There's the tranquil, designer-inspired look we're going for in our homes…and then there's the reality. Humor writer Raquel D’Apice tells it like it really is. 

By Raquel D’Apice
Updated April 25, 2018
Blue painted wall
Credit: Alpha Smoot

Pacific Tidepool

This is the shade you want to see in your entryway the moment you turn your key in the lock, step onto the doormat, and immediately trip over the 14 back issues of the New Yorker you can’t recycle because you are totally going to read them as soon as you have time. I’m sorry, what are we talking about? Pacific Tidepool! Yes! This is a blue that draws the eye away from the fact that you clean your house by shoving clutter into tote bags and then hanging the tote bags on closet doorknobs. It complements the can of orange soda that has tipped over onto the boot tray, saturating a pair of socks, a Spider-Man backpack, and a permission slip you never signed because no one ever gave it to you.

Antiguan Daybreak

An inviting yellow tone for the living room that picks up on the warm hues of the rug. A strong choice for a color that will make you feel like you’re falling into a hammock at a resort or (at the very least) one that’ll distract you from the dust bunnies and half-eaten fruit leather welded to a toy Batmobile. Where is Antigua again? Totally hypothetical, but how much would a flight be to get there for a weekend?

Shaded Cedar

The subtle darkness of this green is ideal in the bathroom, as it keeps people from noticing the tub full of plastic bath toys you’re too exhausted to put back into that mesh bag. When combined with slate floor tile, it makes you feel like you’re unwrapping your sanitary pad in an enchanted forest, and by “an enchanted forest” I mean a forest that keeps making your bobby pins disappear. Also, cedar is highly favored in canoe building, on the off chance you were considering, oh, I don’t know, paddling to Antigua in lieu of going to another PTA meeting. Or whatever. Whatever, right?

Mercurial Arctic

As an accent wall color in your dining room, this is a calm gray that will dissipate any tension that accumulates when your kids repeatedly ask whether they can have iPhones. Not that we’re implying mealtimes are tense—they’re totally not, because obviously no one is ever tired or closed off and there’s definitely never a baby hysterically crying even though you’re giving him mozzarella sticks and that always works. Also, this paint is named for the planet Mercury, not liquid mercury, the element that drove people to madness after repeated exposure. Also, can someone please help me clear the table instead of just walking away to watch TV or I swear on my life I am buying these Antigua tickets and probably not round-trip.

Equestrian Hazel

This is a rich, gorgeous tan hue that, in a bedroom, brings to mind an upscale horse barn, like maybe someplace a young Jacqueline Kennedy would have found solace. Not like a “barn” barn, but a place where you could sip a Bordeaux and read and tend to your thoroughbred horses while your housekeeper made dinner while simultaneously entertaining the children.

Heritage Cream

A hallway color that makes you feel like you could totally afford a horse farm in Virginia or a $493,000 two-bedroom cabin in Antigua. (Not that you were sitting in your bathroom looking at real estate on your phone again.) Heritage Cream has an old-fashioned sort of stoicism. You may be tired, but you’re far from beaten. The days may be long, but they’re nothing you can’t handle. It allows you to walk your hallway with confidence and hold your head higher—if only to avoid seeing that someone has drawn a stegosaurus defecating a rainbow in markers near the baseboard.