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.

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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