When Eldin Bernecky came to live in my house

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By Lee Scott

In the late 1980s, there was a character on a sitcom television show by the name of Eldin Bernecky. He was the painter at Murphy Brown’s house that became a part of the family. I am relating to this character because I have my own “Eldin” living in my house right now.

This all started about eight weeks ago when my husband and I decided that it was time to paint the living room, kitchen and dining room. The house we bought was in drastic need of painting when we bought it but our next door neighbor Sally cautioned us to wait for one year. The reason she explained was because the light changes in the Lowcountry and the paint on the walls comes across as different colors from what you would expect. Now after a year, we decided to hire a painter. We had several recommendations from neighbors and ultimately chose “Eldin”. He walked in, reviewed the job, gave us a quote and then said. “Now you have to pick out paint colors.” This turned out to be the hardest part for us.

Yes, we knew the Color Wheel – the primary colors: blue, red and yellow and secondary colors: orange, violet and green. But thanks to Sherwin Williams and Benjamin Moore there are thousands of colors. Hundreds of shades of blues and greens, yellows and whites. We were overwhelmed. So we started runs to the paint store to get samples. Before long, the living room wall was a mosaic of colors from off white to forest green to sea blue. And just like Sally said, the lighting changed and so did the colors on the wall. When “Eldin” came in he shook his head and told us to start eliminating colors we really did not like. Some were too yellow or too green and some were really ugly. Ultimately we made the decision and Eldin bought the paint.

I am not ashamed to admit that we picked several shades of beige and tan for the living room and kitchen. We were a little more adventuresome in the dining room. But ultimately we are the ones that have to live here and the neutral colors give us the flexibility to change out furniture and paintings. Besides, “Eldin” liked the colors. So my suggestion if you are planning on doing something like this is do your homework, make the investment in paint samples and please use “Eldin.” It is time he found a new home.