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Vancouver's Painted Lady - A True Heritage House, Just Not in Vancouver Historical True Colours

Posted by: Heidi Nyline

An exterior repainting project Warline worked on this summer was the one of four heritage houses on the 100 block of West 10th Avenue in Vancouver. These four houses, owned by the Davis family, are designated heritage buildings by the Vancouver Heritage Foundation. They are often fondly referred to as Painted Ladies, due to the multiple colours that embellish and enhance the architectural details of the houses.

144 West 10th Avenue, Vancouver. A regisitered Vancouver Heritage home

During the project, I spent some time with John Davis, the owner and caretaker of these showcase heritage homes. We talked about the houses, the commitment to restoring them and the tough choice of how best to use colour to make these houses look as fabulous as they do.

Vintage signage adds to the charm and character of the homes

When I asked John what the biggest challenge was in choosing colour schemes for four houses in a row, he told me "it was making them work together, yet not appear to have one owner or to have been done by one person." 

Welcome! Even the stairs get colourful

The houses aren’t authentic heritage colours as specified by the Vancouver Heritage Foundation. John said they did apply for the True Colours grant sponsored by the Foundation but they were denied because they wanted to use colours outside of the approved True Colours Palette. Instead, the painting and maintenance of the four houses is funded 100% by John and his family.

Our paint crews loved working on the details.

At Warline’s suggestion, John decided to use all Cloverdale Paint products for the exterior painting of the house. This was a change from previous products used, but John liked the manufacturers warranties Cloverdale Paint offered as well as the fact that he would be dealing with a local BC business. We like working with Cloverdale Paint on our exterior projects because their paints are perfectly suited to the local climate.

Did the rose inspire the colours perhaps?

The four houses have a total of 17 suites within them, where John and other members of the family live. The remaining suites are rented out as long term and short term rentals. To upgrade the houses for this kind of use they were stripped to the studs, structurally upgraded and all new mechanical systems were installed. The house we painted originally had no foundation or ground level space, so it was lifted onto piles, a foundation poured, and the house put back down onto the new foundation. All of which took a lot of time and money, but looking at the end result and the attention these beautiful houses get, it was definitely worth it.

What a great colour combination

Do you own a heritage home that needs to be made as beautiful as this one? If so, give us a call or set up an appointment and we will be happy to come and do an estimate for you.

Posted by: Tommy Johnson
For sure an interesting palette chosen. We have a ton of painted ladies here, and its good to see people passionate about restoring them. They for sure aren''t built like this anymore.
Posted by: Jason Whipple
Incredible job! Looks very nice indeed. It can be very difficult to make more than 3 or 4 colors look good on a house. You did a great job of making it work.
Posted by: Chris
Beautiful job by your company Heidi! Great to see something different!
Posted by: Victoria @ Edin''s House
I''ve always loved this street!! Each time I walk down it I find myself wondering which house is my favourite. A time or two I''ve decided on this particular house, but not always!! It looks so fresh and fabulous Heidi. Your crew has done a wonderful job!! Victoria

Posted by: chris pallett
As a Registered Interior Designer, I always want homeowners to be more aware of the potential of a great paint colour scheme that brings out all the wonderful fancy details, and the Painted Ladies are always amongst those that I show them. Over the top? Yes. Wonderful? certainly!


Thanks for stopping by Chris. Glad you love the Painted Ladies too. Such great examples of colour creating beauty.

Posted by: Elicia Jackson
Painted Houses; Adorable !!!


Thanks Elica.

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