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Do I have a sample pot problem?

April 28th, 2017 / by / in: Interiors and Design / No responses

Do I? I do. One of the tricks of engaging ones reader, is to leave them hanging, but this time, this time I think it’s best just to get it out there straight out. My name is Harriet and I have a serious paint sample pot habit. Enough about me though – perhaps you have one too?

I was reminiscing about all things ’90s just recently (if any of you have seen that Facebook post about ‘guess which band I HAVEN’T SEEN from this list of ten, that is how it began), and put on some of my 7inch singles (we’ve been unpacking the garage. Work in progress… work in progress. There are just TOO. MANY. DISTRACTIONS), and it got me thinking. Mostly about the music press and wasted Maths lessons swinging on my chair reading Melody Maker. Those were good days.

{As an aside to my reminiscing of gigs-from-my-youth (but since you mention it, guess which of these I haven’t seen!)

1) Blur
2) One Direction
3) Sleeper
4) Elastica
5) Suede
6) Chemical Brothers
7) Oasis
8) The Divine Comedy
9) Pulp
10) Radiohead }

… I did think back to all those quizzes that I used to do in magazines. The utterly mindless ones that would tell me whether I was a typical Cancerian, whether he really fancied me, and, of course, most importantly of all WHY DID I WEAR A CROCHETED CARDIGAN AND CLOGS*

*there wasn’t a quiz for that, it’s just me pondering some of my more suspect sartorial choices. There were a few.

These quizzes were, by and large, just a bit of fun. Like all sorts of things from my early teenage years, like trying to smoke tea in Kelsey Park . Wearing the aforementioned clogs. Trying to be cool by wearing my Mum’s ’70s sheepskin coat. But now, at the ripe of old age of 36,  I found myself recently doing a quiz again. To decide who to vote for.

This quiz was somewhat more complex than the old ‘score 1 point for all a’s you replied, 2 for b’s etc… etc… ‘ and I suspect fed into algorithms that will (in turn) be responsible for The Facebook popping up news stories that reinforce my politics. Anyway, I should vote for the SNP. Well, not necessarily vote for them, but that’s with whom my personal views on life etc…are most closely aligned politically. I think that might be useful were I not living significantly too far south for this to be an issue. I will always vote, proudly, but this time round, it’s a funny one. Not funny ha ha, just funny despairing really.

I’ve digressed. This post is actually not about politics, nor my bad fashion choices from years gone by. Whilst clearing the house and garage out today, I started to pile up my paint sample pots in one area. And it appears I have a problem. A very large, sample pot problem.

Paint is difficult isn’t it? There isn’t just a plain and simple white (really, I had to go to a trade centre to get the specific shade of white right when we left our rental flat… the white I had bought off the shelf was too yellow, but the white they had used only came in 2.5litre tins… logically you might think that white I have 2.459ml left of would have to be perfect for my house… but let me tell you it’s not all right at all).

I first discovered I had a problem in 1999 when I lived in my first non-Halls home at University. A put up a lot of samples on that wall, settling on a terracotta. Over the years, my habit has become more problematic. I spent £42 on samples for one red (not a horrible red, a pinky red, Old Wine it was called in the end) feature wall in my old house. It was the perfect colour, which I then painted over in Elephant’s Breath on a whim. I hadn’t spent £42 on tester pots that time (just the paint) and it was a mistake. Huge. It was never the right grey for that room. I tried to cut corners. It was the wrong thing to do.

As we approach sorting out colour schemes for our home, which I think will mostly be along the achromatic theme (that is absence of colour, so greys, whites, blacks etc… look at me getting with the designery lingo) I still manage to have accumulated a not insignificant samples of, well white paint. And grey paint. I’ve put them up around the house, but still can’t make my mind up. See the textured wallpapers that we are yet to strip, do not make the colour look the same as the colour on a flat newly plastered wall. So I cannot choose. Or perhaps… perhaps I just haven’t found the right one yet….

But is it just me that has a problem? Or is the sample pot issue bigger than I realise? And, genuinely, CAN you ever have too many sample pots and swatches on the wall? Really? Isn’t it best to make the right decision rather than trust that ‘it’s Farrow and Ball so will automatically look gorgeous’ Elephant Breath clanger that I did?

But in any case, I have devised a quiz to determine whether you too have a sample pot problem. I was going to put this onto a brilliantly designed designery thing, but I’ve managed to keep it briefer than even I thought possible.

In short: Do you buy more than three sample pots when decorating a room?

NO? Repent at leisure. Repent at leisure.

YES? You have a problem. Join. The. Club.


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