After years in a drab office painted the color of the dirty white stripe in the road, we’re getting new paint and excited to inject a little color into our days. We’re limited, however, by the palette selected for our building: a bevy of beiges, yellows, and grays. The only outside-the-box color that I liked, a teal blue, was nixed immediately because it might be too enclosing. We have traditionalists to please, modernists, and me who painted my walls at home turquoise and my floors purple-blue.
Some excerpts from the color debate:
“I really don’t like any of the yellows,” said one co-worker.
“What about the beiges?” I asked.
“They’re all yellows,” she said.
“How ’bout gray?” someone offered.
“Gray could look modern.”
“Gray could also look industrial.” We eyed the file cabinets.
We surveyed people with yellow offices—cheery, I thought.
“Don’t use yellow!” they warned. “It’ll make you crazy.”
We checked out a brighter yellow used in the stairwell:
“Offensive! Too flourescent!”
The most organized of us made a chart with each of our favorites. Someone else numbered the paint samples so instead of saying, “the yellow beige” or the “yellow gold,” we could refer to them properly. One person’s khaki was another person’s gray; I started thinking I must be colorblind.
“What about gray with a blue trim?”
“What about yellow with a gray trim?”
“What about green with—”
“Green? There’s no green on the sample.”
“That’s green, right there.”
HGTV, please call me.