Monday, January 4, 2010

Best fake color names we wish were real.



This comment came in response to a thread asking people to confess costly decorating mistakes. I am not sure anyone can beat John's color name, but let's try.

Winner gets a free pony. (Must pick up in Seattle.)

91 comments:

John Strauss said...

That's funny because in my very first apartment in NYC in 1982, I ripped the blue shag carpet off of the walls and the landlord who had to walk everyday by my bedroom to go to his office was aghast that I was taken down the "you're sure to get laid in there blue" carpet.

gayhooker said...

Pearl Necklace by Dunn-Edwards; painted all over my body and bedroom by some yummy chocolate stud muffin who was convinced I was really a virgin. FYI: it's all in the muscle control...

Stock the fridge with Goose and Queen olives because I'm on my way to claim my prize bitch.

xoxo

Anonymous said...

"I'm too depressed to shower before going to work" Gray.

Anonymous said...

(Nice picture choice! That room always radiated Pure Sexlessness to me.)

the t and j show said...

we own a home that was subject to a half-assed flip before our purchase. the flippers attempted to paint the walls a very neutral and safe beige. the pre-flip owner was a chain-smoking drunk and all of the original light fixtures are stained yellow. the beige mixed with the lights makes a wall colour we refer to as 'jaundice'*

* we found extra paint in the basement and the actual colour is 'palm springs tan'

Tara.Fields said...

Fifteen or so years ago I couldn't remember my friend's new cabinet color, "bleached bone," as anything other than "bloated carcass" and in the time since I've advocated for "bloated carcass" whenever I can.

AppleTree said...

I can see your nipple, pink.

goddessofpurple said...

"My husband was wearing his vagina when he picked out this shade of lavender"

Anonymous said...

"Oh great, I've got crabs" dull black.

Anonymous said...

"kill yourself with a coaster" beige. The most boring color ever for a living room.

us said...

"looks like your band is never gonna make it" brown.

mary said...

I really freeze in my tracts when I look at that turquoise room--maybe "sterile blue" would be a good descriptive.

Debra said...

yea! my period's finally ending salmon.

Anonymous said...

"Oh god, there's my old boyfriend and I look like shit" yellow.

Arched Brows said...

I have nothing to add except that goddessofpurple's color made me laugh so hard I wet myself and woke my sleeping daughter in the next room.

Anonymous said...

I literally JUST painted my apartment over the holidays and I did all that you've suggested by living in the space for nearly 2 years and saving up for the materials to do it right. I finally got rid of the "Kill Myself Grey" in the living room - which was far more cost effective than the therapy I was on the brink of needing from living in it. The kitchen has a half wall thing going on with wainscoting. The top half was "Dirty Diaper Brown" and the bottom half was "Milk in the Sun White." It looked uneven and filthy all the time, regardless of any amount of cleaning. When I asked the landlord where he got these colors, he proudly told me that he mixed them himself with old paint leftover from other projects. No kidding, ass hole.
My only hang up is playing it way too safe in the living room having painted it Vanilla white (yawn) and playing it way too fun in the kitchen with a "We'd Like To Keep The Gender Of Our Baby A Secret Green." I didn't know it would look so juvenile under lightbulbs at night, etc., so I am in the process of changing it yet again.

If I had to give any advice after doing this entire thing myself - and being a little annoyed to have spent so much of my personal time and money to upgrade an otherwise crap apartment - is to paint the trim bright white first before doing or buying anything else. From there, colors practically pick themselves. I got too excited about the wall colors and made purchases and decisions based on "good ideas" and not what was actually happening once the paint in front of me dried. In hindsight, the grey may have been okay with bright white trim after all...and not the "Smoker's Fingernail Yellow" it was when I started.

Decorno said...

OH god... I am DYING. Goddess, you are killing me.

style-for-style said...

lasagna whiskey vom (orangish beige brown)

Madame Sunday said...

my living room started out "sassy but sophisticated pear" (i should have known right there huh?) but now it has turned into "zombie pit stain" green. Damn you to hell winter light.

Decorno said...

Anon 6:55: I picked it just for you. :)

Paul Anater said...

When I was a starving design student I took a job cleaning up vacated apartments for a slumlord. One of the apartments was the scene of a murder and a guy had been shot in the head at close range in the bedroom. The crime scene had been more or less cleaned up by the time I got there though there was no doubt what had gone on in that room. It was my job to paint the bedroom but what color to paint a room with a history like that?

