yes, he's awesome. And yes, he's taken (see paragraph three, section one of this post for further evidence.)

It was through having to write out what it was that I truly wanted, that I realized how important it was to me for us to work on our house.  The Man knew that long before I figured it out. Although we haven't quite gotten to buying him his new bike, it's on my list. More importantly, we worked together to come up with the decision (the paper swap was one night of many) and we've been tackling this project bit by bit ever since.

So as the bits and pieces begin to come together, I can't help but feel inspired everytime I see that splash of lovely Antique Silver on our wall. It only took me two months, 500+ paint chips, two weekends at the paint counter and 13 paint samples to figure it out. 

We still have a long way to go, but we'll get there and it will be perfect, and cozy, and ours.

Damn, I'm such a sap.


Dianne a.k.a. Mom said...

May I just say that I truly admire The Man for being perceptive enough, smart enough, and devious enough to stand beside you through life's ups and downs. I'm glad you've got him locked in for 30 years :)

Rachel said...

cool glad you finally foudn your color. it is so you. now are you doing baseboards and trims?

Eva said...

I am planning on doing those too. We've got to replace the baseboards (they splintered when we tore them out to do the floors). I just have to choose which white. Who knew there were so many whites?