Name: margalit
Location: Massachusetts, United States Professional writer, educational advocate, opinionated ultra liberal mother of 18 year old twins, living life in the slow lane due to hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, congestive heart failure, and diabetes.

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Sunday, March 12, 2006

These are the people in my neighborhood

Every time I go by this house, I draw my breath in. I do not get it. If you have a gorgeous old Victorian home, a home that is worth millions, why would you paint it to look like either you're on acid and having quite the bad trip, or you've always wanted to live in Barbie's Dream House, and this was the best you could do.

This house is huge. I've never been in it, but the Girl has, once. Her friend lives next door and she reported that it's just as unusual inside as it is outside. They're artists, she says. I guess that fits.

The thing is, I'm from the land of beige houses, California. Nobody has a house that isn't some shade of beige in California. So when I came to the east coast and saw houses painted all kinds of colors, I was entralled. However, I live in a beige house. It just happened that the house I fell in love with is, and probably will remain beige. So when I see a house that is painted in about 12 different colors including aqua, fusha, shocking pink, yellow, purple, lime green, and a whole bunch more, I think I'm in Oz. This is outside my comfort zone. Unfortunately, I took the photo today, on a dank gray day. You really can't see all the colors as the photo doesn't do it justice. But I happened to have a camera on me when we went by, and I sent the Boy out in the drizzle to snap this picture.

I know the right way to have a Victorian home painted is to use multiple colors. I also know that it's recommended that the colors be 'of the period' which were dark colors. They didn't do aqua and yellow. I wonder what the original owners of this wonderful house would say if they saw it now?

The funny thing is, sometimes I like it, and sometimes I just hate it. I can't make up my mind what to think about it. How about you?
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Blogger Dr. Cissa Fireheart said...

ok I spent every summer since the age of 8 in Martha's Vineyard-- In Oak Bluffs where the "gingerbread houses" are. If you ever go to the Vineyard, go to them and talk to me about funky color houses.....it's like a normal thing...honestly, I think it's a Massachusetts thing, because I never saw that stuff in RI the rest of the year.....sometimes the colors are great, lovely shades of pink, mauves, wahtever...and sometimes, the people are on an acid trip while having the appointment with the painters.....but that's New England for you, man....Crazy Liberal Hippies with weird color schemes...LOL...Seriously, I mean that in a GOOD way!

13/3/06 9:55 AM  
Blogger kontan said...

haha! I've often said the same thing. Used to live in an area with a lot of homes just like that. all of them were odd colors. never got it really...

13/3/06 11:34 AM  
Blogger Susanne said...

Ok, Im sorry - but that's just awful!! Those colors are NOT correct in any way shape or form, but I think you may have hit the nail on the head with the "trip" that has to be the only explaination to ruin such a wonderful house!! UGH!!

13/3/06 2:01 PM  
Blogger Real Blonde said...

Oh my gosh - it makes me want to cry! I do think I'd take this house, though, over one near me - it's only two colors, but the two colors are bright yellow and orange! Gah.

13/3/06 2:35 PM  
Blogger jennifer starfall said...

the wild colors are true to the period, actually... i've got a lot of history/archetecture dork friends. :)


13/3/06 4:47 PM  
Blogger Belinda said...

Pretty common around New Orleans, especially for period homes. I would guess that the people are from down there, or are real "students" of the period and want to be authentic. Or are color-blind. Of course, my bedroom would make YOU vomit, so I'm the wrong person to be asking, perhaps.

First coat of what Alex calls "dried-blood red" went up in the kitchen today!

14/3/06 12:18 AM  
Anonymous Seraphim said...

The entire view out of my apartment is spoiled by a house sat up on the hill over looking the town. It is bright, luminous bannana yellow, with blue, green and purple parts when you get up close.
I never thought it was possible, but that house... is worse. Blah. Grotesque. Lets hear it for beige houses!

14/3/06 1:40 AM  
Anonymous Angela said...

It is a shame to see such a beautiful Victorian done up like that. I think it is a New England thing, because you see it here in Maine as well. One of my friend's houses is the most shockingly bright shade of aqua, it is just gross. But it makes the house easier to find! lol

14/3/06 9:27 AM  
Blogger Celena said...

I love it! Totally!

Actually, it's funny, have you ever been to the carribean? I went to the Dom. Republic for my honeymoon, and there are billboards everywhere advertising for two things. Coca Cola and house PAINT! All the houses there are neons and pastels! Pink, green, blue, yellow. It's great! I wish it was like that here too!

14/3/06 5:26 PM  
Anonymous Chloe said...

Guess you were never in Santa Cruz or San Francisco then! Not many beige victorians there, save for some of the poor neglected old things. There's quite a bit of disagreement among historians about what is "historically correct". Paint pigments were notoriously unstable then so the color of that old first layer may not be anything like what was put on the house when it was new. We do know that aniline dyes had just been invented and that the victorians were absolutely wild for anything that came in the new, vivid (dare we say hideous?) colors heretofore unavailable in textiles. So it's reasonable to assume that the original owner would have painted his house in aqua and yellow if he could. And he may well have done so.
Personally I love it. Beige houses beget beige people.

15/3/06 12:32 PM  
Blogger Robin said...

I have to say myself...I LOVE this house. I love the "painted ladies" of San Francisco, too. They are just amazing. I pass a house on my way to work that is mostly a light magenta with purple and blue trim, and I think it is gorgeous. The contrasting colors really bring out all the hidden facets of the architecture that a lot of people would miss if they were all painted the same color. The aqua IS a little out there, but for some reason, when combined with the other colors, it works (for me, anyway!) I have a house that is more than 100 yrs old and we are renovating it. Eventually, it's going to be another color than white, but not quite on this scale!

17/3/06 9:49 PM  

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