15 houses of very, very different color

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Zebra-striped house in Basset, Nebraska

In June I found this all-zebra, all the time house in Bassett, Nebraska and found myself newly-inspired in thinking about house colors.

It’s fascinating! How do people choose the color of their home? How do neighbors react? So many Victorian homes are bright and colorful because that is their tradition, but they sit across the street from rows and rows of more beige houses.

I sorted and sorted through Flickr and found all these houses — SO MANY HOUSES — of a different color. And, surprisingly, so many really mean comments. I had to save these houses and present them to people who would truly appreciate their weirdness: the Homies.

And so, let’s look!

Pinkstone Rainbow house Pink House Ugly Tim Leary, Color Consultant sidehall shotgun Pumpkin House, Fall Day Pink Victorian at Park and Holmead For Karen and Jeff

Sound off in the comments: which of these houses would you LEAST want in your neighborhood? Which one would you emulate on your own house?

Comments on 15 houses of very, very different color

  1. LOOOVE the black house, and the orange and a few of the pinks. The green-blob house, the striped house, and the partially-polka-dotted house are pretty bad though. The polka-dotted one would be better if they’d at least painted the whole thing instead of leaving half of it in disrepair, haha. I’m also a little sad about the pink brown stone, but then, I sort of hate seeing gorgeous brick and stone painted over (my own house has painted brick and we’d take it off if we could… sigh.)

  2. Kind of like my love of loud shoes, I’d love to have any of these homes in my area.
    I would love to paint a house a lovely Navy blue with white trim.
    Or restore a Victorian with that orange color which is right to the time period.
    Plus who doesn’t love a house with a tower!

  3. I used to live around the block from the pink Victorian at the bottom! It’s really lovely in person and doesn’t look odd in the neighborhood at all.

    • I was just about to write this same comment. I walked by this house every day for the two years I lived in the neighborhood. It didn’t look out of place at all. There’s a multi-colored Victorian on the same road with tricycle yard art to put this in perspective.

  4. I wanted to point out that in the case of the two shotguns (pink/yellow and the last one, yellow/yellow), it is really common in New Orleans to paint your house bright colors. (I love how I just assumed those were both in New Orleans without checking, but I live there, so…) For instance, the block surrounding my house is almost all identical shotgun houses, and we have light orange, salmon pink, bright yellow/red, even brighter salmon, bright blue/purple, lime green. My pale yellow house is quite tame but design-wise is exactly identical to the last picture except for the trim is different and mine is slightly bigger (4 chimneys).

    It’s so cheerful to look out the window! I love living here.

      • I just clicked through to Flickr and go figure, both of those houses are in my neighborhood. The pink one is 3 blocks away. Haha.

    • I used to live in New Orleans. When I saw the title of this post, my first thought was “I bet a bunch of those houses are in New Orleans”. Such a colorful city. I miss it!

  5. My dream is to paint a house pale spring green with white trim, black shutters, charcoal shingle roofing, and a PURPLE door.
    My dear Mr. is withholding his opinions on this, but Someday, Somehow, I will have my purple door…

    • In some places in Ireland, the houses all have different colored doors. It’s awesome. Good luck with your purple door!

      • I’m always reminded of our honeymoon to Ireland when I see brightly colored doors πŸ™‚

    • I’ve had the same wish – for a spring green house with purple door. I’ve been waiting 6 years for my painter man to give the okay on the house, but 3 years ago I went and painted my door purple and I love it!

  6. If I had a house in a secluded area I’ve love to paint it purple, but after the well publicised blue house/yellow house court case here in the UK I’d never dare paint a streetfacing house, the colours the councils enforce are usually hideous.

  7. LOOOOOOOVE the black house! Soo chic! I am all for crazy paint schemes that fit the era of the architecture or the neighborhood. Victorians SHOULD be multi-colored and super artsy hoods should be as well! But, I think it is important to be careful if your house is gonna be the sore thumb of the neighborhood. It can lower property values for your neighbors and potentially attract unwanted attention. So if you are going to paint your house polka dotted just make sure you do it really really well, so it looks more high art and less DIY gone awry.

