James Blue and Overcast Grey

The bird prefers the sky blue

A couple of months ago, I decided to re-paint our ensuite bath after living with the same serene blue for almost fifteen years. I love this blue, chose it carefully after repeated trials with countless paint chips. Nothing too heavy, nothing too grey, just a deep, clear blue, the colour of dusk in a late July sky.

And though I love this “James Blue” – as it was dubbed by my paint supplier –  it doesn’t quite fit with the expanse of overcast grey tile that dominates the room, tile that covers the floor, the raised perimeter around sunken tub and half-way up two walls.  Tile that would cost a small fortune to replace.

So, I boldly set off to find something new. I began with accessories, choosing fresh new pieces that I hoped would inspire a wall colour: thick towels and bath mats in rich cream and mint green, and a matching wooden storage bin. Also a milky, long-legged bird to stand guard over the tub. I marched to the paint store, new purchases in hand, and pored over paint chips with their colour consultant.

“Everyone is using these colours to create a spa feel,” she said, handing me a couple of chips. “You’ll love them.”

I fingered the chips in my hand. Cool green-grey. Icy grey-blue. Clinical tones. Not shades that I gravitated to in the least. Still, I trusted her judgment and so I left the store with a couple of tubs of paint to test on the walls at home.  I left with confidence, so much confidence that when I arrived home, I removed the towel bars and shelves, peeled off all the outlet covers and patched all the holes. Then, I painted a large section of wall and immediately realized that I hated the colour.

Later that evening my daughter strolled into my bedroom to wish me good night.

“What’s going on in here?” she asked, observing the contents of my bathroom sitting in heaps in on my bedroom floor.

“Oh, I decided to paint the bathroom.” I said. “But I hate the colour.”

She walked into the bathroom and flicked on the light.

“It’s grey, mom,” she said.

“Yeah, it’s depressing, isn’t it?”

“That’s the last thing you need,” she said, walking back into the bedroom.

I looked at her and smiled. Out of the mouths of babes.

“What do you suggest?”

“You should paint it a pretty sky blue.”

She’s right of course. Too heck with spa colours. Go bright! Go happy! No matter that it may clash with the tile. No matter that it may not be in style. It will match perfectly with the expanse of sky filling the windows. Why not?

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