We are re-finishing the basement. It had been finished and had some now-eradicated mold issues and needed to be sheet rocked again. Bother. As with basements everywhere, I am less interested (read: not interested at all) and Bill and the boys are very interested. Mr. B has asked me a million questions, to which my standard reply has been, "I don't care, do what you want, I'm never going down there." And I meant it. But now it's time to paint.
I was intrigued by the palettes which came with Phoebe Howard's book. I did want something neutral but not nothing. There is no way to tell this, but Cream Fleece and Winter Wheat are both very nice Ben Moore neutrals that look like nothing here, but they are not. Once the swatches were up I asked the middle, "Which one do you like best?"
"What's going in here?"
"What do you mean?"
"What other furniture? What colors? What's going in here?"
"I don't know."
"How can I tell you what I like better when I don't know what's going to be in the rest of the room?"
"That's a good question." The right question. The only question. To which I have no answer. "Now, go do your homework."
My only real input to date is on keeping the window. The other opinions ranged from indifferent to "definitely not," and these included my four men and a variety of mold-removal and drywall guys.
There remains a hand-painted mural from the original "bar" that was in the basement. I think basements have mostly been ruled by men and I feel some kindred spirit to the woman who commissioned this.
Did she yearn to live on an urban, cobblestone street?
To buy flowers from a street vendor and walk her dog on a cool, crisp morning?
Did she say, "What are you looking at?" to her husband as he peered over his shoulder at the hottie in the black hat? We won't know. But it does seem that she was trying to instill a bit of something in her bottom dwellers and I refuse to give it up without a fight. I mean, they made me go to Nebraska Furniture Mart. I think I deserve this.
Paint color card available with The Joy of Decorating when you order from her site here and enter code MBJOD.