We have been talking about paint colors in the last few posts. Here is an anecdote that amuses us: After we replaced the siding on our own house, we painted it a very dark brown, bringing it into the background and giving it a quiet presence on the street. We discovered that this color was very close to the original color the house had. We gave it a hot accent color on the beam, though. This is always fun to do on Eichler houses.
We did this 10 years ago. At the time, ours was the only house in the neighborhood with an orange beam. It was also one of the few dark houses. Then a house-flipper across the street copied our colors. Then the new owners of another house further down the street painted their beam orange. Slowly, more houses have toned down their color schemes and added orange beams. There are at least 8 of them in our neighborhood now. Here are few of them:
We can't say how much, or even if, we influenced these homeowners, but we like to think we helped by setting an example.
We are privileged to live in an Eichler house designed by A. Quincy Jones in the mid 1950’s. He drew one of my favorite images of how single-family houses should behave.
The top row shows the houses popping up out of a flat ground plane. The bottom row shows the ground plane morphed into small hills and berms, partially hiding the now lower-slung houses. This was Jones’ preference, and mine, too. Frank Lloyd Wright taught us to tie our buildings to the land, and it's always a good lesson.
Taking this thought a step further, our choice of colors should also work with nature, especially for a modern house. Darker, earthier colors, found in nature, can give our buildings and their surroundings a richer feeling. Which brings us back to our house: These before and after shots illustrate these points well. We even have a little berm in front.