  8. Oh! I love these. I would love to have more brightly painted buildings.

    Where I live there’s a student pub which used to be painted bright orange, though they changed it to purple after a nearby pub copied them. Sadly it’s now been taken over by someone else and it’s still painted purple, just in much more muted tones. There’s also a yellow pub too.

  9. That Chad Miller guy that photographed the house with the mod art green thing on the garage made a group called “Ugly Houses”….I checked it out, and I absolutely LOVE a good portion of them!!

  10. I use to live in a black house in Worcester. Black isn’t all that uncommon where I am from. While living in Providence I lived in a yellow and purple house but better then that down the street from me there had been a house with only the side painted white and on that side there were giant crayons glued to the wall. The owners got more creative and painted crayon marks leading to the tip of each crayon. It was really whimsical actually there were a lot of unique spaces in Providence.

  11. Man, if the commenters on the purple polka dot house hated it then, they *really* would abhor it now, I’m thinking.

    http://www.7dvt.com/2010whiskey-tango-foxtrot-why-does-house-across-burlingtons-centennial-field-tell-passers-cut-consum

    I kinda love it. A lot. There are a lot of houses around here (Burlington, VT) that are very brightly colored.

    The city in Morocco is gorgeous. And while I’d never, ever want it, that leopard print house is awesome and was done really well.

  12. I hardly ever comment but I love LOVE all those colored houses so much!!!! Especially that one with the polka dots! Oh! I want to do that straight away! I’m sad about the mean people commenting!

  13. These are such amazingly unique houses. Many of these pictures remind me of the little, brightly colored and highly decorated “Gingerbread” cottages found in the Martha’s Vineyard Camp Houses in Oaks Bluff.

  14. I love all of them!… except the pink brownstone… I’d prefer it to be brown like its friends.

    • Agreed. It’s definitely interesting but paint on beautiful stone like that kind of makes me sad.

  15. Ha, I should show these pictures to me neighbors. I think they all hate our yellow house with a red roof. Pretty tame, but every other house on the street is beige, so it sticks out! They should consider themselves lucky we didn’t go even more crazy!

    • That’s what I was thinking! Our neighbors sent us anonymous notes when we “allowed” dandelions grow in our lawn (we’re anti-herbicide), so no way we could have one of these beautiful houses here in Beigeville.

  16. i adore the final, yellow one. though my favorite part is definitely the shuttered doors – so lovely! and the fact that the shutters are real anyhow – fake shutters make me kind of sad (though i have them on my house for the time being).

  17. I live near the Ladd’s Addition in Southeast Portland OR and there are so many awesome paint jobs on the houses down here. Orange, blue, red, but my favorite is a purple and yellow one, it is to die for!

  18. I would welcome each of those houses to my neighborhood. you gus have no idea how lame and boring some of the houses i live near look – ok, so they cost in the millions and i’ll never afford them, but enough of this sandy beige tuscan crap – more originality and color is what i say.

    takes guts to do what these owners have done, and i resepect them for that :)and applaud them πŸ˜€

  19. Ahaha, yes that green color does assault the eyes a bit. A roommate at a former shared house painted her room that color. We christened the room “Gumby.”

  20. These make me think of this awesome house nearby me that I love… if you go into the historic part of Safety Harbor, FL now several other homeowners have followed and are painting their houses awesome colors too. Check out the original.
    http://www.kiaralinda.com/index.htm

  21. I am in LOVE with the peachy looking one with the green flower on the garage door!!!!!!!!!!! So retro and bad ass!!

  22. I had a friend in middle school who lived in a bright teal house with neon pink trim and gutters. Her father decided to embrace the unique paint job by filling the front yard with pink, plastic flamingos. Was always easy to find where she lived! πŸ™‚

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