Bright Yellow House In Historic District Annoys Neighbors

WASHINGTON -- What to do when you live in one of the District of Columbia's historic districts and your neighbor paints their house a garish yellow?

A writer who found a nearby house being painted "the kind of color that makes your face go all twisty, like you've eaten half a lime" ponders this question on Apartment Therapy:

I am torn. On the one hand, I love a dose of color, contrast and personality in a neighborhood. On the other hand, this particular paint job seems more like an overdose of color. Is this an aesthetic and subjective distinction only? Or is there some etiquette breach here? If you do something really bold (like paint a house an almost-neon color) should you at least talk it over with the neighbors? Or consider how your design choice may look among the other homes on the block? After all, exterior paint color does impact the overall appearance of a street, for better or worse.

The comments to the article have, by and large, been reasonable and considered. One came from someone who lived on the D.C. block shown in the photo accompanying the Apartment Therapy post (the yellow house isn't pictured):

I'm the former owner of one of the houses pictured above and I agree that it's a bit misleading to use 12th Place as an example because all the houses are different, awesome colors. But I understand why you would not post a picture of your neighbor's house and agree that you should not. I am very happy not to live in a neigborhood with an HOA that has to approve which shade of beige I get to paint my house. Being a good neighbor means being polite and friendly and lending a hand or a cup of sugar when needed. It does not mean consulting your neighbors to see if they approve of the color you plan to paint your house. I'm surprised that your DC rowhouse neighbors are so close-minded. Maybe the neon yellow house will start a trend and someday your street can be as much fun as 12th Place.

For those who don't love their neighbors' paint jobs, have you considered a move to the beach?

Rehoboth Beach Real Estate

P.S.: We love this house.

Flickr photo by HBarrison, used under a Creative Commons license.