“Useful” Was The Word Of The Weekend

:: I USED TO write about the various home redecorating projects we had going on around the house.  Chez Bean was almost a character in and of itself in this blog.

But over the years, as every ding dang one of those projects dragged on, I stopped writing about them because who wants to read the ramblings of a whiner talking about first world problems?

:: HOWEVER, I’M THINKING that because this particular project seems to be going well, I’ll tell you, my gentle readers and fellow interior design aficionados, that we’re painting the walls in one of the guest bedrooms.

This is the bedroom in which we have a couple of upholstered chairs & a small little desktop computer area & a TV & some books shelves.  Years ago Zen-Den the Literal began to refer to this space as the Un-Bedroom, and the name stuck.

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:: SO WHAT COLOR are we painting the Un-Bedroom this time?

The walls are now in the process of becoming Sherwin-Williams 7050 Useful Gray, which is a color I chose after reading about it here on THE COLLECTED Interior.

It’s a neutral, calm, warm gray color that Zen-Den, the person actually painting the walls, has announced is the best. color. ever.

I like it because it’s a color that both He Who Paints The Walls and She Who Makes Important Decorating Decisions can agree on.

Making it, I believe, most useful.  😉

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Ally Bean

Observant. Creative. Humorous. Adaptable. Happy enough. Looking for the crumb of truth in the cookie of life.

42 thoughts on ““Useful” Was The Word Of The Weekend”

  1. “Useful Gray”–I absolutely love the names they give to paint colors–I want that job when I grow up. I’ve been remodeling/redecorating for the past year or so, and my husband and I like to come up with our own names for paint colors that we’re considering: Mental Institution Green, Tomato Soup Red, Slit Your Wrists Gray, Skid-Mark Brown, etc., you get the idea. We’re easily amused 🙂

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    1. Karen, laughing out loud here. Your approach to naming colors is great. I’ve never thought of re-naming the colors to reflect our own special point of view. Brilliant. 🙂

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  2. I agree, any color that suits both He Who Paints The Walls and She Who Makes Important Decorating Decisions is indeed a fabulous color. I know I will paint my tiny master bath a shade of gray, but I am not there yet.
    Don’tcha love Sherwin-Williams? I do.

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    1. joey, you’ve cut to the essence of this painting experience: we both agreed on a color immediately. Seemed noteworthy. I think that SW is great & I love their new color fan with the new colors in it. Ooh-la-la.

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  3. My husband worries about paint jobs. Mostly because we put up the blue tape and nothing looks right. I complain throughout the whole job. Sometimes I don’t like it after the blue tape comes off and we repaint. For the last paint job we used the same color as we already had in another room. We knew we loved it and it was perfect.

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    1. Kate, I hear ‘ya. We’ve done the same thing: try a new color, then go back to a confirmed wonderful color. Fortunately Zen-Den likes to paint and he likes the house to look good, so he’s game for a bit of trial and error. Occasionally.

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  4. Until I read this, I wasn’t sure if it was ever really possible for a couple to agree upon a wall cover for a neutral space. I thought it was just one of those things you just finally agreed to compromise on while keeping your true opinions to yourself for the good of the rest of the family. I like it though.

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    1. Allie P, yes, I can understand your logic. Not all our walls become the color I want them to be because He Who Paints The Walls seems to have [inexplicably] opinions about what color goes where. So finding this color is akin to a miracle, I do believe. 🙂

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  5. Like Karen above, I want to be the Paint Namer. My names aren’t as…evocative as hers, but I think I’d do okay. It would be a lot of fun. Failing that, I’d like to name the animals at our local APL shelter. They do a lousy job. Two of their young cats were recently highlighted on a local show with hopes that they’d be adopted. Their names?

    Ham and Cheese. Sigh. Come ON. ANYBODY can do better than that.

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    1. nance, with your grasp of the nuances of the English language you’d make a wonderful color namer. I hope you are able to find this job, thereby making the world a better place.

      I agree Ham & Cheese are not good names for adoptable cats. Isolde & Tristan, or Leonard & Penny, or Fred & Wilma, or… just about any well-known duo would be a better choice.

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  6. Ally, I’m sorry. I realize I didn’t really comment on the content of your post.

    I was going to say–before I read the comments and commented on those–that I liked the grey. I’m really starting to lean toward neutrals with a few bright spots of colour in the room supplied by accents in furniture. My problem is that some accent/neutral pairs evoke certain things immediately. Brown with orange? Cleveland Browns football colours. Grey with red? Ohio State football colours. See what I mean? Irksome.

