Thursday, July 12, 2007

The Bright Yellow House

Late last year, when Eric told me we needed to start saving money to get the house painted, I said, "It looks fine. It doesn't need a new paint job." Then he explained to me that it needed repairing and painting because of dry rot, etc., and not for cosmetic reasons. Ever since then, I’ve surveyed houses while walking or driving around town, looking for the perfect color combinations.

Two weeks ago, it was finally time to pick out the paint. I was so excited! We all went to the paint store and it only took me ten minutes to decide the exact colors; Highlighter Yellow for the house, Charmed Green for the trim and Scarlet Past for the door (I’ve always wanted a red door!) I wonder who gets the fun job of naming all of the colors?

We hired our next-door neighbor to do the job. He’s the head of landscape and maintenance at Villanova School in Ojai. He’s a hard worker, and it was fun watching him prep and then finally paint. Amber sometimes pulled a chair up to the window and sat and watched him. He didn’t seem to mind. It also was cute to see his daughters come running over with breakfast or lunch for him to eat. And it was really neat when his brother and sister-in-law came over and painted with him. It’s rare these days to see families working together as a team. It looked like they were having fun, too! They did a great job!
Well, yesterday the project was completed, and we now have perhaps the brightest house in Ojai. We absolutely love it, but I was telling Eric that I hope our neighbors don’t hate it. He said that we shouldn’t worry about what others think when it comes to the color of a house. "Besides, every other house on this block is brown and tan," he said, "Boring!"
Our neighbors can now thank us for providing a landmark for the street. I can just hear them on the phone giving directions to out-of-town guests: "Okay, once you get to our street, we’re the fourth house on the left, two doors down from the really bright yellow house." We’re probably going to get a "thumbs down" in the Ojai Valley News (which I think is the stupidest column ever!)

Anyway, for the past two days several people driving by have slowed down to look at the house. Two people, whom I’ve never met, yelled out their car windows at me, "I love the color!" Here’s what a few other people have said to us about the color:

* Did you choose the color? –said a neighbor’s friend. (Yes, we did!)
* Are you a Green Bay Packers fan? –said a friend driving by. (Who are the Packers?)
* It reminds me of Dr. Seuss. –said a friend who stopped by. (I love Dr. Seuss!)
* You can probably see the house from the sky. –said our mail carrier. (Maybe it’ll become part of a helicopter tour!)
* It looks like a giant sunflower. –said our babysitter. (That’s fitting, because the sunflower was our wedding flower and I have sunflowers in my kitchen.)
* Oh my! –said a friend. (That’s all she said!)
* It reminds me of Mexico. Houses are painted bright in Mexico. –said our next-door neighbor. (I’m glad it reminds you of home!)
* You must like the color yellow, your car is yellow and now your house. –said our neighbor. (The color of our car is coincidental. We didn’t set out to buy a yellow car.)
And my personal favorite:
* It’s a good paint job. –said our neighbor across the street. (Code for: I don’t like the color but I don’t want to tell you that.)

So, now’s your chance to comment. What do you think? You may also vote on which of the descriptions below best fit our house.
Dr. Seuss
Mother Goose
Veggie Tales
Sesame Street
The Green Bay Packers fan club headquarters
This last one is a "Before" pic of our house.


heidibelle said...

The Veggie Tale House! I can picture it on a kids tv show. I love it! I have always wanted a yellow house, and that is a very bright one! I hope you enjoy it for many years!!!

mandrews said...

It's really funny that your neighbor said it looks like a house in Mexico. That was my first thought when I saw the pictures so I am glad someone else thought the same way as me. It looks great and I am really excited for you guys!!!

MaryLou said...

WOW!!! I think I'd say "screaming Mexican Veggie Tale" and I'd come to your door and ask for a tour of the inside! You go girl! What you need some pinatas for porch lights!
I love the input and comments from "others"!
Come up and see us again soon.

Tracyrobison said...

I drove by your house yesterday and had to do a double take. Its a fun color,just like you.It reminds me of Mexico too. I like it,enjoy!

Kari Rodems said...

Can't be anything but cheery people living inside! I love red doors too :)

hestermom said...

I can't wait to drive by!! It was funny, because last Sunday (when we were gathered at Lana's) one of the brother's made a comment about "the 7 up house". Or something like that?? I wish I could remember, but I was interested upon hearing that description, and then I heard Ben say, "Oh, that's Eric and Cristine's..." So I have been itching with curiosity ever since to be able to see it. I think the house is a perfect reflection of the exuberant, positive, cheerful attitude that you try to live by. Good choice.

ATSmith said...

Martha will love it : ) You have seen her kitchen, right?

Rebecca said...

Go, Christine!!! I love it! Way to shake up the neighborhood. :)

Christine H. said...

Two new comments from friends:
"The Sprite House" from the Hesters
"The Happy House -- it cheers us up when we drive by," from the Litonjuas

Christine H. said...

More Comments:
The most popular comment has been, "It's bright!"

Laurisa said, "I finally got by your house and then actually had to go by again just ot make sure I saw it correctly. You weren't joking when you said bright yellow. It is definitely you and you will be the brightest house on hte block for years to come. Beiges and browns are too boring anyway. I love the red door. Did you know that red doors are very welcoming? so that is you too. Good choice on the red."

Rebecca said...

"The Sprite House"-- That's funny! I was thinking 7up before you said that! To each his own. :)

Christine H. said...


Hi Christine! I saw your blog about your house....and the questions about naming it....or something like that! I didn't see a way to "vote"....but, my vote is: Dr. Seuss. When our son Roger was four years old, we decorated his room with Dr. Seuss was half way up the wall and bright green, yellow, red and white. He also had matching sheets and pillow case. It was wonderful. We went, as a family, to Europe that year and about 3/4's of the way through, Roger suddenly announced, "I miss my wallpaper!" We laughed so much....and still laugh about it!

I wouldn't paint my house Dr. Seuss colors but, I say to you, "Enjoy your Dr. Seuss house!"

Love, Jan

kmirati said...

Greetings from the 'other' Bright Yellow House... you know, the one in Portland, Oregon! A women's hat shop so named because it was once quite bright, also... but you've got us beat! We have since toned ours down somewhat, but it is still yellow, with black and red trim. I believe that it can be viewed (?) on our website:

When I first read your post I was blown away by your location. I, too, have an Ojai connection, having visited there many times during my youth, and beyond, to visit my Mother's sister and her husband, a former Postmaster in Ojai - last name Busch, George and Lenadore (both now deceased).

I was there in the 50's and 60's (!) long before El Nino turned it into a 'tinder box'. Believe me when I tell you that the valley was once quite verdant and beautiful, and that our entire (SF Bay Area) extended family looked forward to our summer vacations there.

Just thought that you could use a comment on the BYH more recent than 2007,

Kevin Mirati
CrowningLori Hats @ the Bright Yellow House, Portland OR