When my wife and I decided to paint the interior of our condo several years ago, we picked up a number of those little color swatches you find in any paint department. We stuck them to the walls but couldn’t decide.
To try a color, I’d buy a quart of it and then paint it on a 24-inch square piece of sheetrock, which we could move throughout the house to reflect the sunshine or see how it looked at night under artificial light.
Visiting friends, if we liked a color we saw, we’d get the name and go buy it, only to find it didn’t look right in our house.Finally, we’d mix our final choices with white to dilute the full color by one half, one-third and more.
By the time we picked the final color, there were dozens of large painted areas in the living room, dining room and hallway and six quarts of paint with only a few brushfuls of paint used up.
All this is to say, picking colors is such a subjective thing.
I was reminded of all this since finding myself defending the brightly colored buildings that surround the new Galaxy Theatres. Nobody seems to be neutral about them, with folks about equally divided between appreciating the efforts the developer took to make a colorful project and those who see it as an atrocity upon downtown.
But I’m a fan of those deep yellows, reds and greens that are showing up on our newest buildings.
Even the renovation project that will house Starbucks Coffee behind the new Rite Aid drugstore is remarkable in its choice of deep chocolate browns and earth-toned ochre and red awnings fashioned from steel. And I love the colored cloth awnings that were attached to Galaxy’s Colony Square retail spaces.
Similar strong feelings were voiced almost 20 years ago when the Atascadero Federal Credit Union decided on an extreme makeover of its building.
I know the directors got a lot of comments about those “wild” colors that showed up on that building, coupled with its new copper roof. But there was a lot of support, too.
In the end, I think Atascadero’s commercial district benefits from these new colors that are being applied to its newest buildings.
Just take a drive down Entrada Avenue, and you’ll see what I mean.