There was a time when a neighbor family gifted Terri and me (Tia was around, but barely) a pair of Frisbees. One was red, the other blue. The blue one was actually a much nicer disc, but since I was 6 and Terri 4, “quality” wasn’t nearly as important as “color.” In good oldest sibling fashion, I helped myself to the one I liked best — and I chose the red one.
This is probably the only time in my life I selected red, or any other color, over blue, and I did soon come to covet the blue one more. Only “covet” isn’t the right word: these discs were not often played with. They sat in a communal box of “things to throw” in the garage, along with softballs and baseballs of indeterminate ownership, and in those rare moments someone wanted to fling a Frisbee or, more likely, use a plate to hold the weird little beans and berries growing on nearby bushes, the Frisbee on top was the one that got grabbed.
The point being that other than one weird anomalous moment when I invoked birth-order privilege to select an inferior, wrong-colored object, I have, for as long as I can remember, favored blues in my color palette.
Lynn, who sometimes still operates in the realm where “color” supersedes “quality,” likes yellow best, but blue is fairly high on her list as well. And so we live in a blue house that might be the bane of the neighborhood, but which we still find resplendent in all its faded glory.
But soon we will be moving to a neighborhood where nothing about it seems to encourage whimsy — in fact, I give it about a year after we move in before the board moves to outlaw the rainbow spinney devices that always seem to proliferate around the perimeter of our house.
And we understand this. We did both lean immediately toward a blue roof, but for some reason — neither of us, nor Dusty, can remember why — it got taken off the table, so we went green instead.
We picked out a faux stone for the skirting, and, using a computer monitor like they say not to, chose a stucco color.
The first hiccup came when Dusty ordered windows edged in brown rather than green. And then the diaphragm again contracted involuntarily when we opted to go with the Lifetime treatment of the trim rather than paint. And then a third time when we got a real-life sample of the stucco color and it was much lighter than anticipated. And a fourth time when presented with garage door options.
So now, with only the stone set in stone, we are revising our color palette, sometimes by the minute. We are good with the stone; we are happy with the trim decision. We are probably still mostly fine with the green roof, but we want to make sure it goes with the stucco color — and we thought we could get garage doors to match.
Which we can, but for an extra $900. The doors Dusty is letting us look at — the Aspen AP138 series by Raynor — offer an extremely drab and limited color selection: white, three shades of tan, two shades of brown, and charcoal, which comes with some caveat. “Optional” finishes are black and “walnut,” which is another shade of brown, one that looks wood-ish. Or you can select any one of Sherwin-Williams’ 1,800 — 1,800! — paint colors, at something like an extra $6 per square foot. Or, the door purveyor offered to Dusty, we take a Brillo pad, scour the surface and paint the doors ourselves.
Yesterday Oz and I took a long way to Carol’s, going up a couple alleys in the new Van Tuyl Village subdivision to look at garage doors, all of which are brown, almond or white. (We also have to pick a pattern for the doors, but that should be easier than color.)
I just don’t love brown. Never have, never will. I know it’s the color of UPS, and even the color of the new press at work (which was almost a reason not to buy it: it is, hands-down, the ugliest machine out there), but it is not a color that speaks to me. Other than to say “bleah.”
Our stucco could still easily end up in a shade of brown, but not the drab darkness of garage-door brown. And I worry that if we pick a lighter brown, it will look too similar to the Lifetime stain of the trim.
My coworkers did the same thing I did: looked at the stone, and went straight toward the maroon rock, finding a stucco color to match it. I don’t know if maroon will meet with HOA approval, even if we could argue it as an earth tone (it’s right here in this rock), and I don’t know if it would look okay with a green roof.
The main problem with the stucco is that the color chart rectangles are very tiny, and the little rectangle for the stucco we originally picked out (French Toast — like living in a gingerbread house) is much darker than the 8 x 10 sample we were given. So how can we trust anything at all on the color chart?
Dusty recommended we pick out a handful of colors and get samples of all of them, and he will tell the stucco people that it’s because we don’t trust the color chart any more than the computer screen. This seems prudent, but here is the problem: it took easily two weeks to get the first sample after we requested it. And Dusty is telling us the roofer wants to start ordering materials, as does the garage door guy.
So we have to make this all come together before we finalize a stucco color.
Last night, waiting until what cloudy light we had all day was mostly gone, Lynn and I drove along many of the streets west of Main Street. It turns out, once you’re looking for it, that many more houses than you might expect are done in stucco.
It was an informative, if not definitive, tour. Out are oranges and reds, greens and “creams,” white with a hint of yellow. White, too, is out, even if the one house we saw looked nice. We did find a dark yellow (mustard-y) house (right on my routes to and from work, and I hadn’t noticed before last night), and while it looked nice (not with a green roof, though), I think it’s still getting scratched off our list.
We found a few browns and grays, and one maroon, to go back and look at in better light, perhaps Saturday afternoon.
The one color you haven’t heard in this discussion is blue. There are several blues on the stucco color card, but to get it to a shade bright enough to make me happy, it will likely be objectionable in a very brown-centric HOA. And that would never work with a green roof. I thought, well, we could go brown with the roof, and then at work I walked past a pile of shirts we were printing, brown ink on light blue shirts. Far be it for me to question my customers’ color sense, but bleah!
We still like blue better than green for a roof color, but will probably stick with green. Unless we decide to go with some drabber color to match the ugly garage doors. I don’t know. So far, it is not all coming together, and I would feel better about finalizing the stucco before making these other decisions, but that doesn’t appear to be an option on the table.
Fortune favors the bold, I guess, but sometimes not as bold as blue. In this neighborhood, fortune favors the bland.