Clare had decided that she wanted to paint her office a perfect barely there, seashell pink.
“Growing up, I have always been against pink and I hated wearing it as a little girl. But I wanted to do something different and fresh. So I decided to take a chance on pink, and this would be a very subtle version of it. Not the bubble gum color of my childhood.”
She showed me a beautiful picture from a paint catalogue of that featured the perfect barely there, seashell pink.
Then we went into her office, and she pointed at wall covered with sploches of colors that varied from a pinkish mud to pink puce. Pink puce is a color that I never want to see again.
“There! THERE!!! Look at it! That’s the exact color from the picture in the paint catalogue!”
It was the pink puce patch. And it looked horrible. It was surrounded by it’s variations like an evil mold that had spawned and mutated on Clare’s wall.
Trying to be optimistic, there was a slight silver lining in that we both agreed that the charcoal color on the trim was perfect. At least that was nailed down.
Clare: “It’s ridiculous! I’m so mad! You think it’s going to take 4 hours and then 4 days later, you are still working on it. I decided to try and experiment and make my own shade that the paint store could then color match, but it’s not working at all!”
We compared the catalogue picture to the puce patch – and no… not a match at all.
Clare: “I WANT ANSWERS!!!”
So… trying to be helpful – I showed her the Shinola watches that had this beautiful shade of champagne pink that I had been admiring earlier that day. Like Clare, I had also fought against wearing or being associated with this color in any way as a child, yet now was strangely attracted to it. Maybe it was some sort of odd virus going around that we had both caught: “The Pink Virus.”
I wished her luck and went on my way for that day. Clare has excellent taste, she’ll figure it out.
The next day I returned and asked her how it was going… She sighed and said: “I decided, fuck it, paint it white.”
She had returned to paint store and had looked at colors that were more in champagne zone, and started to fall down the rabbit hole of multiple paint swatches, but then decided to “Stop the insanity. Fuck it, paint it white.”
The paint consultant had shared with her that the problem with pink is that if you want it to be a more muted pink, like a “dusty rose” then they add black to tone it down. Then if you add more white to the color, it becomes gray looking because of all of the black in it.
Clare: “Pink is now a “four letter word” in my vocabulary. I hate pink. Enough insanity!”
So Clare painted the walls with primer… and I didn’t want to tell her this but the primer had a slight PINK TONE!!!! Unfortunately, she noticed it and asked me if I could see it to and because I can’t lie about art-related things, I had to agree. She decided to carry on. Maybe the pinkish primer is the answer… and maybe we just both have “Pink Eye” from the virus.
This seemed like an especially cruel twist of fate for Clare and pushed her over the edge: “Now where ever I look, I see pink… I’ll show you about pink, you know nothing about Pink – John Snow!!!! I want answers!”
The next day, she texted me to say that she had found the perfect way to get that kiss of pink… She had made her own white glaze with a kiss of pink and applied it with a rag roller over the white wall.
I told her that the blog would now have to be a novel.
Clare: “I’m very pleased NOW. I am inspired to get it done and all together. The dark gray trim will be stunning. Furniture will be functional, rustic, charming and with the yin and yang that I am always talking about. Contrast, layers, texture and light.”
Clare just rocks home decorating.
Fuck it, paint it white…. with a kiss of pink.
I have spent the past 9 months redefining and defining my interior design style. I have always loved interior design. I have played with lots of ideas and have been decorating my own space since I was a young girl, with my own room upstairs in our old house in California. In those days, I had to make do with what I had and that wasn’t much. I made my bed every morning and kept my room immaculate. I used old ribbon from gift packages for curtain tie backs and today I would do anything for those old dark hardwood floors. They were beat up, scratched and scuffed. There was no money for refinishing floors, but I would never complain, because somehow my parents found a way for me to have my very own pony in the back yard.
I am sure it was those days, in that old house, on Carnell Street in Whittier California, that has influenced me in all my design decisions over the years. I have always loved old more than I have loved new. I have always chosen rough, discarded, rusty and scared, over shiny, smooth and bright.
Rust and rough added to an elegant room creates the yin and yang of decorating for a well balanced room.
Now, here I am at 60 years old, moving from a house that I had lived in for the past 25 years. I was decorating and remodeling right up until the month before we moved. I had two and half years to think about how I was going to decorate the Barn House before we actually moved. I spent hours and hours, thinking where I would put all my treasurers and antiques that I had collected over the years.
Once here and the movers gone, I realized I had to re-think things. I soon realized that for the Bed and Breakfast, I needed every piece to be functional. I’ve had to work very hard to no longer just fill a space with the things I loved. Especially since there is no place to store things. I always swore that if I had to pay to store it, I really shouldn’t have it. So many things have had to go and I am not done yet. The good news is, I love the new things and the older things I have been able to keep and re-purpose.
Stay tuned to read about the wing chairs upholstered in old grain sacks out of a barn in Germany.
Having the time of my life at the Barn House.