Monday, January 03, 2005

The Dark Side

Yes, I'll admit it. I'm going to do it. I'm going to step over to The Dark Side.

For years, I've had "Swiss Walls" (white or off-white, as neutral as Switzerland). Sure, you can call it Ivory Snow or Vanilla Frost or Blizzard or whatever, but those are just fancy ways of saying WHITE. That was true in my home up north, and it's currently true in Celebration, too. Actually, that's not entirely by choice. When we purchased our home, it was classified as an "inventory home," even though the ground hadn't been broken yet. That's just a fancy way of saying, "We're already chosen everything for you, and if you want to make changes, you'll have to wait until the moon turns pink and aligns with Mars while Saturn's rings implode."

We hate, hate, hate builder's paint, so if nothing else, we would have at least paid for an upgraded paint job, even if it was a neutral color. But no, poor Duloc Manor's walls are "covered" (if you can call it that) in that cheap, thin coating that I suspect is concocted from water mixed with skim milk.

Now that the first year has passed, and we have most of our furniture in place, it's time to get a real paint job. And, dare I say it: I think I'm ready to make the leap to COLOR.

Big, bold walls with big, bold colors seem to be very popular in Celebration. Not having much of a knack for interior design, I've always been afraid to try anything that daring. In the past, my most gutsy foray was to have someone stencil a cat design onto the kitchen wall of my condo. But now, I think I'm going to dip my toe into the Pond of Dark Colors and Irreversible Decisions by having two of my family room walls painted a deep maroon.

This insanity took root when I was trying to figure out how to artifically separate the kitchen/diningroom from the family room. Our floor plan is totally open, and it wouldn't work to put the sofa or loveseat in the middle of the room as a divider. Our couch is brown, with semi-southwesty pillows with a yellow, aqua, and maroon pattern. The maroon is the most distinctive color, and it also blends rather nicely with the brown. We have matching lamps and a floor vase in the same color, so I'm thinking, "Why not slap it on the walls too?" Then, if I keep the kitchen white or very lightly colored, the accent walls should make a nice separator.

Logically, I know that it should look good. I've seen many homes with dark, stunning colors that are lovely. But in my gut, I have this terrible fear that I will hate it when it's done and spend the rest of my life painting over it with 50 coats of white, which still won't be enough to cover it.

I am a big fan of bright homes and lots of sunshine, and dark walls can be counter productive to that. But I think I can get away with it because there are four windows in the kitchen/familyroom area, not to mention a windowed door. I hope that the dark wall won't suck in the light like some evil black hole in outer space, devouring stars, planets, and even whole galaxies.

The rest of our house will be much more Swiss. I am going with a fairly bold yellow in the Harry Potter room (our powder room underneath the staircase), and I am going to have a blue accent on the tray ceiling in our master bedroom. Other than that, the rest of the house will have just a hint of color hidden within the off-white base.

But, like Anakin Skywalker, I am tempted by the Dark Side and yet full of fear. If I dare to make the leap, will the darkness consume me? Will I regret it forever, yet be unable to pull back from its all-encompassing maroon depths? Will it engulf me so fully that I will suddenly start plastering primary colors throughout my happy little home? Only time will tell.

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