Neighborhood Etiquette: When Personal Style Becomes Public

Last week I got about five different texts and emails with one word: YELLOW. These were from friends who had just laid eyes on a jaw-dropping paint job being executed a few doors down from my house. Now, this is not your average yellow. It is a color that has its underpinnings in nature (mustard or bile, maybe) but with a technicolor tinge. Not quite neon or electric. Not quite retro. And certainly not historic. It’s the kind of color that makes your face go all twisty, like you’ve eaten half a lime.

For a little context: I live in on a street of historic row houses in Washington DC. They were all designed and built by a famous local architect, Harry Wardman, but are by no means identical and uniform in style. Most are red brick or painted in neutral tones, with a few light yellows and faded blues. Until now, that is. …

The fact that our neighborhood is a Historic District makes my disdain a little more justifiable. While preservation codes do not officially govern exterior paint colors, I think it is safe to say that a putrid yellow home does not jibe with the 1910 architecture.

By Catrin Morris, Apartment Therapy

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