Ellen: So what did you do this weekend? Because it certainly wasn’t finishing the blog post I jetted over to you 16 days ago.
Erin: Steve and I painted a room. Together.
Ellen: Forgiven! I love decorating. What do think of the color?
Ellen: Um, What!?!
Erin: I think it looks great, but Steve thinks it looks the same.
Ellen: The same as what? Cut to the chase.
Erin: It’s Wheeling Neutral, but Steve stands that is SameAsEveryOtherRoomInOurHouse.
Ellen: Well, Wheeling rolls off the tongue better but what color is that?
Erin: It’s a neutral.
Ellen: Yeah. But is it white, brown, gray, what? Is it warm or cool?
Erin: I DON”T KNOW!
Ellen: O-kay. So how do you pick colors, Ray Charles?
Erin: By name.
Ellen: So if the most perfect gray was named Breadmold and gray the color of corpse toes was named Dolphin Tail, you would pick?
Erin: Dolphin Tail.
Ellen: So maybe you should just graffiti the names on your walls since you are more English 101 than Design 200. What do you think of the color?
Erin: I love it! But Steve won’t stop rolling his eyes.
Erin: Well, he thinks it looks like FamilyRoomSisal.
Ellen: Is it?
Erin: Oh no, it’s darker than Sisal. To which he said, “Well, then it’s DiningRoomHarvestWheat.”
Erin: But it’s not. It’s lighter than that. More like BackPorchEnglishToffee.
Ellen: (laughing) You have a problem.
Erin: Well, I have been burned before by color. You remember!!! The night before Deacon”s christening we painted the family room what I THOUGHT was a lovely shade of sage but turned out to be mint. The paint was still wet as my tears dripped into my paint bucket.
Ellen: That WAS awful! But why don’t you just embrace that neutrals soothe you and take a can out of the garage. So your house matches.
Erin: Well, my friend Chris The Interior Designer mentioned Wheeling would really pop against my pretty new shelves.
Ellen: And you didn’t realize it was exactly the same color that you already had?
Erin: First of all, it’s not EXACTLY the same—it’s slightly darker. Second, and no judgment please, I didn’t even know what it was until I got to Home Depot. Chris KNOWS things. She’s a PROFESSIONAL. She is GIFTED! So I went with it, because my minty scars run deep.
Ellen: It’s time for a little “Know thine self.”
1) You are highly impressionable
2) You are not, as they say in the biz, “comfortable with a color wheel.”
3) You like the calm of neutrals
So just pick a shade already and stick with it. I’m tired of the hand-wringing.
Erin: Steve mentioned something like that.
Ellen: You have mentioned that Steve and I share some common traits.
Erin: Happy to have your opinions.
Ellen: You know what your house is, don’t you?
Erin: Fifty Shades of Neutral?
By Ellen Williams Erin Dymowski