For the record…

The exterior of my house needs to be painted. It’s not that the paint is chipping and pealing and overall hideous, but rather in need of a little face-lift. My house is, after all, 250 years old… and it deserves tender loving care.

This brings me to a conversation I recently had with an acquaintance; and by “acquaintance,” I mean someone I know, but whom I do not consider a friend. I rather innocently said that I was going to paint my house yellow. The reaction of this person was, “YELLOW? YELLOW? That’s GROSS.”

Yes, 2 “YELLOWS?”

I was surprised, to say the least, at the reaction to the color yellow. I happen to love the color yellow. This is not to say that I will choose lemon yellow or canary yellow… I am thinking a nice historic yellow, with bright white trim and black shutters and doors. I have seen this combination in homes all over New England, and I always feel happy and wonderful and warm when I see it.

But further, and even more disturbing, was the reaction of this acquaintance to a personal choice regarding my home. My haven. My castle. My world.

I said something like, “I have always loved the combination, and… and…” I really did not know what to say.

But she did. She went on and on about subdued colors like grays and beiges and tans, and even recommended colors like red and pink and purple for my shutters and doors. OK. I truly love each of these colors, too, and I even love the combinations of such… but THIS IS MY HOME AND MY COLOR CHOICE.

Have you ever experienced someone as bold as this? As opinionated? How should I have responded?

For the record… was last modified: February 9th, 2010 by Sharon Couto
SHOWHIDE Comments (14)
  1. There are too many rude people out there! I love the yellow/white/black combo!

  2. Friends of mine own a lovely old Victorian house and had some pain swatches up when they were trying to decide on colors and actually found a VERY rude note on their porch one day instructing them NOT to paint it that color.

    Your chosen combo sounds lovely.

  3. I can see why you wouldn’t call this person a friend. I grew up in a yellow farmhouse, and I absolutely love yellow on houses. I bet it would look especially gorgeous on your house with that color combination. Sounds like this person lacks style and is afraid to think outside of the box.

  4. I love the etiquette advice of answering rude comments with a question.

    “Why would you say that?”

    ‘Course, most rude people aren’t self-aware enough to realize they’re being called out on their behavior, but it lets you keep the high road, anyway.

    And I think your colors sound lovely.

  5. I think yellow houses are beautiful, too! I picture old Victorian homes painted a beautiful shade of yellow with trim and shutters as you described and it makes me think of words like “home” and “cozy”. Pfft on her. 🙂

  6. I think I know the color you have in mind and I think it will be lovely. Please post some pictures when you get it done. Who does she think she is???? Pink or purple for doors and shutters? When we bought our house 36 years ago, it had pink shutters and carport and the first weekend we moved in, we also painted. I think your choices sound beautiful. You handled her with class and from what I read on your blog, that is definitely your style!

  7. Personally I love old homes (I grew up in an old farmhouse) and I love them in yellow! She sounds overbearing and rude!

  8. My mother lives in a house in Vermont that’s on the town’s historical list. It’s painted yellow with brick red trim and looks like the piece of history it is. As for the acquaintance, my response would have been “Oh my, look at the time. Gotta run.” The buzz in their heads from all their own opinions racing around leaves no room to hear anything else.

  9. Maybe you should keep with you at all times copies of your post:
    “It’s Easy to be Nice. It’s Harder to be Unkind.”
    Just hand them our to those who are unaccountably rude!
    What on earth would possess someone to be so unkind?

  10. When confronted with people like that, I usually don’t say anything more than, “Oh, really?” and “Hmm, that’s an interesting idea.” Then I go ahead and do what I want, and if they comment on it later, I just say, “This works for us, and we’re really happy with it.”

    Let people have their say, and they’ll usually wear themselves out. In the end, you’re not going to take their advice anyway, so consider it a mission of mercy to sit there politely and let them rant. If you’re lucky, after you go ahead and paint your house yellow (and I’m sure it will look lovely), she’ll decide that it’s not worth the effort to give her opinions when she knows you’re not going to listen to her suggestions. Then you’re home free!

  11. I LOVE yellow houses. It might be my favorite house color. I think it would look beautiful – and, you’re right, it will definitely fit in with the nice, historic, New England feel!

    I would not have known what to say to that person though. I think you handled it well. After all, there’s no sense fighting with her, and who cares what she thinks when it comes to your home?

  12. I also LOVE Yellow. I know exactly the color you had in mind. I do have someone that I know who is very much like that…says what they think without considering other peoples feelings. I think you can be honest but yet soften your honesty without hurting feelings. It is your lovely home and you decorate it the way YOU want. Please yourself, not others.

For the record… was last modified: February 9th, 2010 by Sharon Couto