Milady.

I asked; you answered.

By an overwhelming majority, I will be posting Painted Lady posts on the Heedley’s Hens blog. For those who want to give it a pass, all Painted Lady post headings will begin with “Milady”, so you’ll know which ones to skip.

Why “Milady”? Ah…read on, MacDuff.

You have to really love colour, vibrant colour, to embrace The Painted Lady. It was an inspiration of the 70s, and it shows. It’s a look that says: “don’t hide your light under a bushel”; “if you got it, flaunt it”; and “life is like a dogsled team; unless you’re the lead dog, the scenery never changes.”

Standard wisdom (here’s that “they” again) dictates that the number of colours used for a Painted Lady should be an odd number: three for the cautious; five for the adventurous; seven for the certifiably insane. I don’t know why this is, but I, a rank amateur, have no reason to fly in the face of this particular guideline.

Three? No way. Three’s for pansies. FIVE.

Painted Ladies are truly a reflection of their owners’ spirits. They can range from classy:

…to sassy:

…to brassy:

…to zzzzzzzz:

The Man and I are aiming from somewhere between classy and sassy.

We’ve been tossing this idea around for a few years now, and have even been living with four of our five colours. We’re painting the interior of our house as well as the exterior, room by room; there’s nothing quite like a 150-year-old farm house to keep you in renovation projects.

The first colour we needed to pick was the base colour, the one covering the greatest area, and providing the over-riding impression. The house is currently painted two colours: dark green and darker green. It is not a cheerful sight. In fact, the neighbourhood kids are afraid of it.

Pre-me, The Man had intended to paint the house yellow. Yellow is warm and cheerful and inviting. Who doesn’t like yellow?

Great merciful gods, but I hate yellow. I really hate yellow. Not yellow, I’m begging you, baby. If not yellow, then…what? The Man was determined the house should be a warm colour, neither blue nor, god forfend, green. Enough with the green, already.

The answer was obvious, to me, but I was sure The Man, being a man, would balk. So, I planned an elaborate, subliminal, run-aroundy, lead-uppy thingy to bring him to my point of view. I needn’t have bothered; he was on board with the idea right away. Pink. The house would be gloriously pink.

Real men, it would seem, are not afraid of pink. I love it when The Man surprises me like this.

I suggested we paint the foyer, stairway, and upper hallways the same colour as the colour we intended to paint the exterior to bring a “flow in and through” feeling to the house. This meant that, when we were choosing the colour for the inside, we’d be choosing the colour for the outside at the same time. We all agreed on a particular light, airy, icy pink, and I went to work. We’ve been living with that colour for almost a year now, and I love it. I actually love it. It makes me happy.

That pink is Behr’s 160E-1, known to her friends as “Milady”. I went into Home Depot for gallon after gallon of it last spring, and always from the same sales associate. After the first two times, he would present me with the gallon, bow deeply, and say “Milady…”

Bearing in mind that screen-lit colour can be very different from physical wall colour, I give you…Milady:

As my mother-in-law gushed with typical enthusiasm, “Yup. That’s pink.”

I’ll get into the other colours in the next post, as this one is already over-long. Let me wrap up by saying that The Man and I have been searching for a name for the property, and for the house, once it’s painted and and the yard is fenced. We’re considering Scottish names as we’re both Scotophiles, and have thought about mentioning the barn, the chickens, the pond-to-be.

I suggested to him that we call the property by the name of the house, and that we call her “Milady”. We both love historical entertainment, particularly of the BBC / Merchant Ivory / Downton Abbey sort, and she will be a lady, a proper lady, when we’re done.

And it seems to me that the name was just…handed to us. Right?

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One thought on “Milady.

  1. Your house has so much character!! Can’t wait to see pictures of it painted pink :) Never would chose pink for myself, but why not? I like funk. The inside of the house I am trying to sell is all shades of the rainbow, from orange in the kitchen – to turquoise in the sunroom. I have sky blueish colour in the living room, with a beautiful hand painted mural. I like bright colours indoors.

    I haven’t heard a whole lot of people who hate yellow ;)

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