Sunday, January 15, 2006


Is Ground Shipping Okay?

"What can Brown do for you?"

One thing about being obsessive-compulsive / anal-retentive is that even simple things become complicated. Take, for example, painting a room. Most people go down to Home Despot, pick up some paint, brushes and rollers, masking tape, and a tarp or two. Easy, right? Haha...not with my house. While being unique is certainly fun, it does come with a lot of responsibility. Nothing is easy, simple, or "standard."

One of the very cool things about most Cliff May homes is that the home's structural skeleton is exposed. In a traditional home everything is covered in drywall but in mine the support posts and beams are exposed. Also, the drywall is laid on top of the skeleton but cut smaller so it appears to "float" on top of the support skeleton like a skin (which is architecturally very "honest" -- the drywall is just a covering). Unfortunately this leads to a very important choice: just paint the surface of the drywall or paint the sides too so it looks like the drwall consists of large, colored slabs laid over the skeleton. The problem with choice number two is tons of inside corners. Let me translate that for you non-painters: Inside Corners = your worst nightmare.

Anyhow, onto the title. Funny story time. My office is very light and I wanted to remodel it and experiment with techniques and choices for the rest of the house. Consistency is your friend! Because it's so light I thought it would be fun to paint it a really dark color -- brown. Brown is trickier than you might imagine. It takes a gazillion coats, and it has to be picked very carefully. With the wrong lighting, a delightful color such as "Morning Blend" can quickly morph into "What my neighbor's dog leaves in my yard each morning." After 50 color samples (I methodically rated each in sunlight, cloudy daylight, and halogen light) I finally came across the perfect color: Ralph Lauren "Cargo Brown." It scored highly in all three light types and had a certain welcome familiarity that I couldn't quite put my finger on.

After the first coat and a friendly UPS driver I figured out the familiarity of "Cargo Brown" -- I now have an office painted the same color as a UPS truck. Actually, I really like it (pragmatism alert!). No, really, I do. :) Anyhow, take a look:

I haven't painted the trim yet (and properly masked the dreaded inside corners). But, I think it's going to be awesome. Obviously, this is a work in progress so you'll see some of the cool details later on.

Brown rules, Stephen! :)

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