#91: Avocado Green With Envy

#91: Avocado Green With Envy

I subscribe to a number of decorating magazines, and I’ve noticed at the beginning of each season, they all announce the latest “hot” colors with great fanfare. I understand the desire to stay on trend, and I try to keep an open mind about most things décor-related. But when it comes to colors, I have a…. predisposition.

So far, I have admitted to decorating my house with inherited, thrifted, and antique mall treasures. They are a little chipped and faded, some with wear marks formed by generations of use.

What I have not admitted to, is the somewhat alarming percentage of those things that are green.

I’m pretty sure my green leanings are an inescapable combination of circumstance and genetics. You see, my formative years were the 70’s, when harvest gold, tomato red, and avocado green were all the rage. I love all three funky shades, but my preference for avocado green must be my Aunt Margie’s influence.

Auntie M has been gone for many years now, but the color scheme for her house was not hard to remember. The outside siding? Avocado green. Inside walls and stylish wood paneling? Avocado green. Fridge, oven, and dishwasher? Green, green, and yes, green. For the sake of ever-so-slight variety, her rattan dining room furniture was celery green, a perfect match for the celery shag carpet. Her dishes were a pattern called California Ivy. I’ll give you one guess at the key color of said pattern.

My mother was Aunt Margie’s shopping assistant for paper goods, ensuring a never ending supply of avocado green toilet tissue, paper towels, and Kleenex. I don’t think there was a single store my mother and I entered during the 70’s where she didn’t color check the paper aisle.

Aunt Margie did own a number of things that were not green to begin with, but eventually they were brought into compliance with her preferred color palette. She asked my Uncle Carl to paint, among other things, her lawn mower, garden cart, and cedar chest. Maybe it was deliberate, or maybe those things just really needed painting, and naturally, she just happened to have one particular shade of paint on hand.

The few exceptions to her consistent approach to color that I can remember are the kitchen sink (white) and pool liner (blue). There was an anomalous guest bathroom “done up” in harvest gold, likely as a concession to my Uncle. And her car that I eventually inherited, a Monte Carlo land yacht, was an orangey-bronze metallic color with classy off-white pleather roof and interior. That car had serious presence. But it had no green. Oddly enough, the green car in our family belonged to my mom; an avocado Plymouth Fury II. 

I know avocado green went out with bell bottoms and shag (carpet and haircuts), but I just haven’t stopped buying it over the years. Not big things, mind you, but smaller items, like my kitchen clock. The coasters on my end table. Dishes with distinctive green vines and leaves woven into the pattern. The mirror by my front door and the cedar chest in my bedroom all came from The Aunt Margie Inheritance Collection. I’ve thought many times about refinishing or repainting them but I can’t bring myself to do it.

My sense of personal style was slow to develop, hampered as it was by the country blue and dusty pink of the late 80’s and early 90’s. But the greening took root at some point, and it doesn’t seem inclined to stop.

Whether they are “in” or “out” according to the most stylish decorators du jour – here’s to surrounding yourself with all the colors you love.

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