Color Me Indecisive

I’m painting my guest room, which has been decked out in swirly multicolored children’s wallpaper since I moved in. Did I mention it’s peeling? And beautifully accented by the water stains from a melting snow debacle that happened before they put on a new roof? Did I mention that water stains eventually turn brown, making the walls look like they’re bearing the brunt of the chimney’s leaky diaper? Yeah. I like my guests to feel fancy.

A friend of mine mentioned that she saw a room painted spa-like green. I latched onto that idea, because spas are lovely, calming, soothing. But is that Seafoam? Basil? Shimmering Lime? Spruce, Spring Meadow, Peppermint, Sweet Honeydew, Irish Moss, Creme de Mint, Serenity, Shore House, or Summer Basket? Is it possible that I’m less excited about the spa color and more about the association with Swedish massages and seaweed facials and aromatherapy? It’s not like I’ve ever been pampered by celery. And what the hell is a summer basket?

Speaking of spas, has anyone else found that mud baths sound much better than they are? I basically just sat in a tub. Filled with mud. That felt like mud. And smelled like mud. And made me think about how they can put “dead sea minerals” in front of any word and we’ll pay, and tip well, for it. I’d be more excited about work if I was invited to more dead sea minerals meetings. Or if I had to swing by the dead sea minerals supermarket on the way home.

There are the colors that sound more like places I want to be more than colors that I actually want in my home: Galapagos Turquoise, Acapulco Sand, Bermuda Teal, Caribbean Azure. They may actually all be the same color, but regardless, they are seductive, warm, and must be kept away from me, or those walls will be Cayman Blue before you know it. With a Cancun Sand trim. And Provence Creme polka dots.

Some colors keep it real, like Grape Gum, which looks exactly like it sounds. But the Scandinavian Blue that is maybe a fraction of a shade different from it somehow has a name that betrays its blatant purpleness. There are lots of identity issues happening on that color wheel.

There are colors that just feel good, actual color aside: Sun Porch, Yellow Rain Coat, Bunny Nose Pink, Pancake Syrup. There are those that make no sense: Cool Lava, Elephant Pink, Nacho Cheese. Who wants their walls to look like cheap apps at happy hour? Maybe me, actually. Yum.

Turns out that First Light, Icy Moon Drops, Early Sunset, Melted Ice Cream, Venetian Marble, Full Moon, Creme Brulee, Icing on the Cake, and Pale Straw are all delicious-sounding synonyms for WHITE. Tuscany sounds wonderful, but it’s really the name that’s enticing, since it’s just a shade away from Fatigues and Artichoke. And where else but in a bucket of Benjamin Moore would Stormy Monday sound appealing?

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4 Responses to “Color Me Indecisive”


  1. 1 Five Second Dance Party April 7, 2009 at 2:07 am

    Aren’t paint colors a little bit crazy? The sheer volume of shades available is daunting, too. I think a lovely Sea Foam would be very spa-like. For the record.

  2. 3 Stefanie April 7, 2009 at 8:51 am

    Whenever I’ve picked a paint color for my home, I always end up with at least four sample cards hanging on the wall for a week or more while I decide between eight nearly identical colors. I typically narrow it down to two or three and then pick the one with the name I like best. That’s how I ended up with “Spicy Curry” in my computer room and “Blustery Day” on my house exterior. My kitchen is a very boring-sounding “Sagebrush,” but it was the first room I painted, so you’ll have to give me a break.

  3. 4 courtney April 7, 2009 at 10:49 am

    I’m just not sure I can get behind the idea of nacho cheese-colored walls.


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