Sunday, 30 September 2012

What colour is it?

We are just about to redecorate our kitchen.   It has been the same colour for fifteen years although it has been re-emulsioned about five times in aconite, daffodil, sunflower, sunshine and pure gold.   All seemed the same colour to me and the farmer was able to make do with one coat because there was no noticeable difference.

Now I would rather like it in pumpkin, which doesn't seem all that different from the tuscan orange we have in our utility room but the farmer is vetoing this as it would mean two coats.

All these fancy names to supposedly make us change the colour when we decorate.  I do wonder how we view colours.

Following on from yesterday's post about the way I think men and women see friendships, I think they possibly see colour differently from women too.  I know there are far more men than women who are colourblind, particularly in the red/green area, but I don't think that is all there is to it.

I read an article in a magazine on the subject recently - it suggested that to a man a sweater would probably be 'blue' whereas to a woman it might be sky, pale, periwinkle, cornflower, or navy.   (Also I wonder how many men could distinguish betwee French navy and navy, but I'll bet most women can.)

I have to say that where colour and decorating come in the farmer is far more concerned with colouring-cover than he is with colour.   Although when we first moved in here it was rather a different story.   Our rooms and quite large, very light and with high ceilings.  I will always remember the day we sat on the sitting room window sill debating what colour we would have the walls.   I wanted them a colour which on the shade card was at the time called Stately Home Red.   At the suggestion the farmer visibly paled so I suggested that perhaps we could have it on the ceiling.  There was a silence and then this little, plaintive voice said, "I like my ceilings white."   Needless to say, the walls are painted in magnolia (or cream, or paper white, or lily, or any other fancy name you care to mention) and the ceiling and dado are white - after all, he's doing it.

So is this another difference between men and women?  Those greeny/brown sweaters so beloved of men - I wonder what men call that colour - I personally would call it sludge.

17 comments:

Heather said...

I think the fashionworld name for sludge might be lovat.
As for decorating - the farmer is a treasure! My husband hates painting and won't do it. I hate to think how many years ago I washed the livingroom walls and ceiling down with sugar soap and then had to rinse them too to get rid of the smears. It's a long room and nearly killed me and thankfully still looks quite good but has never been painted! My husband seems to like strong colours whereas I prefer more subtle ones, especially if I have to live with them for years. Luckily he leaves the choice to me.

Gwil W said...

Sludge? Do you mean Barnyard Brown? Or is that eggs?

Rachel said...

I agree with the farmer, it is much easier to just stick to the same colour and freshen it up every year or so with one coat! Every wall and floor board in my house is painted white but I change the colours of the doors from time to time.

Eryl said...

Not sure it's necessarily a matter of male/female difference, my son, for example is very sensitive to tonal variations. And one of my best friends is always redecorating his house in the most vivid colours. Both of them are artistically inclined (my son's a photographer) so maybe it's more to do with character/interests than sex, and it's just that more women have this characteristic than men.

I'd love to be able to redecorate my kitchen, but it's not really mine, it's Dave's and he is definitely like the farmer when it comes to such things. He's lived in this house for five years and it's still exactly as it was on the day he viewed it. That said he notices everything!

Eryl said...

Not sure it's necessarily a matter of male/female difference, my son, for example is very sensitive to tonal variations. And one of my best friends is always redecorating his house in the most vivid colours. Both of them are artistically inclined (my son's a photographer) so maybe it's more to do with character/interests than sex, and it's just that more women have this characteristic than men.

I'd love to be able to redecorate my kitchen, but it's not really mine, it's Dave's and he is definitely like the farmer when it comes to such things. He's lived in this house for five years and it's still exactly as it was on the day he viewed it. That said he notices everything!

Crafty Green Poet said...

Sludge - I think is a darker shade of taupe!

I like the idea of pumpkin for the kitchen.

Crafty Green Boyfriend is always puzzled by my liking of good colour co-ordination....

angryparsnip said...

Great post.
I think men like the "sludge" colors because of the fact that is what the caveman wore so many years ago and the "sludge" gene has been passed down.
I like colors on walls but since I have paintings and art displayed on my walls I have white walls.
I think if your using a strong color on your wall the you must have good lighting, so in the depths of a dull gray winter you don't feel like you are in a cave.
Love Farmers one coat only idea. Makes choosing a paint color so much easier.

cheers, parsnip

Elizabeth said...

I once read that diningrooms should be red because it is flattering by candlelight.
Maybe you should have insisted on the 'stately home' color!
When I was a child we had an awful lot of a pale green (Regency Striped wall paper at one point!)
and acres of 'magnolia'. My family were not into 'cutting-edge' style.
Sandersons was considered wonderful --and I still think it is!
Pumpkin sounds excellent......but
I can quite understand the farmer's reluctance to do two coats where one would suffice.
Take a photo when it's finished.

Cloudia said...

ah, men and women negotiating life together!



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Gerry Snape said...

yes Pat ...I think I like the name ...sludge...sounds quite rural really!!!

Pam said...

Must admit, my husband is fine with painting - depending I suppose on the necessity. We both realized we could not live with the Barbie-Doll pink walls in a bedroom of our previously owned new house - husband was out in his old clothes with a paintbrush before the unpacking was complete. Then he could relax in his more comfortable clothes - mostly sludge green. His favourite.

Dave King said...

I so agree with you about the fancy names, but I do have this theory that we all (possibly) see colour differently, and not just by gender.
Love the post - but you may have set me off again!

Pondside said...

The Great Dane was wearing a sweater yesterday that I might call 'Leaf Mold' but that he calls 'brown'! After having to use 7 coats of primer and paint to cover our once-red kitchen, I would never, ever paint a room a dark colour again!

Loren said...

After years of taking art classes I'm pretty sure I can identify shades of various colors as well as most women. However, when it comes to giving them names, I'll certainly defer to the women in my life.

Not sure what kind of weather you have there, but in the wet, cloudy Pacific Norhwest my primary concern is that the colors reflect what little light we get around here. In other words, most of my house is still painted white with some bright accent walls, mostly yellows.

The Weaver of Grass said...

I love Parsnip's explanation for why men love sludge colour! Thanks for visiting - do please call again.

Canadian Chickadee said...

I think you're on to something here. My favourite sweater is called "Deep Water Green." To me, that summons up all the blue-y notes in the green (as opposed to the yellow-y notes in a colour like moss.) But if I ask my husband to bring me the green sweater, I never know what I'll finish up with! Well, at least I have a 50-50 chance of getting the right one!

Bovey Belle said...

Guess who does the painting in THIS house! My husband HATES painting, and makes such a bad job of it when he DOES have to do it that my teeth are soon grinding (these would be the bits I can't reach or aren't allowed up the ladder to reach).

My husband likes bright colours. We have a lot of yellow throughout the house because it is dark and gloomy and yellow cheers it up. Like your kitchen, it has always been yellow, although we did edge towards the Pumpkin once and it was a lovely warm colour (can't find that shade any more). We "whited" it before we put the house on the market but it just doesn't look right, and so I am 2/3 of the way through painting it a clotted cream colour now.

Do you think men like sludge colour because it doesn't show the dirt?!!!