My colourful world

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Lori Welbourne / Guest Columnist

On a gloomy summer day last week I painted the patio purple, the bathroom turquoise and my toenails fuchsia. My mood was sunny and cheerful after that.

“Why purple?” asked my husband, when he stepped out on our deck.

“I love purple,” I said.

“Don’t you?”

“Um, not really,” he shrugged. “But I’ll get used to it.”

Living with a woman who loves bright colours, he’s been “getting used to it” for almost two decades and has even grown to like it for the most part. But it’s not everyone’s cup of tea.

“You should paint your walls beige,” my husband’s friend suggested when he entered our blue living room for the first time. “You’ll have an easier time selling your house when it’s time.”

“That’s true,” I agreed.

“But until then I’d have to live with those walls and that wouldn’t feel comfortable to me.”

“I prefer beige,” he said scrunching up his nose while looking around. “My whole house is beige.”

I couldn’t wait until he ventured into some of our other rooms to witness his reaction to the rainbow of colours he’d see. As I anticipated, he found them equally distasteful.

I wondered if the majority of people would agree with him.

From what I’d seen for myself, I suspected they might. Most of the homes I’ve been in have had more subtle colour choices than ours, even if they weren’t as beige as his. It’s much like the bright orange Volkswagen Beetle I drive. Most of the cars on the road don’t tend to stand out like a turd in a punchbowl the way my car does.

But I like what I like and I can’t help that. And I’ve been this way for as long as I can remember.

From the moment I moved out on my own I’ve been living in colour.

In my late teens I rented my first apartment and its carpets were a vibrant orange shag. My parents were horrified and wondered why anyone, especially someone renting to others, would choose a shocking colour like that. I was pleased, yet wondered why the walls were so white.

Unfortunately, I wasn’t allowed to paint inside, but in every home I’ve had since then I have. On a tight budget, it was always an affordable way to transform my living space and make me feel at home. The fact that it didn’t make everyone else feel comfortable meant nothing to me unless they were living there too. And the possibility that I might grow tired of the colours didn’t matter either.

“We can always paint over it,” I explained to my husband when he was unsure of our selection one day at the paint store. “Only a fraction of square footage will be lost in the process.”

Luckily for me that made sense to him and we haven’t had a white wall since.

Ironically the exterior of our house is still beige – a blank canvas just waiting for some paint.

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