Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Room preparations

One of my goals for the Summer was to get the layout room ready for a layout. A critical task was to rearrange some electrical outlets along one wall and patch several holes in the gypsum board.

A major roadblock was having to select a paint color. This seriously could have put me off the job for several months trying to decide, but I bit the bullet and gave myself 24 hours. Considerations included existing color of carpet, the other walls and ceiling and the fact that the fascia of the layout will probably be a dark rust color. There will also be some sort of background board as well of an undetermined height.

I chose a darkish grey-brown (Sherwin-Williams #7025 Backdrop) mainly in response to the future fascia color, but I also wanted to try to create an accent wall.

Most layout rooms have indeterminate axis and orientation, probably in order to keep the focus on the layout. They also seem to be painted lighter colors and usually a light sky blue to boot. So what am I doing choosing a dark grey-brown for the longest wall in the room?

The thinking is several fold. First, I tend to question preconceptions in order to arrive at fresh, project-appropriate responses. It is easy to just do what you've seen before, and that does usually work well enough, but I am more interested in trying for something better than standard design.

Second, I am not looking to create an indeterminate sense of place in the room itself, but rather a cohesive dialog and supporting relationship between room and layout. Since this particular wall will be at the closed end of several aisles (basically an "E" configuration) I am hoping that the darker accent wall will not only frame the layout but also will direct and hold the gaze within the layout by being a dense presence in the room.

Third, I don't want to be in a sky blue environment. My layout is not about the big skies of the American West, it is about dirty, gritty, Northeast waterfront, blue collar
railroading that is neither glamorous nor romantic.

So the painting is done and I like the color very much. Before and after photos are above and below. I'll keep evaluating as layout work progresses.