The 3 am Rant: Fifty Shades of Grey & Beige

Window shopping used to be one of my harmless pleasures. I liked wandering around the shops and looking at furniture and homewares I might like to buy or even just enjoying the colours and designs. When I was going through a very stressful period of work in the 1990s and suffering frequent headaches I actually found that browsing in Spotlight made me feel better, the colours of the fabrics and wool gave my spirits a lift.

Sadly that is no longer the case. It’s not just that most of the good department stores are gone now it’s just that I don’t enjoy modern decor at all. There is just no variety any more. Honestly how long is this trend for eveything being grey going to go on?

Photo by Pixabay on – Please don’t make me live here!

I didn’t dislike grey before, as a neutral, I felt that it had some value and looked nice with brighter colours. I still wear it sometimes but I won’t have it in the home. When Naomi and I were househunting we looked at so many houses online and it was as if they had all been decorated by the same person. Monochromatic colour schemes were the order of the day, grey walls, grey flooring, grey furniture. Even the ornaments were mostly grey. These decorators idea of colour is to have one brightly coloured wall or splashback in a room that jumps out at you while the rest of the room is depressingly neutral. If I had to live in one of these all grey places I’d be too depressed to get out of bed in the morning.

The previous owner of this house decided to do some “improvements” just before we bought it. He painted the walls of the upstairs living area which used to be timber grain panelling. Yes, he painted it grey! We were so annoyed. Eventually, when we have sorted out the downstairs area, we will get rid of it. Fortunately he did not get rid of the lovely red carpet as well.

Lounge room photo by Naomi

The trouble that it is very hard to find suitable colours and materials to redecorate with. When I was painting my old house in preparation for selling it I painted it in neutral creams. They looked fine but had I been staying there I would have used some other wall colours to give each room an individual look. No longer do paint charts show all the available shades. Instead, they show the “popular ” shades which we find either dull and boring or too loud to go with our retro stuff. Naomi says she will use her art materials to mix a colour sample of what we want and we’ll take it to the paint store with us. That way we have some chance of getting a colour we like.

We walked into one of the carpet shops in Wynyard recently to browse rugs. Naomi’s bedroom has a grey carpet and we thought that a large blue traditionally patterned rug covering most of the room would look nice. The grey would just be like a frame for it. Well, we walked in there and it seemed as if every carpet sample in the showroom was grey or beige. I know I had the same trouble when buying carpets for my old house. There was little choice in colours. Only the more expensive brands had a bit more variety. I didn’t want to spend a lot of money so I ended up buying a beige, mainly because it wasn’t grey.

Fifty shades of grey

I recently looked into the Burnie Spotlight store. We also need to replace worn and faded curtains here. The readymades were all shades of cream, grey, beige or dull blue with a little dark red for a change. I like red and might use it in my own room but it’s not what we wanted for other rooms in the house. To get what we want we’ll either have to buy online, make them ourselves or spend a lot of money on custom made curtains if we can find a fabric we like.

Bolts of boring curtain fabric

I hate that everything is so samey these days. How can you be an individual when all you have to work with are the same few colours?Who decides what the popular colours are? Why are we so ready to copy what “Influencers” think is cool?


I was born in England in 1957 and lived there until our family came to Australia in 1966. I grew up in Adelaide, South Australia, where I met and married my husband, David. We came together over a mutual love of trains. Both of us worked for the railways for many years, his job was with Australian National Railways, while I spent 12 years working for the STA, later TransAdelaide the Adelaide city transit system. After leaving that job I worked in hospitality until 2008. We moved to Tasmania in 2002 to live in the beautiful Huon Valley. In 2015 David became ill and passed away in October of that year. I currently co-write two blogs on with my sister Naomi. Our doll blog "Dolls, Dolls, Dolls", and "Our Other Blog" which is about everything else but with a focus on photographs and places in Tasmania. In November 2019 I began a new life in the house that Naomi and I intend to make our retirement home at Sisters Beach in Tasmania's northwest. Currently we have five pets between us. Naomi's two dogs Toby and Teddy and cats, Tigerwoods and Panther and my cat Polly. My dog Cindy passed away aged 16 in April 2022.


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