Well the slumlord let me pick pretty much what ever colors I wanted and for that bedroom I chose Sherwin Williams' Grey Matter. It's a real color that's still in their palette. I thought it was a fitting homage.

Not quite "You'll Never Get Laid Blue" but still a charming story. Yes?

Elizabeth said...

An old landlord of mine had a particular knack for picking out unflattering colors.

In the kitchen: "All of your food looks three days old" green, a sort of pale moldy color.

In the bathroom: "Cloying yellow that will trick you into believing that you don't need concealer- but you really do"

In the bedroom: "Innocent golden buttercup yellow that is sure to give you Catholic guilt about any goings on... even if you aren't Catholic"

Decorno said...

Paul:

Charming? Not really. Funny? YES. :)

Elisa @ whatthevita said...

Ew. Remind me to never buy Grey Matter from Sherwin Williams... I am scarred after reading Paul's story. And we use a lot of gray in our house.

Anonymous said...

What I thought was a beautiful "goldenrod" was really "phlegm bubble". I want to cough just looking at it.

Anonymous said...

meemaw's dirty slips greige

Penelope Bianchi said...

HILARIOUS! IS THE BLOG WHERE PEOPLE GOT MAD WHEN I USED ALL CAPS?

I have advice. After 40 years...as a real decorator.

In a rental. Swiss Coffee trim. (a neutral off white) cheap paint a landlord will pay for.....and the color of french vanilla ice cream (I'll think of the name) on the walls. Don't go for color in the rented pad.

just look at lots of pictures of great colors......save them.....and when you can buy something......go for it!
Color on the walls.......if you own it......will make your heart sing!!
Penelope

ps you are now drifting toward porno again........?
do you mean to? ok by me.....I'll just toodle along out.......

DesignAddict said...

"thinking naughty thoughts about the parish priest red." umm, not that I've ever...just sayin' it would be an interesting color name.

lizzie said...

navaho white. anyone that has ever rented knows it by heart.

Anonymous said...

"Psoriases" Terra cotta semi-gloss painted over water marks

"Ew" Ceiling White flat over textured ceiling - with five years accumulation of dust balls included. You were too fucking lazy to brush down the ceiling before you painted.

Decorina said...

One time when I was trying to find a doctor's office in Scottsdale with very bad directions the office woman finally said: Just look for the "Baby Shit Brown Building" on the corner. I found it no problem.

slag said...

"Your favorite color sucks" mauve. Or "Clearly a Compromise" buff.

lucitebox said...

Awesome post! When I read John's description of his blue bedroom, I had a brief moment of feeling like "what if that's the blue I have in my bedroom?"

I just repainted my hallway. I used to describe the former color as dusty stick of unsalted butter. I'm not sure I've improved it with my new color choice.

Jules said...

I call my living/dining room paint color Knit-Knot Beige, but only someone with kids and an expanded cable package will know the reference.

I really posted to say John wins not just because he has the funniest name, but because he knows the period goes inside the parenthesis. Grey Matter is disgusting on a wall, attractive on a fellow.

Lolo said...

Never Mind Beige.

modfrugal said...

Now that's a comment thread dreams are made of....Awesome.

Diann said...

We just painted our living room in what I thought was "I'm So Sophisticated Gray" but it turned out to be "It's a Boy! Blue".

Tina said...

"Put up some curtains or people will think it's a whore house" red. This was my moms advice after painting my dining room (which has a large window facing the street) red when we moved into our house 10 years ago.

Ivy Lane said...

"Goddess" get's my vote..thanks for a good laugh this morning!

Anonymous said...

"Necrotic Umber."

amy said...

Not as hilarious as some of the other comments, but we just painted over our "Kraft Macaroni and Cheese" office (previous owner's choice!) with an awesome cool gray. Paint really does wonders for a space!

Anonymous said...

Skin peach. Actually, all peach looks like skin to me. Ick.

Copy Nerd said...

"John wins not just because he has the funniest name, but because he knows the period goes inside the parenthesis."

Jules, I love you, but this is wrong.

The period goes inside the parenthesis only if the parentheses are enclosing an independent sentence. In John's original, "I don't know what I was thinking" is not an independent sentence. It's an independent clause that is part of the sentence beginning "Thankfully." Here, the period belongs outside the parenthesis.

