So, several years ago, I spent too many hours picking the perfect white for the interior of a large two-story home. Not too bright, not too gray, not too beige. Just perfect. Himalayan Salt. It was fabulous. My wall color would be the envy of the neighborhood. Perhaps people would be lining up at the front door begging me for the name of this amazing hue. Can’t blame them. It’s hard to pick the perfect shade.
Around noon, after all of the prep work, the painters started painting. Lovely, just lovely! I couldn’t wait until the whole house was basking in the glow of Himalayan Salt White. I left feeling pretty satisfied, patting myself on the back. I’d be back to see the finished project that evening!
I walked inside and turned on the lights. Wait…..what?????? How could this be? The color was all wrong! It wasn’t subtle at all. Harsh was a better description. Was there even a hint of green in this paint? Did the painters pick up the wrong paint? I ran to the five-gallon buckets that were stored in the corner of the living room. Himalayan Salt. I quick grabbed my purse and pulled out the color swatch. Did the paint store mix the dyes wrong? I compared the swatch to the paint. Same color. Ugh. It was my fault. How did I get it so wrong? What was I going to do? I just ok’d an entire house to be painted what I could only describe as a flashback to the 70’s maybe, where yellowish green-hued everything was in style.
I lost sleep that night. I knew the next morning that I’d have to take responsibility and have the interior of the home repainted. So frustrating. When I went back to the home in the morning, dreading walking into the foyer with the wrong paint color slapping me in the face, I was shocked. What was I looking at? The paint color was now the perfect shade of “not really white”. Hold on a second. How can 12 hours change my perspective? I loved the paint color. But why? Was I just trying to convince myself that the color would work? That my eyes must’ve been tired and I was not seeing clearly. Either way, I was relieved. Crisis averted. Life would go on and I could start decorating. I left feeling like I could trust myself, again.
I came back later that evening. Walking into the house, all of my self-doubt bubbled up to the surface, once again. I turned on the lights. I, indeed, chose the wrong paint color. What I thought was a subtle, neutral shade of the perfect mixture of white, gray and beige, was just really an unflattering version of a harsh stark white with a splash of grapefruit yellow, or even the shade of an unripe pale yellow lime. Ugh, again.
I rolled my eyes, sighed and glanced, in disgust, to the ceiling. Wait. How could I have missed this??? HALOGEN lightbulbs were in all of the recessed lights and in all of the ceiling fixtures! The bane of my existence, halogen lightbulbs give off an extremely unfavorable cast of yellow light. Not like a warm yellow, but more of what my mother used to call a “fever light”, where everything has a cast of malaise. These lightbulbs, although not without benefits, had the ability of completely altering the hue of my white drastically. Taking it from a feel good mellow white to an awful drab yellow-green. I made a quick trip to the local hardware store and purchased copious amounts of “soft white” LED lightbulbs and replaced the halogen with the LED bulbs. I could exhale! My beautiful “Himalayan Salt” White (but not really white) was back in all its glory! I’ll never get those two days back, lamenting over shades of white, but maybe I can help someone else who thinks they got their paint color wrong. Maybe you didn’t after all! Look up to the ceiling, first!