Fool for France

I got this phone call from Stuart, who is on the job site. “Lynn, you chose a real paint color for up here, didn’t you. It’s dark, it’s cool, it’s funky, I really like it.” Oh no, I thought, oh no. I may occasionally wax maudlin about my love of denim blue but really, I’m getting a little old to be living in some kind of Haight Street crash pad. I did that 40 years ago, thank you, and got it out of my system. Or did I? Is my attic having a flashback? I asked for photos.

I think it will be okay. It’s a country house, a grown-up’s country house. I remember seeing photos of one of Louis XIV’s hunting lodges. With its carved wood panels and all, it was clear that guy didn’t go camping, not in the Teddy Roosevelt sense. That lodge, I thought, is my idea of country living.

Sadly I don’t have Louis’ budget. But I did hope to go for some melange of earthy and elegant. I wanted grays, grayed greens and soft whites to waft one gently from the entry hall to the dining room and up the stairs to bed. Lovely and mature, like I prefer to think that I am. The hint of green would enhance the red in the beams and, against the skylights, would recall the foliage and sky of the surrounding landscape. Darkness and funk were not in the program.

So we’ll see. I went with Little Greene paint. I think this is Normandy Gray, which I chose for the shutters and for a few other rooms. I can’t wait to see it in person.


4 Replies to “Paint in the attic.”

    1. Me neither. Actually I hear that fairly often when I do a place. I think most people choose whites and off-whites. I use white but I usually like definite colors that are not too dark. Of course I’ll have to get down there to see for sure how it turned out.


      1. You are spot on there.
        Almost every house I ever see, here or abroad, is either all white or off white, or maybe expensive “antique” white if the owners have cash to splash.
        I am now sounding like a colour-snob

        I like some whites and use them, although 20thc bright white I steer clear of, these should be reserved for 20thc properties (like the Argeles apartment) , but I do like a little colour myself if it suits the character of the space.

        It’s funny how you and I have tied ourselves in lengthy, angsty knots in choosing our colour palette in France. But I only know a handful of folk who spend this long worrying about what exact colour to use


        1. Now now, color snob? Colour snob? I think not. After all, if finishes are what people key in on, what is a more obvious finish than the paint? I think a lot of people don’t sweat the color because they can’t visualize it, so they take the easy way out and just paint it white. In the States budget-minded people are faced with dirt-cheap painters who will spray your whole house flat white. They’ll be in and out in a day and you’re good to go. If you want a color you have to pay them to clean their equipment twice. I heard that, said thankyouverymuch, and painted the place myself. I was young and the ceiling height was low. Now I am blessed by old-school painters who use brushes and rollers, so I can choose any color I want.

          This thing of being able to visualize what could be is a gift, really. We are lucky to have it.

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