Colorphobic: Confessing Paint Prejudices

Colorphobic: Confessing Paint Prejudices

Tess Wilson
May 5, 2014
(Image credit: Andrea Sparacio)

As my partner and I have been discussing all the changes we'll be making to our house-to-be — ripping out shag carpeting, redoing floors, gutting the bathroom, and painting all the walls — something has become painfully clear to both of us: I dislike colorful walls. In my ideal world, walls are grey, cream, or white. Anything else makes me twitch..

Don't get me wrong: your colorful walls are fabulous. I love what you've done with the place. But for my home? They make me feel a bit claustrophobic, almost as if the walls are closing in on my while chanting, "We're blue! Blue paint! We're painted blue! Blue, blue, blue!!"

I never realized I felt this way before because all of the rentals I've lived in have been painted somewhere in the white-cream-beige spectrum, and though they weren't the exact whites-creams-beiges I would have picked, they suited me. Pale walls are like a serenely blank canvas on which to build my home and my life. You can hang any sort of paintings and have any sort of feelings in a wall with pale rooms, any color wood looks good against pale walls, and pale walls reflect every precious bit of sunlight. They feel like home.

Where does that leave us when one decision-making party loves bright bold walls and one is only willing to discuss going slightly darker "if we're talking about grey"? And then there's the no-hesitation 8-year-old who declared "green and white stripes!" when asked for his opinion. I wish I had an answer for you. My current philosophy is reminding myself (and others, should that become necessary) that my love of beautiful pale colors is not a sign of weakness, or timidity, or blandness. I love perfectly pale grey walls with a fierceness and am prepared to defend my love to the end. And much like I hate mushrooms but give them another shot every year just in case, I'll also try to remain open to the idea of liking colorful walls. Perhaps a closet?

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