What Color Is Your Marriage? - OZY | A Modern Media Company

WHY YOU SHOULD CARE

Because nothing rocks compatibility like an argument over brick-red walls.

By Anna Davies

There are so many ways to assess compatibility between couples. Love of Scrabble. Ability to go on a multiday road trip with minimal arguments. Similar tastes in street food. But a couple may not truly know they’re compatible until they have a brand-new house, four white walls and an endless array of Home Depot paint chips.

At this point? True differences start to emerge: She likes bold, he likes basic. She wants bright, he wants beige. Compromises occur. Bargaining is brought up. And before you can say “eggshell blue or ecru,” both parties are wondering whether they’ve made a mistake. Is it just paint … or a parable about wanting too much?

Red paint as a metaphor makes sense, but red paint as ambiance, while you eat your eggs every morning, does not.

But love is all about jumping into the unknown. So, as a couple, you make a decision. The risky, unexpected decision you might not have made if it was just you. You go big. You go bold. And you go for the brick-red paint for the kitchen.

Then? Then you begin painting. And painting. And painting. And the red keeps soaking into the kitchen wall, never quite covering it. Which is right around the time you realize that this might be a metaphor for marriage: Forever trying for the ideal. So, together, you have a flash of insight. Red paint as a metaphor makes sense, but red paint as ambiance, while you eat your eggs every morning, does not.

So maybe the experiment was just that. But was it a failed experiment? No, because you both learned a little about yourselves, about each other … and about just how much paint it takes to cover up white walls.

Here, Ken and Anita Corsini, a husband-and-wife design team and co-hosts of HGTV’s Flip or Flop Atlanta, share how choosing paint colors ended up making their marriage better. 

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