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    1. nance, I know exactly what you mean about some of these neutral color pairings! I describe our decorating color style as warm neutrals with splashes of spirited color. I’m cool with this approach as long as the spirited colors don’t evoke team spirit. I’ll leave that for fans who intentionally want to have a room dedicated to their favorite team– where the color combos make sense.

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  7. Mmm, yes, useful gray. I love it. I wonder what was going through that humans mind as they named said color. What a great metaphor. And a giggle too. So glad y’all agreed on it. Miracles do happen!

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  8. bitsfromheaven, it’s one of the nicest colors I’ve seen in a long time. Will go with everything. You raise a good question about how it came to be named. The name doesn’t really describe the color, except that it does! 😉

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  9. One of the houses I’ve been looking at has nice, warm neutrals throughout the house. But someone thought it was a great idea to paint the whole kitchen (including the door) neon lime green. Perhaps to bring light into the kitchen with black appliances, black counter tops, black cabinets and a black backsplash? At any rate, I’m pretty sure it would not be He Who Paints The Walls or She Who Makes Important Decorating Decisions approved.

    Useful gray sounds so very useful. And it’s not lime green.

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    1. Zazamataz, not a fan of lime green used in large amounts. Of course, why is the kitchen all black? That seems a bit uninspired– and no amount of lime green is going to change that. Fascinating how people put color together inside their homes. Lately I’ve been on a neutral kick, which is getting easier to do because there are so many of them now. Really liking our useful gray walls.

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  10. I love gray walls; they are very serene. My bedroom and master bath are now Barren Plain, which is another terrible paint name color, yet it is SO restful and serene.

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    1. Margaret, that’s exactly why we like this color on the walls. Serene. I agree that Barren Plain is a dreadful name for a color. At least Useful, which might not be the most inspired name, has a positive connotation.

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  11. Wow, you have to be a really confident paint manufacturer to name a shade “Useful Gray.” I looked up the other ones on the strip and love those names too: “Suitable Brown,” “Adaptive Shade,” and my favorite, “Gray Area.” Now if SW wrote novels…would they have titles like A Decent Story; Likeable Characters; or Staying Up Late to Finish…? lol

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    1. Nancy, you bring up a good question: how would SW title their books? Your suggested titles, which are delightfully obvious, seem likely to me. I think you have a future with SW, in some capacity. 😉

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      1. Chuckling. In the red-hot competitive world of color naming, I’d probably have to start out small, like describing sock colors for a mom & pop mail order catalog and work my way up to The Show that is SW!

        Btw, I have seen a lot of mango/poppy and yellows in spring clothes (and a surprising amount of turquoise too). Of course, I knew to expect that from one of your earlier posts. 🙂

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        1. Nancy, I’m sure that with your excellent verbal skills and winning personality you’ll go far in the color naming business. I’ve only seen the mango/poppy clothes and accessories out there so far, but no doubt the rest of the weird colors are headed this way once the weather gets warmer. *shakes head in dismay*

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  12. Useful Gray is a kickass name for a boring color! I wonder which color got saddled with the adjective “useless”…

    It also reminds me of how our paint supplies we sell at work are labeled as “Good,” “Better” and “Best.” They could relabel them as “Worst,” “Worse” and “Bad” respectively, but I guess they wouldn’t sell too well then…

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    1. evilsquirrel13, this boring color is perfect, so I don’t care what SW calls it! Reading “Worst,” “Worse,”or “Bad” was on the label probably wouldn’t influence me too much, because it’s all about the nuances of the color, not the product.

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      1. First, MJ you are the best for giving me a shout-out.

        Secondly, I’m very jealous you don’t have to do your own painting.

        Thirdly, you can actually agree on colour?!!! What are we doing wrong?!!!

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        1. joannesisco, this particular shade of gray appealed to both of us instantly. There were no lengthy negotiations with detailed remembrances of failed colors past. Nope, this time we both looked at the sample splotches on the wall and said: YES!

          As for He Who Paints The Walls painting the walls, it has been mentioned that I do not paint very well. So, you know, far be it from me to try to disabuse him of this idea… when it works in my favor! 😉

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        2. joannesisco, it is He Who Paints The Walls here. Being married for a long time helps. In time the husband breaks, at which point you start agreeing on all kinds of stuff. Just give him this theme statement: Do You Want to Be Right, or Do You Want to Be Happy? Then wait a few decades.

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          1. Zen-Den, I’d forgotten all about that mantra! You’re so right when you say that it helped clarify many issues along the way. Good of you to remember it– and incorporate it into your world view. 😉

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    1. Oh, I understand that color dispute. We’ve had a few of them here, which is why I’m in love with Useful Gray! I’m glad you asked what color they finally agreed upon, because I was dying to know. Just in case I need a back-up color, of course. 😉

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