Problems with ROY G BIV

The actuality of the house is finally approaching – we’re scheduled to close on Thursday afternoon. Which means decision time on some big things like a fridge and washer/dryer and what color we’re actually going to re-paint these rooms (after we tear down the miles of outdated, ugly wallpaper).

Which is providing a small issue.

My husband is red-green colorblind. And as much as it’d be easy to say “Sorry, hun, that’s not brown, it’s olive-drab green, and is not an appropriate wall color for our dining room” – well, he has to live there too, so things have to look good both to my color-normal eyes and his color-reduced eyes.

If you’ve never thought about or looked at what someone with red-green colorblindness would see, check out these articles on Color Science (What is Colorblindness? and How do things look?) and this article over at Vischeck – they have a program that will adjust normal images to be what someone with various types of red-green colorblindness sees, and it can be pretty profound. When I have my husband look at these pictures, he doesn’t see a difference between the “normal” and the “protanope/deuteranope” images – the type of colorblindness that he has. Part of his particular type of colorblindness also includes a dimming of color in reds and greens.

We’ve avoided that problem so far, since we’re not allowed to paint this apartment, and I’ve decorated mostly with blues, yellows, and light browns. (It’s also one of the reasons both my blogs are green, as I hardly ever choose to use it in our home, and it’s my favorite color)

Since he has no color distortion with blue and yellow, sticking to those colors is pretty successful most of the time (though he often can’t tell the difference between a grey-blue, a pure baby blue, and a lavender-blue that to my eyes are clearly three very different colors). We’ve run into the biggest problem with our formal living room – the idea is to paint the dining room (which has white chair-rail and beadboard on the bottom half of the room) a warm brown, and the entry/piano room a lighter, complimentary brown.

Obviously we can’t actually pick anything until we can actually stand in the rooms and look at the different colors ON the walls we’re thinking of – but we spent 2 hours at the hardware store yesterday looking at paint swatches, leaving both of us frustrated and bringing home a small stack of colors. (We had better luck with lighting and ceiling fans at least)