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Renovating Can Be A White-Knuckle Ride

Finding a life partner is nothing compared to discovering the right white.

20/01/2017 10:00 AM AEDT | Updated 21/01/2017 6:37 PM AEDT
Nicolas H�fer / EyeEm via Getty Images
I'm thinking of calling the men in white coats.

White walls are driving me insane.

I'm renovating and, while I thought the decision to make our kitchen cabinets white was a no-nonsense choice, it turns out 'white' is the paint equivalent of 'infinity'.

There are millions of whites. So broad is the definition for 'white' that there are booklets of white. For real. It's not a blank pad of paper. Each white is imperceptibly different from the last one. Flicking through forces your brain to focus like it's never focused before on an endless Rorshach test of nothingness.

And everyone you speak to has a favourite white.

"Hogs Bristle is the only choice for trims," they say.

"Our whole family went with Antique White."

"Have you seen Tokyo Snow? It's delightful."

"Sea Spray, well isn't technically white, but it's the white we fell in love with."

What are these people talking about?

I seriously think I inhaled a dose of fumes in the paint shop because I'm fumbling through a white out over here. I'm completely snowed under with paint sample cards. I'm beginning to think I have a rare type of colour blindness that means all whites look the same to me.

I thought the search for Mr Right was what defined a modern gal, but I'm beginning to see a life partner is nothing compared to discovering The Right White. Because, I'm told, it's possible to get the wrong white. And once you have the wrong white on your walls, it will taunt you, at every opportunity. For the rest of your life.

Imagine, the very walls of your home coming to represent the poor life decisions you've made, and every waking second, they tell you 'I'm not off-white, I'm mushroom', or worse 'I'm too white'. Yes, 'too white' is a thing.

Seeking expert help -- the hardware store kind, not the psychological kind -- is even more boggling. Do you prefer a chalk or a biscuit? Warm or cool? And my personal favourite: What colour would you like in your white?

I don't want any bloody colour in my white! That's why I said I wanted 'white'.

Surely there is an empirical, nanoparticle definition of white that I can go with. Some sort of pure, unadulterated white that NASA and the Queen agree on.

Surely there is an empirical, nanoparticle definition of white that I can go with. Some sort of pure, unadulterated white that NASA and the Queen agree on. A pigment-free deep sea creature that lurks by the wreck of the Titanic perhaps. Or the belly hair of an albino rabbit that lives in the pristine snows of a secluded mountain.

Perhaps what I want is the clear light of Venus at dusk, shining a perfect white upon our planet. Oh my. Listen to me. It's happened. I've become a white wanker. It's time I raise my white flag and surrender to an interior designer -- somebody who's trained to grapple with these dangerous issues. Someone who can choose a 'white' without losing their mind.

Because we mere mortals can't possibly make it through the gauntlet without some sort of formal rehabilitation afterwards. I'm imagining grown men, splattered in paint, shuffling down padded, pastel corridors muttering 'shabby chic, shabby chic, SHABBY CHIC' until a nurse sedates them.

I'm about ready to check myself in when I see it. Love Note. There, in the paint chart, it's my white! I'm in love! Just when I thought all hope was lost, Love Note arrives to save me.

So. I hear you're renovating too. Let me tell you about my favourite white, I'll say to a friend some time down the line. Look into my eyes, though, and you'll see it. The pearlescent glean of madness in the whites of my eyes.

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