Tuesday, July 06, 2004

Perfect Greige

Those of you who've been in my bathroom know that 1) it takes beige and white to new heights of dullness 2) there have been little paint-sample chips taped to the tiles next to my shower for almost three years and 3) clearly I'd much rather talk about getting rid of the beige than actually doing something about it.

In my defense, there are quite a few factors contributing to my inertia:

• The beige tiles, though boring, are in good shape, so I couldn't decide if it was worth the trouble to rip them out and start over.

• The vanity and mirror, though boring, are of a non-standard size, so I couldn't decide if it was worth the expense to replace them.

• I have only one bathroom, so any major overhaul would force me to poop in the kitchen sink for a couple weeks.

• Two different shades of beige tiles, a white vanity and a putty-gray sink make finding a color that ties everything together a bit of a challenge.

Well, those of you fascinated enough by this story to have read this far will be thrilled to know that I finally made a damn decision this weekend -- and I actually painted my bathroom.

I started on Sunday when I realized I hadn't been invited to any barbecues (sniff). I figured I'd focus my unused patriotic energies on ridding the country of ugly towel bars and mousy-blah color schemes. So I ripped down the hardware, spackled the holes and primed all the rough spots.

Then I went to buy the paint. It seems, though, that there was some national holiday on Sunday that required all the paint stores to be closed. So I woke up first thing Monday morning and headed out to stock up on paint and painting supplies. I was going to get new towel bars and a new faucet as well, but the Loewe's towel-bar-and-faucet aisle was a paragon of disorganization and poor selection. And I couldn't find the damn Home Depot. (How can you lose a Home Depot?) But I figured I'd need to paint before I could install hardware anyway, so I headed home and started burying the beige under two coats of a mossy, earthy brown called Perfect Greige, which tied the beige tiles, white Formica and putty-gray sink together nicely.

I had no idea what a Greige was, but I figured it was perhaps some rare stone indigenous to Northern Europe and used mainly to build 16th century English castles. Or maybe it was a region in the Sahara known for its pristine, sun-bleached sands. But when Paul called and I was describing it to him, he figured it was a portmanteau of gray and beige. ACK! Terrified of the bourgeois implications of covering my bathroom with such a pedestrian color name, I turned to my good friend dictionary.com, who informed me that greige is an adjective used to describe textiles that aren't bleached or dyed. Whew. My fussy, label-whore homosexual reputation was still intact. At least in my bathroom.

As usual, the color dried a little darker than I'd hoped. And the ceiling and door, which I painted one shade lighter -- in the extremely pedestrian-sounding Versatile Gray -- don't look any different from the walls. But it's done. The painting is done. The paint chips are gone. The ugly towel bars are gone. And -- most important of all -- the 1985 suburban Holiday Inn aesthetic has been completely eradicated from my loo. And if that's not a reason to set off fireworks, I don't know what is.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Let's see some photos!