Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Painting and Decision-Making

Hula over at Growing Older But Not Up is deep in the throes of a pre-move remodel on her new house and grappling with the choice of paint colors. Instead of leaving a long, boring comment about paint and decision-making, I figured I'd air my opinions here. Feel free to ignore!

1. DO NOT pick out a house color by driving by a house whose color you like and holding paint chips out the window of the car, even if you are going really slow. Using this method, you are likely to wind up choosing a color that can only be described as Sh-- Brown. The cost of building my first house included a paint job, which was very nicely applied in the aforementioned color. The neighbors were horrified (they kept asking "Is that the primer?"). I was horrified, too.

There was no clause in the contract providing free do-overs based on customer stupidity. So the first order of business after move-in (even before getting curtains, as I recall) was to repaint. To choose the second color, I knocked on the door of the dream-colored house and the homeowner gave me a leftover can of paint to match. Thank goodness.

2. DO go bold if you think you can stand it. I once painted a kitchen Sunflower Yellow to match this Georgia O'Keefe print and it was awesome. Nerve-wracking for a while, but it turned out to be just right.


Later I painted an entire house a similar color and, difficult as it is to believe, that worked, too. The house had a vaguely Mediterranean feel and with the landscaping added, it looked great. All our beige, cream, and grey neighbors were extremely jealous. And the one remaining house under construction in the neighborhood also wound up yellow, when painting time came . . . although I must say, not quite as bright a shade. Fortunately, it was not next door!

3. DO flip a coin when you are making a decision. I'm serious, so hear me out. I have years of experience in dithering back and forth, unable to make up my mind about anything. Too many choices, too many possible results! So here's the method.

Choose two alternatives and flip a coin between them. Say "heads" means the dining room is blue, not aqua. Now, "heads" it is. Are you okay with that? If so, you really like the blue. Or do you suddenly find yourself wishing for two-out-of-three, just so aqua gets a fair chance? If so, you really like the aqua better.

But if it turns out funny, please don't blame me. I'm the one who picked Sh-- Brown, remember?

1 comment:

  1. Totally agree about using the bright colours, love that, and flipping a coin works too, sometimes it is only after I flip it that I realise that the one I got disappoints me. Decision made.

    If you are painting to sell though...Beige and white are your friends. Sad but true.

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