When you think about the houses on the street – can you remember what color they all are? On my street, we have one beige, one off white, one cream, one a dark yellow, another cream, another beige, and so on. No one really wanted to stand out when they were picking up their buckets of paint and this is the standard for most houses on most streets. The truth is that people want their house to look nice but they don’t want it to stand out. They may paint their window sills a slightly darker color and consider themselves rebels for doing it but in reality, most of us are incredibly conservative when it comes to choosing the paint for our house.
Recently a story went viral about one woman who is far from conservative. Her name is Jane Gottlieb and she is a pop artist and creative individual in the style of Andy Warhol and others. While she hasn’t reached worldwide fame just yet she has been in the art business for 35 years and has amassed a large following. To date, she has about 7,500 followers on Instagram and growing.
Jane lives in Santa Barbara, California. On her street, the houses are all one style, Mediterranean and they are all beige. Jane did not comply. This has definitely made her well known among her neighbors although most are not fans of her work. Jane purchased her home nearly 25 years ago. It was a modern designed home but it had been decorated to fit the Mediterranean style of its neighbors. Whoever lived there before wanted to fit in but the original architect clearly wanted it to stand out and Jane agreed.
Jane and her partner started to rip out any additions and extensions that had been made to the original plans so that it could retain its modern feel. This was simply the first step though. If you look at Jane’s artwork you will quickly see one defining theme, color. Jane Gottlieb loves color. A lot of her artwork is digital renderings which have incredibly strong colors brought into an image. Jane decided to take this approach and apply it to her biggest canvas of all, her house.
Jane painted the outside walls in a vibrant cacophony of colors. The house is so striking that everyone in the area calls it the rainbow house, the color house, or the Easter house. On the exterior, there are nine different colors used in imaginative and fun ways. This includes three different shades of pink, two shades of purple, one shade of blue, one shade of yellow, and one shade of lime green.
Everything is painted. The walls are painted, the steps are painted, the driveway is painted, the roof is painted. When you look at the house there is nowhere to escape color. It is all-consuming. Of course under the bright California sun, the color fades quickly and Jane says that she has to spend around $5,000 every year to maintain the bright pop to the walls. She paints the house again with the help of designers almost every year.
She doesn’t mind this commitment though because she says that every year she has some new idea that she wants to incorporate. Her partner doesn’t even notice but she might want to make one room brighter or change the layout a little. She says that in the majority of cases she is just making it brighter and brighter.
When asked about the neighbors she just smiles. She knows most don’t like it but she never understood how beige came to dominate the world. When people see her house they can’t help but smile and be happy. Surely that is the result everyone wants with their home.