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Settled

Design and other ephemera

What I need are photos of apartments similar to mine that have been painted with these colors so I can get a feel for how they look when bathing all four walls of your main living space, potentially clashing with your new dining chairs and competing for attention with your art collection.

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Apartment Therapy and Behr are running a contest to celebrate exceptional uses of color in home design. It’s an idea that I am all for…sort of.

One of the joys of reading Apartment Therapy is enjoying the photos of strangers’ homes while praising and critiquing their design choices. Sometimes it’s even about stealing these choices and appropriating them as your own.

Last week I crossed a small task off a personal to-do list that’s been crumpled up in a far corner of my mind for way too long. I visited the Monarch paint store in Chevy Chase and had my way with their wall of Benjamin Moore paint chips. Or perhaps it’s more accurate to say it had it’s way with me. I left the store with close to two dozen chips of varying shades of wheat and teal stashed in my purse, unsure that any of them would eventually prove satisfactory selections for my long-overdue apartment painting project.

And to be honest, I am still not terribly sure. Even after  spending some time narrowing the choices down to a mere eight chips, and even after taping them to the wall above my bed where I gaze at them several times a day, I still can’t fully commit. They all have the quality of looking just right and perfectly terrible all at once. Many vary by just the slightest variation of shade, and I am beginning to think that it’s all too much–too many variations, too many options, too  many ways I can screw this up even if my painting technique is perfect, which let’s face it, it won’t be.

What I need are photos of apartments similar to mine that have been painted with these colors so I can get a feel for how they would look when bathing all four walls of my main living space, potentially clashing with my new dining chairs and competing for attention with my art collection. Which is where the Apartment Therapy/Behr contest could have come in handy. It could have required contestants to list the exact name of the paint  they used in the room  they entered. I realize this would create a logistical challenge as not all of the paint would be from Behr, but in an ideal world it wouldn’t matter. In an ideal world people would tell you the names of the paint they chose when decorating their homes–anything to demystify  the process for those of us who have yet to take the plunge.

Instead, I am left to gaze furtively at the chips taped to my walls, willing the winning vision to materialize in my mind so I can finally gain a little clarity on this one small decision.

I’m having company this weekend. Perhaps my visitors can decide for me.

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