Wednesday, June 13, 2012


The color beige gets a bad rap these days. When did neutrality become so terrible? Isn't Switzerland still worthy of emulation? Aren't the foundation pieces of a professional wardrobe supposed to be timeless and neutral? And let's not overlook the tremendous value of neutral statements like "how 'bout that" and "what do you know?" They've graciously saved my ass countless times.

Decorating might be a slightly different platform. I appreciate color. In fact, I appreciate it so much that when we moved into our current place in San Francisco I put deep, rich, bold color up on every single wall. It's an old house so you have to be careful - it's easy for that bright, beautiful red you saw in the Pottery Barn catalog to just look garish. I know cause I tried. It looked like arterial blood in our front hallway. Good for Halloween but not good for anything else. So it was Audubon Russet in the office, Copley Gray in the living room, Cake Stand Blue in the kitchen and Great Barrington Green in the sunroom (Ada's room).

Our landlord was kind enough to allow us to do whatever we wanted to the place when we moved. The verbal agreement was that we would paint it all back whenever we moved out. When I made that promise I didn't count of being 7+ months pregnant, having to entertain a toddler and trying to orchestrate a cross-country move. Nevertheless, I love Lili and Steve so I would never, ever go back on my word. Last week I said goodbye to Ada as she rode off with the nanny. I came inside, put some cucumber slices into a pitcher of water and went into the utility room to crack open a can of paint.

I started in the bedroom because I had the stuff I needed to start painting the ceiling. Yes, the ceiling, which I had painted Branchport Brown (BJM). I like a dark ceiling especially with a painted white fake deer antler chandelier suspended from it. I never got around to the chandelier part of decorating our bedroom but the ceiling was a different story. That dark ceiling made it possible to get our bedroom pitch black - very helpful for the weeks that Tim spent on nightfloat. Covering it up is a pain in the ass though. No worries, job is done, ceiling is a pristine flawless white.



I stood back this morning and looked at the new lightness of our bedroom. The hardware and consequently the curtains are down. The room is empty save our bed and dressers. The vinyl branches and bird decal was stripped of the wall behind our bed. What struck me was that I liked it. I liked the simplicity and minimalism of it. I know that I only like this because it's novel.


Sorry but the new Photobucket interface is pissing me off. I've followed the tutorial for making a collage and it doesn't work! Bastards.
Wanna know who else are new-interfacing bastards? Playlist, that's who. It doesn't come on automatically because I know that you all might not love my playlist as much as I do. That doesn't mean that I don't want it to be displayed at all.

Remember what it was like the first time you stood in your new home? There was no furniture, no pictures on the walls, no curtains...just endless potential.
Now, remember what it was like when you stood in your old home for the last time? No furniture, no pictures on the walls, no curtains...just memories in every corner of every room.

When someone comes around to look at a place with the idea of dwelling there they don't want to imagine you there. They want to imagine themselves there. And so beige-ification has begun - the entire apartment will be painted what is perhaps the most perfect interior color ever created: Bleeker Beige (BJM). I am methodically moving from room to room erasing any evidence of 'us'. We've had 5 years of a very full life in this apartment. There are signs of us everywhere you look. This is going to take some effort.

Ada tells Tim, "Dad! You missed a spot! You missed a spot, dad! Dad! Daddy! Right here!"
I expected to feel a little bit sentimental and melancholy, I'm surprised to find that I don't. Rather, I feel the palpable evidence that a challenging phase of our life - one that we sometimes swore might never end - is finally over. Rather than continually looking back at this place, I'm constantly looking froward to the new place, the new baby, the new life we are creating for ourselves. I'm so excited about it all that even beige walls can't bring me down!

Ada bids a cheerful farewell to Audubon Russet and welcomes in the age of beige.

3 Lovies:

AudreyN said...

Ah I love painting! And color! I can't imagine what it is like having to "erase" all that you have done! But soon You will be in a new place, with endless possibilities and you'll make new memories :)

christina said...

i'm so blah toward decorating. i just don't have an eye for it and don't really care for some reason. maybe cuz i'm not in a place we own? i dunno.

try picmonkey for photos, collages- it's awesome and free!

Shell said...

I love the colors you picked!