My life in magnolia

I repainted the bedroom today. It’s a gorgeous colour called ‘Butterfly Wing’. It pleased me a lot to see the magnolia disappear.

After Mark moved out I repainted the master bedroom. A colour called toffee cream I think, darker than magnolia, it’s a big room and can take a slightly darker colour. It’s now a nice guest room (with en suite) and the library. It’s taken a good 6 months but I can now let people use the room, it’s reintegrated into the house and I don’t call it ‘Mark’s room’ any more. It was hard.

I repainted the back wall of the kitchen next, this one was caramel cream, it’s still all very safe, but it’s not magnolia. That’s the point. Magnolia is a transient colour. Magnolia can’t be a mistake, it’s very safe, it says ‘i’m just passing through, I make no impact’.

When I was a child my parents were landlords letting flats in Leicester. Every time people moved out in we all went with the magnolia paint and freshened everything up. Magnolia is the colour of tenants, the colour of temporary. When I went to university I was part of and for a while ran a decorating project for Student Community Action and again the most common paint was magnolia, for council tenants and old people, again ‘i’m not really here, i’m no trouble, don’t mind me’.

I hate it. I hate it’s transience and I hate it’s nothingness. I hate what it says about a house and the person in it. I’m being unfair of course, it’s a paint colour, it’s associations come from my experience with it not it’s innate nature. But still.

My life has been magnolia for years. This last year has been like waking up. It was so obvious reading Lost and Found that the line I chose was the perfect tattoo, it so neatly summed up how I feel about the last 15 years. I wasn’t really here, transient, magnolia. Now though, now i’m putting some colour on the walls, declaring myself at home, not just in my house but in myself too.

Here I am, I am alive and whole and I am staying part of the world this time and I intend to be plenty trouble.  Goodbye magnolia life.


About Aunty Fox

'Fox Spirit is the crazy young aunt who dances in the rain and conjures fantastic worlds out of cardboard boxes, loo rolls and sellotape'
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2 Responses to My life in magnolia

  1. ilogilo says:

    I am currently decorating my house, and all the rooms I have painted are magnolia but 1, and that 1 I don’t like and will get sorted at some point and then painted magnolia, maybe with a accent wall in a darker brown.

    I like magnolia because it is just so bland and inoffensive, I want to blend in to the world/disappear. I tried standing out once and all it did was make me a target.

  2. mrwriteon says:

    Beautiful room. New colours add new dimensions to our lives, and that is what you are doing. Bravo.

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