October 5, 2023

Only my Mum would describe the red of the walls in her new home as “porphyry”. It’s esoteric. Pretentious, even. But not coming from her. Earlier in the week, we spent half an hour discussing what white she’ll paint over the porphyry with. White is her default wall colour. A blank canvas for the colourful textiles, objects and paintings that she travels from home to home with. “The cabinets will be stone,” she says. “As in grey?” I ask. “No, stone.” She means a creamy white, the stones that wash up on a Greek island beach, maybe. I find people’s associations with colour fascinating, how memories and past experiences influence the images and ideas that come to mind when we think of a specific colour. Our perception of colour varies, too. My winter coat is chartreuse. “I love your yellow coat,” some people say. “I love your green coat,” say others. Neither one is wrong. Perception is everything. “I think the cashmere has too much yellow in it,” she says. “The walls will look like they were painted with vanilla ice cream.” How delicious. I suggest Benjamin Moore’s OC-122 –– my go-to for a crisp but warm white. “Anything’s better than porphyry.”


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