11 April 2010

A Person of (Limited) Color

The remodel continues. The last few days have been undramatic: drywall, primer, first coat of paint. For the walls, we chose a very light green to tie in with the tilework you have yet to see.

A couple of years ago, after the garden window was installed in the bathroom, I painted the trim a medium-value greenish blue. Against the stark white tiles and semi-gloss walls, I thought the blue would make a Statement, but it didn’t have much to say. (It was a flash in the can.) Now that the walls are sporting -- however modestly -- some color of their own, the trim brings even less contrast.

There’s a fine line between subtle and boring; clearly I haven’t yet figured it out.

I love color but, when it comes to the house itself, I seem reluctant to commit. We just painted the medicine cabinet -- about the only legacy item that’s going back into the new bathroom -- the same color as the window trim. Determined not to repeat my failure of nerve regarding that trim, I advocated at first for a more assertive, contrast-y, shade. But Jer likes this soft green-blue. I can live with it. And, of course, we already had the paint.

I think the house itself is pulling us toward its preferred sector of the color wheel, which also happens to be mine. The first family to live here -- they owned the house for 40 years before selling it to the couple who sold it to us -- had a thing for blue-green. Notice how close in hue our newly-painted cabinet is to the built-in cupboard under the basement stairs.

The bathroom walls, once stripped of tile, revealed a bolder green than we would have selected. At the back of the kitchen cabinets, the original wall shows: blue. But the short-term owners from whom we bought the house painted the kitchen a bright yellow, and installed a pure green Marmoleum (tm) floor. I love that combination. It’s like green grass on a sunny day, an especially beguiling fantasy during our Pacific Northwest winters.

Although I’m not afraid of color, blue-green is my comfort zone. The very first quilt I made reveals that predilection. I’ve since learned to work outside that range, but it’s clearly where I want to live. And, apparently, bathe.

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