Saturday, March 31, 2007
Last Tuesday, Michael came to our house for the famous "color consult." When Adam told me about this, I asked him if it was really a consult or if Michael would just tell us what color our kitchen was going to be painted. He said, tactfully but evasively, "Michael feels very strongly about color." The colors I envisioned in my kitchen were some combination of a curry yellow, a sage green to echo the green in the bear grass, a pale blush pink, and maybe a lilac.
About fifteen minutes before the color consult was scheduled to begin, all the workers started packing up to leave. Jim said he thought they were afraid of Michael.
I saw how things were going to go when Michael asked if we wanted to start by picking the color of the grout for the tile above the cooktop. He held up a few grout samples, looking for just the right one. I pointed at one with a pinkish tinge. He said, "No, that won't work." He held it up to the tile; "see?" Well, I had to admit that it wasn't quite the right color. Finally, he ended up with four possibilities, and I chose the one that was marginally darker than the other three, which all looked almost exactly the same. I own that grout!
Michael then started sifting through color samples for the wall, keeping some, discarding others, in no pattern that I could discern. He started focusing on greens. "Good," I said, "I wanted something that would pick up the green in the bear grass pattern." "Yes," he said, "I'm a little surprised that I'm going for this green--sometimes green in kitchens is problematic because it makes your food look weird." Emboldened, I suggested a light pink. "No. Definitely not. No pink or red in the kitchen. Feng shui color theory, you know." (I didn't ask why the red tile was ok; I'm sure there's a reason.)
I pointed out a deep yellow. That wouldn't do. I think that was supposed to be obvious.
He settled on three colors: a rich cream, a very pale sage green, and a darker sage. He said he didn't usually like to make the windows darker than the walls, but it was right for this kitchen.
I looked longingly at a purple. "Yes," he said in a kind tone. "That's a very pretty color. We'll go with these three." I reminded him that green made food look weird. He said, "Well, if your food didn't look weird in your old kitchen, it's certainly not going to look weird in this one." Aha! The best defense is always a good offense.
The next day the painters came. I told them about my experience with the color consult. "That's Michael for you," they said affectionately. "He has strong opinions."
When we were looking at the three color samples, they all looked very different. Now that they're all on, though, I can't tell the difference between the cream on the wall and the pale green on the insides of the windows. When I look at them very carefully, and in just the right light, I can see a discernible difference. Otherwise, it just looks like cream and green.