Tyranny of the beige

In today’s Strib: Houses are breaking free of beige.

After decades draped in monochrome, the suburbs are getting a big splash of color. Propelled by technological advances in home exteriors and public fatigue with the limited palette, builders and homeowners in the new suburbs are cladding homes in eye-catching tones. Drab vinyl siding is suddenly sinking in popularity after decades of steady growth, and its makers are racing to come up with vivid yet durable colors themselves. But the new habit taking hold is not without its lessons in the delicate balance between creative freedom and neighborhood harmony.

Last May, ARTech student Sean Hayford O’Leary launched an ISSUES list discussion on this touchy subject.

IMG_26261.JPGIt’s good to see variety is possible. However, we’re getting our house on Linden St. re-sided after the hailstorm (shameless self-promotion: it’s soon for sale) and we’re sticking with the original beige… but we are snazzing it up just a wee bit with wine-colored doors. I think if we were planning to stay in the house for another decade, we’d be thinking a little more boldly.


  1. I had an extensive comment on this which is still online at http://soleil.nfldinet.com/web/brucem/simcash/icotpeople/Bloggers/wordpress/?p=171

    And I must say, there are a few houses in Dundas that are very much not beige, but cannot promise that developers (who must sell houses) will be excited about out-of-norm siding colors, and the trend toward vinyl is not helpful, since it is my understanding that most vinyl cannot be repainted (at least, not easily).

    September 17, 2006
  2. Griff Wigley said:

    Thanks for the blog link, Bruce.

    I don’t see an easy way to regulate this, unless a homeowners’ association takes the lead to allow for more variety.

    September 19, 2006

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