I’ve recently entered the fun world of picking out paint colors. And it is fun… but also overwhelming.
Now that we live a two-bedroom apartment, I have a home office. (I work from home a few days a week, so we decided that the second, smaller bedroom could be my office.) And since I spend so much time there, I’ve decided I want to decorate it. Contrary to the gay stereotype, I’ve never been a very attentive decorator. I’ve never painted the walls of any apartment I’ve lived in, and I’ve never been very good about putting stuff on the walls or finding places for tchotchkes. I always intend to make an apartment feel lived-in and homey, but I never get around to doing it.
Why? Partly it’s because I’m uncomfortable spending money. And partly it’s because I have trouble psychologically “settling in” somewhere. Who knows how long I’ll be living in any particular place? I wind up moving into an apartment, and then several months go by and I haven’t decorated, and by that point we’re halfway through a lease and not sure if we’ll be staying. And whether we stay or not, the whole process happens again. Why spend the money to decorate a place if we’ll just be moving somewhere else at some point?
But I’ve decided that I need to live more in the present. And now that I’ve got this home office, I’d really like to turn it into a little sanctuary, a place where I can do work but also chill out sometimes (if I can find a comfy chair to put there). It’s not a huge space, but I could do something with it. I don’t like the current wall color (a pale peach) and the windows have dark-green metal blinds that are too wide for the windows (and don’t go with the peach).
Limitation: the lighting in the room is not great. There’s not much direct sunlight: the apartment is on the bottom floor of a ten-story building, and the room is on the inward-facing leg of an H, so the opposite side of the H blocks most direct sunlight from coming in, and the windows face north. And the overhead light is one of those long white fluorescent lamps, and I have no idea how a whole wall of color will look in that light.
I feel like I want some shade of blue. But oh my god there are so many paint shades. Benjamin Moore has several dozen shades of blue alone. And I can’t decide if I want a lighter blue or a darker blue. Maybe I don’t even want blue? Maybe I should paint the walls different colors for an invigorating effect? Maybe I should get rid of the rug I have in there right now, because it doesn’t necessarily go with the type of blue I want? I’ve gone to the paint store and brought home a bunch of paint chips and taped them to the walls and I’ve gone back and picked up more paint chips and bought paint samples and gone home and painted the paint samples onto pieces of posterboard and held them up to the walls. And nothing looks right. Not only does nothing look right, but I have no idea how an entire wall filled with a particular color is going to look.
It’s making me a little bit batty.
But it’s also kind of fun.