Saturday, February 23, 2008

Painting by Pottery Barn

Continuing my decoration mission I've decided my next task is painting. My wall color is an ivory or antique white and it's pretty nice but pretty bland. It succeeds in making my tiny apartment look larger than it is but fails in inspiring me to do anything but sit on my lazy ass. It's time to make an accent wall.

It was easy to decide which wall to paint but it's a tall order picking a paint color. I need a color that will coordinate with everything but I'm sooooo sick of taupe, coffee, espresso, beige...brown. I'm over it. Fine for furniture, bland on walls. I want a color that will really pop. I had my heart set on red. I thought it would be great! Red really pops. It would wake me up and the morning (and potentially keep me up at night) and it would give me energy. But then I found out how hard it is to paint red. I read horror stories about people being told to use pink primer and ending up with pink-tinted walls instead of red; or people who needed to use 4-5 coats; or people who had to paint over the red and needed 2-3 cans of primer. Yikes. And my landlord wasn't too keen on the idea of red.

Back to square one, my mail yielded a nice surprise -- the Pottery Barn catalog. Am I turning into a 20-yuppie or what? I flipped through, ignoring all the ridiculously expensive furniture and concentrating instead on the wall colors in the catalog. I noticed that some pages had the paint color named below the products. What a brilliant marketing idea -- most furniture catalogs show fully decorated rooms anyway, so why not team up with a paint manufacturer? All the paints were by Benjamin Moore. A note in the catalog pointed me to the Style House page on the Pottery Barn website. There they had a page-by-page breakdown of which paint color was used on each page of the catalog. Very cool idea.

After thinking about what would pop against my dark furniture but still go with it and still be a light enough color so as not to make my apartment feel smaller I settled on Stem Green. It has tones of lime without being quite as electric. The site also mentioned a free color chip deck at PB stores so I wanted to pick one up.

Stem Green, as shown on the
Pottery Barn website.

As luck would have it my friend J also wanted to hit PB for a pillow. I really had no idea if there was one in the city. With my recent luck, probably not.
- Is there a PB in the city? I asked her.
- Of course, she said, there's one at 59th & Lex.
- Noooo, you're thinking of Container Store.
- No, that's at 58th & Lex.
- Ok, but where around 59th & Lex is the Pottery Barn? There's the Zara, the Nanaban (Banana Republic), the H&M, and Bloomingdales.
- It's actually a little bit off the corner. Towards Park. We walk by it all the time when we shop. You've never noticed it??!?
- I have never noticed it.
- You really do have City Tunnel Vision.

I was dubious. How could I have missed a Pottery Barn by the corner I practically live at? A little while later, I sheepishly met her outside the PB, which was in fact real and was in fact just off the corner of 59th & Lex. J forgave me for doubting her and we walked in.

And then it happened. Once inside, straight ahead of us, was a bedding set like what I've been looking for. I gasped and J asked if I was alright. Worse, I said, I just fell in love with a bedding set. A salesperson told me it was the Songbird bedding. I've wanted a quilt for awhile and this more than fit the bill. It so soft to the touch, it was so exquisitely detailed, and it was so not cheap. And it was a golden yellow, which could potentially be too much with a light green wall right behind it.

I tore myself away so J could get her pillow. Up at the cash register I grabbed one of the free paint fan decks. But while J was paying I kept turning back to stare at the bedding. Curious for more info, I checked out the bedding online once I got back home. Turns out it comes in green too. Ah, green. The future color of my wall, the future color of my bedding, and the color of the money I'm trying not to spend.

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