Monday, May 21, 2007

People Who Live in Beige Houses Have No Dreams

by Brenda Roger

I feel like somebody beat me.

The house across the street is beige. Not a little beige. Totally beige. Beige siding, beige brick, beige railing and the garden consists of ……drum roll please……beige river rock. Wooohooooo!

The view from my dining room window is like a near death experience, except instead of going into the light, you are going into the beige. It makes me do crazy things. Last week, it caused me to have a total flame-out and decide that the front of my house was getting a makeover. The front door was going to go from poppy red to cobalt blue –“hyper” blue to be exact. No fear of color here! On the way to work, I took a detour to the Sherwin-Williams and bought the paint. Just like that. I’m going to FORCE color on my neighbors. It is just not fair that I have to look at their crappy beige and they get to look at my shiny front door and my garden.

Well, before the front door can be painted cobalt blue, the flower beds had to be mulched and the perennials divided. If you spread the mulch right after painting, the dust will stick in the paint. Is anything ever easy? We spent two days in the gardens mulching and dividing the perennials I have been cultivated for four years in the hopes that they would swallow my house, or at least block the view of the beige.

The garden project is the source of the physical pain, but it is nothing compared to having the sight of the beige house burned on the back of my retina. By Memorial Day, I should have a cobalt blue front door, and short of putting a sign in the front yard bearing the Diana Vreeland quote, “People who eat white bread have no dreams,” I don’t know what else I can do to announce to the world that I hate things that are boring. Which reminds me of something else Diana Vreeland said:

It is better to be vulgar than boring.


Nancy said...

I love Diana Vreeland! Her memoir is one of my favorite reads----because of her amazing writerly voice.

I love my red door, too. It has undertones of fuschia. Goes with the purple flowers and the naked lady statue that is carefully tucked into a bush so that only I can see it from my windows, not passersby on the street.

brenda said...

naked lady statue (sound of hand slapping forehead)! why didn't i think of that?!

Anonymous said...

I feel the same way about white walls inside a house. I like bold colors in rooms.

Unfortunately, the walls in our living room are so high that painting them requires bringing in professionals, something we haven't done so far, so I'm living with white walls--for now. (And they are driving me crazy.)

Joyce said...

Brenda, maybe we could all get together and do a flower-planting-raid on the neighbor's house. While they are sleeping, we plant the biggest, brightest, most colorful flowers we can find. Or a bunch of plastic pink flamingos would work too.

Kristine, nail up some chair rail and paint the bottom of the wall only. Instant color!

Is anyone else totally brain dead from the conference? I am in s-l-o-w-w-w motion today.

Annette said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Annette said...

I've made three efforts at writing a coherent comment without typos and I'm giving up. Yes, Joyce, I too am brain dead.

But count me in on the midnight flower planting raid.

And if there are still typos in this, deal with it. I'm off to find more caffeine.

Cathy said...

I guess I spend so much time in my inner world that I don't see the neighbors' places. Of course, we're all in townhouses, so that could be ultra boring, but the gardens are different and I know all the dogs from walking Gypsy, and they each have a different personality. Some day I will get to know the people, too.

Good luck with your project, Brends. I'd love to come help, too.

Tory said...

Ah, the conference! That's why I'm brain dead. I must have forgotten.

I thought it was because it was my first day on the new job.

Anna said...

We live accross from a posh new estate. The WHOLE new section of the suburb is done in a beige. (ie. are all independently built houses so we can only imagine that there are rules about what the colour scheme is allowed to be. My husband and I actually walked around playing, spot the non-beige house. I won, ONE house had a muted teal blue door - some personality! Give me older houses with personality any day.

Anonymous said...

I love this post. Some of our neighbors are a little concerned about our modern house and our use of citron.