We started work last week on the exterior painting of one of the Painted Ladies on West 10th Avenue in Vancouver. Owned by John Davis and his family, these four houses are absolutely beautiful showcases of some of the best heritage houses in Vancouver. All have been renovated into apartments that the family rents out.
Photo by Heidi Nyline
The backyards of all four houses have been combined to create a common area for parking, storage and hanging out. Very cool and funky. At night the entire area and houses are lit up with strings of lights. Every time I am there, I smile from ear to ear and our crew just love working on such a unique Vancouver heritage house.
Common driveway and community back yard. Photos by Heidi Nyline
When I spoke with John about the houses, he told me when they first painted them they got a lot of backlash from neighbours due to the bright and unusual paint colours they chose. I can only imagine what neighbours thought all those years ago when they saw they were getting a pink, yellow and green house on the street.
But today, the street and neighbourhood is filled with beautifully restored heritage houses, all in bright colour combinations. It is a street where there are more bicycles than cars and the neighbour buzzes with life and a sense of community. And it all started with paint.
It got me thinking about a neighbourhood close to my home - White Rock. Set on the waterfront hillside looking South over Semiahmoo Bay, this community has a beautiful beach and boardwalk full of wonderful restaurants and stores. I was out on the beach not too long ago with my kids (that's my little girl below) and as I looked up at a hill of houses that overlook the water and I wondered if injecting colour into this community wouldn't have a similar impact.
White Rock Beach, Photo by Heidi Nyline
The houses are almost all various shades of beige, brown or blue/grey. Uninspiring to say the least. Imagine if the houses along White Rock beach were a mixture of bright beachy colours that resembled the hillsides along the Mediterranean sea.
How would that impact the neighbourhood, the community and even the value of the homes in the area? Maybe it just takes one brave homeowner to get the ball rolling.