My Battle with Kathy Griffin

I feel sorry for my trainer, Bobby Solorio. He’s a fantastic trainer, always on time, and always changing things around to keep me interested. He also trains Kathy Griffin, hence the issue. I’m sure Kathy keeps him entertained with hilarious stories and tales of her exciting travels. I tell Bobby about speaking engagements at conferences and try to explain something wonderful I’ve seen, like a new typeface. And I endlessly tell him stories about my family and American history. These are wildly interesting to me, but I’m sure Bobby feels like he is trapped in a terrible American History class in high school.

Here’s an example: Kathy tells a great story about working with Anderson Cooper. I tell Bobby about visiting Colonial Williamsburg and actually meeting historians who knew about distant grandparents and other relatives at each of the buildings. Then, I excitedly tell him about the paint colors of the buildings. “Bobby,” I say, “I can actually get the same paint color that was used on the Peyton Randolph House, or the wallpaper color of the George Wythe House. George Wythe was married to two of my distant great-aunts, not at the same time, and then was murdered by a trashy nephew.” Then I recount the entire George Wythe story starting with Thomas Jefferson’s law studies. How does that compare to meeting Liza Minnelli?

However, someone out there might care about our country’s glorious history and the amazing colors at Williamsburg. And I, frankly, would much rather paint a wall with Wythe House Gold, than hang out with fabulous celebrities at glamorous galas.

The Color Sea-foam

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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?

The white and sea foam den

The charcoal grey den

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1953 interior color book endpapers

1953 interior color book endpaper

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