Friday, January 21, 2011

Salmon Nilla

The CMR has finally reached the juncture when GC Paul has put me on notice that I need to settle on interior paint colors. This is good news. The bad news? Actually selecting the paint colors.

I've been spending hours in places called "House of Color" and "Hugh's Hues." The array of colors is staggering. Unfortunately, we're mind-stuck on colors that we used in our house in London by a British paint company named "Farrow and Ball." This is our albatross. Why? You can get F&B in SF. You "simply" have to import it from Canada. A gallon of this luxurious elixir costs roughly the equivalent of our weekly grocery bill. How many gallons do we need? Buckets of gallons. Simply buckets.

George the Elder - - like a dog with a bone - - is now fixated on just getting Benjamin Moore to computer generate the color mix that matches the microscopic color chip color from a very loved and worn F&B Colour chart. MY first tact is to just try to get a close approximation by holding up the wee chips to hundreds of slightly larger chips in various lights in various stores. I'm not entirely convinced that my way is the best way. But, it's my way and I need to defend it to the bitter end.

The weirdest thing about paint and looking at hundreds of paint chips, charts and sample cards? Hands down, it's paint color names. They make the folks that name Opi nail polish look like simpletons. "Big Apple Red" is child's play compared to some of these titles. I want to personally meet the people who's job it is to name paints. The person that can see a shade of pinky brown and settle on the name "Dead Salmon?" Who is he? Did he spend a lot of time comparing and contrasting that shade to various deceased water creatures and eventually decide it was without-a-doubt salmon? When he named the color "Pigeon" did he chase a flock of flying rats around Trafalgar Square. Did he capture one and hold up the smidgen of colour just to feel confident in his choice??

And what's with all the mists? Sea Mist, Star Mist, Gray Mist, Morning Mist, Evening Mist and Midnight Mist? Who knew it was so damn moist and foggy out there in the color world?

And then there's the food colors (beyond the dead salmon): Burnt Peanut, Dill Pickle, Sunny Yam and Elegant Eggplant. Most these shades can't even be used in a kitchen.

Our current color selections: Straw, Stone White, Pigeon (yup, really), Storm, Steam and Atmospheric. Dolphin is on the short list - but we ruled out Tumeric. Straw isn't really available here in the US, but Citrone is. Stone White isn't either, so they've named it's Western neighbor Field Moss. Pigeon, not surprisingly, has no parallel. Only the Brits, and it appears us, are willing to paint a wall or two the colour of unloved rodents with wings.

We now have a number of large sheets of paper painted in various colors. We have ones that are made by Benjamin Moore (brilliant idea to make HUGE 16 x 16 paint chips!!) and we have ones that we made ourselves this afternoon from paint samples, a large roll of white butcher paper and the world's cheapest paintbrushes (yes - - unlike the professional Ben Moore ones, these have a little texture in the way of bristles embedded in them). Tomorrow we will head to the CMR to make some decisions.

Bring on the Salmon and the Stone. Let's pick colour!!!

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