Off Color

off-col·or (ôfklr, f-) adj. 1. Exhibiting bad taste: an off-color joke. 2. Varying from the usual, expected, or required color.3. Not in good health or spirits.

If you expected risque jokes here, I’m sorry to not deliver today! Instead I’m talking about colors being “off” from what was expected. Way off! It’s making me feel sick, or “not in good health or spirits.” Because I made a small investment in a dream, a gorgeous vision, that now would look like … yuck. Real yucky yuck.

Floor tile was laid in the India pied a terre this week! Yay! This is the photo my husband took of the tile for the bedroom floors when he visited last October:

I thought the lighter tile on the right would be installed in bedrooms, with marbled variation of blue-grays, reds, pinks. So I pictured some blues for the guest bedroom. I never buy blue, but I want to make the Chennai flat a real “getaway experience” with colors we don’t usually live with. So for the guest room, if I don’t find a big ol’ Indian armoire with some blue chippy paint, I would add blue chippy paint to an armoire. Like this one which someone placed in a now-expired classified ad (but the photo lives on):

Or this one at Rouget de Lisle, perfect because it has both blue and pink chippy paint and you’ll see why that’s perfect in a moment:

On the bed, I pictured a mix of Les Indiennes fabrics like these …

Elephants:

And blue block print bedding:

And small throw pillows that I would knit from silk sari fabric yarn like this from etsy seller Jazzturtle which mixes sari yarn with other fibers:

As backing for the knitted pillows, I would use this bicolor blue and pink silk duppoini from India that I got at Exquisite Fabrics in DC, in Georgetown, a must-stop shop whenever I’m in town:

And the pièce de résistance — the dream of a vision of India nights under sequiny stars — was to be made from these two obscenely sparkly sequiny textiles I found at A Fabric Place in Baltimore a few weeks ago:

I planned to turn these fabrics into drum/barrel lamps suspended from the ceiling in staggered fashion like this:

Can you imagine the light shining at night through the open patterns? The shadows it would make. Can you imagine during the day, the sequins launching sparkles and splattering them across the walls, whenever the sun shines through the windows? Very cool. Very different. Very somewhere-else-in-the-world for guests.

But noooooooooooooooo, it is not to be. None of it is to be. Because the color of the bedrooms’ floor tile is this:

Apparently, this is indeed the right side tile in the photo from the October shopping trip, not the left:

Really? Doesn’t look like it to me. Well, whatever happened … oh well. Doesn’t matter now. The tile is in. We can do the same decor ideas, but with different colors. Back to the drawing board!

My husband keeps asking whether we really do need to wait until we visit Chennai to pick the kitchen cabinets in person. Yes, we do, I insist. Why? He asks. This whole story is why! Colors are not always what they seem.

Anyway, I will still make the beautiful sequiny drum shades, and perhaps put them up for sale on etsy. I now have no need for pink and blue sequiny lampshades! The Baltimore fabric shop had so many sequined fabrics, there must be something else on their bolts in colors that would not clash horribly with the tile, so I’ll still make the drum shades happen for us. Hmmm … you know how I like paprika color … now that would go with this floor … at least I think so … maybe I better wait until I see the floor in person …

4 Replies to “Off Color”

  1. I enjoy reading your posts on nomadicdecorator.com while trying to design/decorate a flat far from your home. I know exactly what you are going through as I lived in Lagos, Nigeria during a long assignment for a UN organization…while the flat I was “given” was gorgeous, the tiles were brown and white ugly…I used many Indian fabrics for curtains, table covers and bedspreads, I also used Merrimekko for my daughters rooms and covered those ugly floors with white flokotti rugs from Greece. I still use them in my apartment in San Francisco and they hide a multitude of flaws in old, polished hard wood floors…good luck…I’ll keep following your progress…

  2. Hi Roberta, thank you for taking a moment to write! I’m so glad you’re enjoying reading along. I agree, once the place is filled with fabrics and patterns and painted walls, furniture and other things, it will all be very nice. We have to work with what we have. And, good reminder about rugs … does India ever have rugs galore!

  3. Thanks Divya! I think my brain got messed up — I now realize I was shown these bedroom tiles several times before, but I kept thinking that the lighter tile was going to be used. Too much going on! Although, apparently the tile is much lighter than it appears in the photo — the room was getting dark and the photo wasn’t taken with flash. That also supports my point that so much of this is not possible to decide just from photographs from afar!

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