Whenever I need to paint a wall, I consult my collection of vintage paint sample books. Then I pull out my fan deck from Benjamin Moore and carefully examine my options. I narrow them down and tape a larger swatch to the wall to judge its appearance in different light. I’m very methodical and deliberate. Strangely, however, I find that I keep choosing the same light sea foam repeatedly. I’ll put up my swatches and realize they are all the same color with the tiniest differences. Recently, I repainted the den. I planned on being courageous and choosing a wildly different color, like light sea foam blue, with an extra drop of blue. Fortunately, my friend Erica suggested charcoal grey. “Are you mad?” I asked her. The idea was shocking, but I trust her so I agreed. It turns out she was right, light sea foam blue is not the only choice, and I like the grey. But I wonder, is it a result of the recession? Has my cheerful color palette been corrupted? Will I eventually repaint everything in dark somber tones?