Middle Class Problems: Let's add some colour to our walls - but which paint?

Were we bold or neutral people? Was it really worth spending more on paint from a company with a smart ampersand in its name? Can colours really affect mood?

Simmy Richman@simmyrichman
Sunday 31 January 2016 01:15
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'We swung wildly from off-whites to deep hues of varying shades that might all be fine for now'
'We swung wildly from off-whites to deep hues of varying shades that might all be fine for now'

We just thought it would be a nice idea to add a bit of colour. It had been two years since we had moved into a house in which the previous owner had painted everything "brilliant white". Stark, minimalist, clean-looking… brilliant white, the estate agents will tell you, provides the perfect blank canvas. Our two-year-old recently decided to interpret this phrase literally, using the walls for an early excursion into permanent felt-tip art. So let's take this opportunity to add a bit of colour, warm the place up, we thought. But which to choose?

Any decision quickly began to feel irrationally significant. Were we bold or neutral people? Was it really worth spending more on paint from a company with a smart ampersand in its name? Can colours really affect mood? Pastels, apparently, are popular right now – but then so are man buns and kale smoothies.

So we consulted the opinion of others. Someone suggested getting sample pots and painting small areas of a wall in potential shades. Nope: we still had no idea what a whole room would look like. We cast the net wider. One family member suggested seeking the advice of an interior designer. Really? Is that what thousands of years of evolution have led us to? A place where we can't even pick a paint colour without consulting "experts"?

Hopeless. We swung wildly from off-whites to deep hues of varying shades that might all be fine for now… but how would we feel in five years? So we painted over the felt-tip with a tin of brilliant white – and decided to warm the place up at a later date.

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