Anonymous said...

Oh my, seems as if Penelope is off her meds again....

rachel @ perfectly imperfect said...

thanks for clearing that up, copy nerd! i was beginning to doubt my punctuation training from college prep school... phew! ha!

this is my first visit to your blog and i am DYING!! what a very creative bunch of readers- and obviously an inspired writer. : )

my first thought on paint names was "you're going to be stuck inside this house all winter long with your screaming kids" tan. that's how mine looks on gray days when we can't get out... other times it's a perfectly lovely sand color.

and i got the Imagination Movers reference to Knit Knots... do i get a pony, too?
thanks for the laughs!
rachel

R said...

Urine sample yellow.

Arched Brows said...

Penelope dear, please do not toodle along now! NEVER!! Love you and your 40 years of experience!!!!
THE CAPS....the ellipses....the multiple exclamation points!!!! YOU ARE DIVINE!!!!!

Anonymous said...

We are renting a house with beige carpeting and the ugliest shade of beige paint EVER.

When I heard my husband describe it to someone over the phone, he said even though the paint is new, the color makes it seem like it's been in a house with a smoker for 50 years... so we dubbed it Benjamin Moore, Nicotine Stain.

Anonymous said...

Kind of an innocent one compared to some of the others, but...

My father once repainted some walls in my grandmother's house where the color was W00, as in white zero (so fucking bright I can't think straight) zero, which forever in our family became 'woo white'. So now when I chose a white, if it's too bright white it's always 'too woo'.

Sara Baldwin said...

Coupla things (okay, three):
1. I have another free pony to donate if you'd like to award second place.
2. Pittsburgh Paints real name "Lettuce Alone"--color I painted my new bedroom when separating from my husband.
3. Paul, Goddess, you guys rock.

MoreSkinnyDays said...

How about when people try to combine faux finishes and earth tones but go a little too olive not enough orange brown and wind up with that "Fecal Freak in the Afternoon" look to the walls?

priscilla said...

"bloated carcass" !!!

doug said...

I had an apartment once that I referred to as being painted in 'Mental Institution Beige'

Anonymous said...

"Hell no I am not a waitress"
A great OPI color of red that I am in love with...so I had it duplicated for trim....it is one of a kind. The name just made me laugh, having been a waitress to help put myself through college.
Analisa in Texas

Anonymous said...

ugh - the color was 'snickerdoodle' and it was a sickening shade of tan/cream with too much peach in it. gag.

EAC said...

When we moved to a split ranch in the 80's the paint in the bomb shelter was the original 60's "pond scum green". If the radiation didn't kill you, that color sure would.

Anonymous said...

"Penelope dear, please do not toodle along now! NEVER!!"

Arched Brows, you have nothing to worry about.

Byron B. said...

I once did a bathroom in a color we referred to as "Vaginal Blood Fart." Sadly, I still have clients that ask for VBF and I now tell them that it's a custom color.

Anonymous said...

The funny thing is, I know just what color VBF is.

Man, I can't stop laughing.

Anonymous said...

I love my flannels flamingo pink by third tier design.

Libby at Aurora Primavera said...

Thanks Decorno, great post + comments. For you, enjoy!
http://listen.grooveshark.com/#/song/As+If+By+Magic/23050975

Anonymous said...

Not a paint color per se but when I asked a friend if she was excited about her son's wedding and getting involved with the planning, she said, "I'm the mother of the GROOM. I'm just supposed to show up, smiling and wearing Shut Up Beige."

Jules said...

Uh-oh. Nerd fight. ;)

Copy-nerd, my style manuals (admittedly old and from my technical editing days) say the punctuation goes on the inside of the parentheses when the words form a complete sentence. An independent clause is also a simple sentence, which is considered a complete sentence. Am I mistaken on this point?

Nevertheless, if we agree "I don't know what I was thinking" is a complete sentence, there should also be a period after "blue". Since there isn't one, I admit this round goes to you.

p.s. Neither one of us can spell. Parentheses has an "e" before the final "s".

Jill J said...

My try at red in our tiny bathroom soon became "bloody coffin" red. Yugth.

Decorina said...

I would love to recommend "Shut Up Beige" to the idiot woman across the street whose son is getting married. The wedding is all she ever talks about - I pity her soon to be DIL.

Sharon said...

