Subtle is not a word that would be applied to me or my home. There is no artful blending of muted pastels or subdued tones. My home is full of bold, bright contrasting colours. The reason for this is that for me it is very difficult to get subtlety to work. If you are out by a tone or two, it can throw the whole scheme out, whereas bold and bright is a lot more forgiving. If you have a particular style, deviations from the style stick out immediately, whereas in an “anything goes” style, well..erm..anything goes. And of course it doesn’t matter one jot what style one prefers. But what is it that makes something work or not? Sometimes something is so nearly there, but just doesn’t make it, and sometimes something really surprising does work, seemingly against all the odds. So, what makes for the misses by miles or millimetres?



I have thought a bit vaguely about the notions of good and evil and how close they can be to each other, or how evil can masquerade as good – sometimes quite convincingly. The number of the beast is 666 which is pretty close to the number of perfection which is 777. Or consider this: why is it so much more insulting to call someone a baboon, rather than, say a bison? Is it because we share so much DNA in common with  baboons? So close a miss that it really strikes deep? Perhaps you have to be quite developed and refined to really discern subtle gradations of good and evil. Sometimes a miss by a millimetre amounts to a very big miss – as it were.


 Whether you miss it or make it could be a big deal in some instances, but doesn’t matter all that much in our homes.  Nevertheless there are some things that could help. There is something about confidence that makes things work, whether you are of the subtle or bold persuasion. There is something about risking being yourself and being different, whatever your personality. There is something about being 100% committed to the enterprise while being flexible enough to change.


Maybe those things could help in our relationships and lives as well.

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