Squabbling over shades of grey

On a roll: Decorating can be a big source of argument.
On a roll: Decorating can be a big source of argument.
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Nothing is ever black or white, is it?

Particularly when it comes to what colour to paint your sitting room.

Our entire weekend was dominated by deliberation. And daubing shades from ridiculously-priced, dolls-house-sized pots onto big squares of paper we - no, let’s be right, he - sticky taped all over the pale gold walls.

If you stood back and looked at it from a logical as opposed to an aesthetic point of view, our chequer-boarded lounge was actually a huge advancement.

For months, we’d been talking about colour combos, leafing through an ever-growing pile of paint charts and trying really hard to imagine how something the size of a postage stamp might look when it’s larging it on 77.8 square yards.

This was us actually DOING something.

Picking up a paintbrush, even if it was the size of the one you swipe your blusher on with, was proof we’d stepped from virtual world to reality in the decision-making process.

A step closer to commitment, you’d think.

Only, no. We bickered and squabbled like a pair of kids.

We had started out in agreement on one thing - indecision over one of two themes; either dark, exotic and Eastern with glints of gold, layers of black and a jewel accent, or light, airy and Gallic with red French ticking cushions and blinds (yep, we’ve both been reading the interiors mags).

Only, the weekend proved we are “seeing” these themes in totally different ways.

The same goes for colour. What to me looks intense and interesting to him looks drab and depressing. The beiges that whispered warm and comforting to my sub-conscious spake in far more boring tones to him.

To me, the word “jewel” could only ever denote emerald, ruby and sapphire tones, amethyst at a push, but he practically hurled at the sight of them. What on earth did HE think a jewel tone was?

Grey, the one non-colour we both seemed to be in unison on, turned out to be the biggest trouble-maker of all. Readers, you would not believe how many shades of grey there are in this life. There are cold and warm greys, blue, green and even pink-tinged ones. And each of us sees them totally differently.

Do other couples have this hassle? I think not.

Most blokes either don’t care a decorator’s smock top and just let you get on with it.

Others, after years of kowtowing to the fashionista female and being told he’s borderline colour-blind, are too timid to whisper anything other than “Magnolia” and “what about a nice shade of white?”

But my normally gentle Jekyll turns into Hyde when brandishing a Dulux colour chart. I actually refused to go with him to B&Q for fresh matchpot supplies. I just knew there’d be embarrassing scuffles in the aisles.

He reckons he’s entitled to his opinions - and to ride roughshod through mine, even though it was my living room long before it was his - on account of a piffling little thing called a degree in interior design which took him three long years to earn.

I mean, it’s only a piece of paper, isn’t it? How can that possibly count?