My husband likes to refer to a yellow gone wrong as "calf scour". Do a Google image search and you'll see what I mean. As a couple with me having a design background and him having an agricultural background we come up with some out there shit (literally in the calf scour instance).

Copy Nerd said...

Jules, I love you even more now.

But in the phrase "the period belongs outside the parenthesis," I used "parenthesis" with an "i" because I was talking about just the second parenthesis, not the pair.

"Parenthesis" = singular

"Parentheses" = plural

Anonymous said...

Alas, though I could not be a bigger fan of Decorno, Copy Nerd is right about the period needing to be outside the parens in John's sentence--it's wrong as is. Dependent or independent clause, if it's attached as part of a larger sentence the comma goes outside. Only way it would be correct in the post inside the parens is if John had written: ... "you'll never get laid in here" blue. (I don't know what I was thinking.)

I don't know a lot about a lot of things, but as the copy chief of a national magazine, I know this rule by heart.

David Nolan said...

I have to submit the name of the faux finish in my bedroom right now. It's a layered sponged-on mess of several paint colors across a deeply textured stucco, yielding a blotchy brassy metallic highly reflective (some would say blinding) milky sheen that my oh-so-eloquent friend claims is:

"shiny like cum across my bitches' gold tooth" pearl.

eyes glazed over said...

how about "mind numbingly dull punctuation fight parchment"

no. one. cares.

nolabloggercolormatch said...

Bozo lady wig red.

AppleTree said...

I vote for Debra.

Anonymous said...

" Smoker's White" for Sherwin Williams "Shoji White"

Parentheses said...

Re: punctuation fight

I care. I really do. (I'm serious.)

Anonymous said...

Ironic. That hideous blue room in the photo belongs to Steve Gambrel who just recently split with his long-term partner Chris Connor. Perhaps Sexless Blue reflected the state of their union at the time of decorating.

JoAnn said...

After lovingly painting my front room a deep persimmon , a friend walked in and exclaimed, "oh I see you've painted the room Mexican whorehouse orange".
Loved the color even more after that....

DesignAddict said...

This just in from my morning: "skinny bitches can't be trusted" pink...kind of sickly rose color that is neither baby pink nor salmon. Yeah, I hate her. What of it?!

Anonymous said...

"Oh god what is this on my T-shirt?" ivory.

Kristin said...

I'm for Debra, too.

CassiMO said...

Funny, funny post, Decorno. When we bought our home in Feb of last year, I labeled the existing living room and guest bedroom walls "dried period blood." Gives you a nice visual, no? Thankfully, they are now "solemn stone"-the actual name- and a nice blue-gray. When my step-mother-in-law saw the original color and asked if I was going to keep it, I assured her the dried period blood had to go asap. She responded, "it's the exact color I painted my bedroom." :::insert foot into mouth:::

Anonymous said...

Saturday-Night-Trick Silver. Aren't they always attracted to shiny things?

David Nolan said...

That blows my High Ho Silver away.

What kinda punctuation do you use with fragments anyway? Is there some special set of marks?

The Blasphemous Fiendess said...

Loved this post!!!!! I enjoy both home decor and grammar rules, myself. Colour names-one of my favourite topics. I too hate that blue room-fuckin ugly.

Anonymous said...

John Fowler used to make up color names, ie ''vomitesse de la reine'' and ''caca du dauphin''.

Holly said...

"Prison-Issue Panty" gray and "Kid Threw Up the Avocados" green.

Penelope Bianchi said...

"Menopause mauve" pretty bad.

John Fowler's "mouseback" really good.

"elephant's breath" is a divine grey!

"arched brows"; I hope you weren't teasing!

When I remembered my "meds"; I decided to stay out of the punctuation kerfuffle!!

HA!!!

Sheri said...

Back in college when my friend moved into her new apartment she immediatly painted over the "lesbian brown" walls in her bedroom.

Donna @ dh designs said...

Paul sent me over to read Godess of Purples colour name - I'm belly laughing here - I'll never look at lavender again without remembering that name!

Anonymous said...

There's always Hooter's Orange, which after about three years slowly fades to a rosy Stripper Pole Pink.

mosey said...

"i can't poop at work" red

~D said...

"Ambient Void" blue- a very dark, almost black shade of blue that makes you feel like the walls could give away to sheer nothingness (or the deep sea) at any moment. My parents hated that color, but I loved it, like the sensation of being in a wide-open, albeit dark, space even if I'm inside.