Blah Is Beautiful

If you struggle with paint color like I do, check out this New York Times Magazine article, from this weekend’s Design issue. I have come to feel the same way about color, after painting countless rooms bold, beautiful yellows, oranges and blues (because I do love them so), only to find myself later overwhelmed by all the “color clutter” (as my wonderfully talented painter friend Pat Arzillo recently called it). Over my estate-sale-ing years, I have acquired tons of cool paintings and plants and rugs and pillows and furniture, and the competing colors of the walls was starting to make me schitzo. So I’ve found myself toning things down with strong neutrals (I really like Benjamin Moore’s Revere Pewter and Charcoal Slate). Granted, this is all totally IN now, but let it be known that I promised Peter I will no-no-NOT embrace this frenzy for whites. Yeah, I totally love how it looks in Elle Decor spreads of $10 million Sag Harbor homes with original Basquiats, but ultimately white walls bring me back to my dismal teenage years, living in a cheap divorcé condo with my dad near the Pit Stop convenience store, with wall-to-wall beige carpeting, filthy popcorn ceilings and particle board kitchen cabinets. Also, my feeling now is that having strong neutrals in the main rooms makes the occasional room or foyer painted some crazy saturated color all the more striking. (This is my plan for my little sunroom, with its big old windows, plants and 60s bamboo settees with tropical linen upholstery. Thinking Bird of Paradise–it could be great!)


7 thoughts on “Blah Is Beautiful

    • Send me photos, Miss C! I try to look at what colors the other visible rooms are (fer flow, yo), what the light is like, what sort of details need to be played up or toned down, the shape that the walls themselves are in, what kind of art you plan to hang, etc. I just read an article in AD that I’ll post… I love color recs, and these look like good ones!


  1. I detest white walls. Color, color,color. The grass is green and all things go with it. The sky is blue and all things go with it. Find your neutral color and paint. And really it’s cheap if you can live with it cover it up


    • I agree! People should paint what the love. That said, I think white is wretched on anything but ceilings and trim, but certain off-whites are good, but I like them as palate cleansers (and not all over). I’ve used BM’s (heh) Sailcloth in my dim, narrow upstairs hallway and in my downstairs terlet–it works on its own, but it also disappears behind all the big colorful art, vanity mirror, art deco light fixture and awesome vintage granny towels. But as soon as you’ve done yer bi’ness, flushed, warshed up and left the room, the color parade starts up again.


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