50 Shades of Blaaaah
Let me count the ways to say it … there’s taupe, sand, tan, burnt almond, latté, grey, ash, fawn … In a world full of colour, richness and diversity, how did we ‘settle’ for these; it’s like listening to a steady diet of elevator music without any rock and roll.
Have you ever asked someone what their favourite colours are to hear them reply, ‘ooh, grey and brown, yummy’? And yet the fashion industry has been shoving grey—at least 50 shades thereof—in our faces for the past couple of years and the interior décor industry is clearly a huge fan and promotor of all things brown.
There’s hardwood or laminate flooring … brown; solid wood or veneer-fronted cabinetry … brown; granite or tiled counters …usually brown, sometimes with grey; cedar paneling … yep, that’s gonna be some kind of brown; bamboo blinds … brown, you guessed it … and so on and so forth.
And, if you’re checking out a move-in-ready condo or planning to renovate your home, you’ll be shown samples of hardwood floors, granite, stainless steel (buffed up grey, when you stop to think about it) and likely told that a neutral paint colour would be best (i.e. a lighter shade of blah) and perhaps an equally insipid berber carpet (usually reminiscent of left-over porridge) for the family room.
Beige/tan/taupe … yaaaawn … fundamentally, it’s still brown; convenient, because those shades require so very little thought and, as they say, ‘they’ll go with everything’. So, out come the swatches of ‘Desert Sand’, ‘Wheat Field’, and ‘Nostalgic Mist’ for you to agonize over and torture your friends with.
Perhaps if you’d checked in with yourself and remembered what your favourite colours really are, you might have chosen red or teal or cobalt blue and said to heck with everyone else! (‘Everybody’s doing it so why the hell should I?’ Gin Wigmore, Black Sheep).
Can one ever feel passionate about ‘Overcast Sky’ or ‘Morning Mushroom’? Not really; they’re bland and quiet and entirely forgettable … (except perhaps, their names which never cease to entertain me).
So go on, trade those fifty shades of safety, convenience, consistency and predictability for just a few splashes of personality, passion, dynamism, individuality and joy and see what happens.