Tuesday, January 02, 2007


For some reason whenever I have time off work I get the urge to paint the rooms of my house. These holidays have been no exception, and the only room left that needed painting was my study.

study wall original

Well, I call it a ‘study’, but it’s a bit of a misnomer. Unfortunately ‘room in which I play Command & Conquer, design covers for my MST3K DVDs and obsessively reorganise my iTunes playlists’ is a bit of a mouthful, so I tend to stick with ‘study’.

Like all the bedrooms in this house, it was painted a shade of pale apricot that screamed 1980s louder than a Flock of Seagulls singing a song about Ronald Reagan, nuclear war and shoulder pads. It was also a repository for junk – old postcards, unloved artworks, unwanted gifts, and many other odds and scraps accumulated over the last twenty years.

study bookshelves original

In addition, I was in the mood for a change. So far I’ve gone with neutral colours on the walls in this house – it’s a monument to soft browns and greys that don’t overpower the furniture or the paintings. This was my last chance to make a statement, even if that statement was “GAAAAAAHHHH!”

Hence my somewhat unsubtle choice of ‘Fire Engine Red’.

Reds tend to be translucent colours, meaning that I needed a blue-grey base coat to give the red its solidity. As it turns out, the recommended blue-grey is a very handsome colour in its own right, and once I’d got it on the walls I paused to consider it as a final product rather than a preparation. It was very cool, elegant and mature.

On the other hand, I’d paid $56 for a tin of red paint. My miserliness can always be relied upon to see me through.

Fortunately, once the red was up I loved it. It’s warm and rich; the perfect backdrop for my books…

study bookshelves

…and my recently acquired New Guinea artefacts (more about them later).

study wall 1

Now it looks like a haven of thoughtfulness and refinement , not the lair of a disorganised idiot with questionable taste. The truth needs to be kept in its place.

The only problem is that the unloved artworks and unwanted gifts are now on the floor in my bedroom, along with the results of a purge of dull or duplicated books. Does anyone want a nicely framed Seurat print, a copy of George Bernard Shaw’s ‘Major Barbara’ and a small globe with all the countries picked out in semi-precious stones?


Blogger Joshua Farrier said...

I'll take the Seurat.

The red looks fabulous!!!! We recently painted just one wall of the living room that sort of color, but glossy. It evens out the exttremely large space and goes well with out blacks, reds and grays of the rooms. But, I am afraid that these colors will be out soon, except that they do tend to be traditional Bauhaus colors...it's only that maybe Bauhaus will be out soon. :(

At any rate, I just wanted to urge people to use lots of red this year and to think about only painting one wall of a room. It sounds insane, but really works somehow.

6:46 PM  
Blogger phaedrus said...

This post makes me wish I had a study. But first I need a house.

BTW, the letters CAPCHA is retarded. I've typed the letters in 3 times now.

1:35 PM  

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