Interior Design: Alice’s Earliest Experiences With Color

What joy!  What excitement!  What possibilities!  At the age of 10 I finally got my very own room.  It measured 9′ x 12′ and to me it was enormous.  My mom knew what it meant to me to select what color I wanted for the walls……by myself.  My choice was pink, of course.  But not just ANY pink.  I had a very specific shade in mind.  It should be soft and pale but not too pale, and certainly not bubblegum color.

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Finally the long awaited day arrived when the painter was due.  Before I left for school that morning I had been allowed or encouraged (I’m not sure which) to give him explicit instructions.  This was in 1956, well before there were paint charts in the world.  I came home for lunch and bounded thru the door, horrified at what I saw.  The pink was all wrong!  It was exactly what I didn’t want.  What he had done wasn’t even close.  My Mother who was just about the kindest, sweetest lady suggested a solution to mollify me.  Mr. Ralph took his large bucket of red and his even larger bucket of white back out from his truck.  And in a new small pail I personally poured the right amount of both colors together until I achieved the pink I was seeking.  A little more this and a little more that.  Success at last.  Somehow I knew, although I have no idea HOW I knew this, to experiment with a small amount on the wall and let it dry to make sure it was what I wanted.

Back to 5th grade I went, ecstatic.

Selecting paint colors for rooms I decorate has always been a very exacting process for me.  It’s quite a process. After I tentatively have chosen several possible colors I take them outside to natural light, take them inside under artificial light, and lastly see them at night as well as during the day.  Finally my colors are chosen.  When I submit a Paint Chart to my clients it’s the result of hours worth of painstaking consideration.  Who knew that after all the years of being a professional designer my path would have been so influenced by selecting the all important color for my own room?

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