Colour obsession. It’s a bitch. I became overwhelmingly obsessed with finding the exact perfect green for the kitchen walls (not all of them – I didn’t totally lose my mind). Yes, green. Millions disagreed (well, most friends), but I stuck to my guns. Green it was going to be.
Primarily I was inspired by this fabulous kitchen in Domino Magazine:
In fact, the above pic became pretty much the basis for the whole kitchen design (minus what appears to be a sink and stove top made for children). White cabinets were a given and I have always wanted wooden butcher block counter tops, both because I love how they look and also because you can simply sand them down if/when they get stained (though having lived with them for nearly a year I can tell you that this whole ‘simply sanding’ thing is a bit a of myth – it’s much more effort than I would have thought). I also started thinking about open shelving (thanks mom!), primarily because the kitchen opened up so much when we took down the upper cabinets that were blocking the light from the window.
Anyway…back to colour.
Kelly green, as above, was going to be a bit much in such a tiny space, but I was really loving the lime green from my set of Joseph Joseph bowls:
They still make me go a little weak in the knees when I look at them. Really, I’m like a small child when it comes to brightly coloured stacking things. Sigh.
So around this time I’m also taking summer courses as part of my fine art degree. I was in ‘Open Studio’, which translates roughly to ‘do whatever you want’. I was absolutely incapable of separating house from art and art from house – which is not really cool when everyone in class with you is around 10 years younger and looks at home renovation as something their parents do. So I was questioning my reno obsessions as very unworthy in the context of 20-something art school angst about life and the universe. Worrying over paint colour (and losing sleep over it – yes, really) seems very lame in the grand scheme of things.
The pivotal moment was when I had been staring at a test patch of Benjamin Moore’s ‘Tequila Lime’ for days and couldn’t decide if it was right. Off I went to Home Depot to return with ‘English Apple’ from CIL. I put up English Apple beside Tequila Lime and behold! – they were exactly the same. I had finally lost my mind.
Of course, they weren’t exactly the same…
It seemed clear then that this was what my final art project would be based on – this moment when the absurdity and the obsession and the ridiculousness of the whole thing peaked at the point where I would choose the same colour twice. The fact that I still felt torn between the two became an important part of illustrating how I am simultaneously repelled and seduced by home decor/renovation, as in, I know that more important things are happening in the world but I often spend more time worrying about flooring and paint colour than the national debt or world hunger. I’m not proud of it, but there you go.
So I covered my studio space with alternating swatches of each colour – both a penance and an homage to my obsession:
And how did it end? Tequila Lime baby…
But the panels I made in class now hang in the kitchen, a reminder not to take everything quite so seriously.
(one on the left is tequila lime!)