Three Stripes of Color

January 31, 2013

Passing by this wall today, I was reminded that in Sicily, when you renovate your house, you don’t just pick an exterior color and slosh it on.

Your neighbors get to weigh in first.

You paint three color samples on a wall, then wait a few weeks for their feedback.

Stripes of Color on Sicilian Wall, copyright Jann Huizenga

In this case, the owners obviously (!) have their heart set on bright yellow, but the exact hue is up for negotiation.

A few years ago, my mason painted swaths of ripe peach, yolk-yellow, and Parmigiano on the side of the house facing my neighbor S’s house.

“Don’t choose the garish yellow,” S said one day. “Ti prego.” Indeed, it was she who would be most affected by the color choice as she stares right out at a large blank wall of my house.

“Which do you like best?”

“The light yellow.”

So Parmigiano it was. I was happy to let her choose the color of my house, as good neighborly relations are key to my survival here.

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15 comments to Three Stripes of Color

  • Oh dear. We didn’t consult with anyone except our contractor when we picked out the colour for our house. Hope we haven’t angered the neigh bours!

  • vicki carol

    I think it would be great if they used all three colors. It would give a dimensional effect. I love the Yellow, any of them. What is better than the color of the sun to brighten up your day?

  • Brilliant idea! Choosing paint colours can torture me. I have a 3055-type on a wall at home and love it, and now I’m looking at 3048 and it’s bringing lots of good feelings, and … xx PS. Does ti prego mean too bright?

  • Wonderful solution, Jann. Wish all neighborly dilemmas could be resolved so easily!

  • Anitre MacD

    We did the 3 stripes of colour in our flat in London 6 years ago. They’re still up on the wall, flying like a flag. We couldn’t decide on the colour! However, our home in bella Sicilia is the middle colour, C3055. No indecision! Lovely photos. Brava, Jann!

  • Cute story Jann. I wish all colour dilemmas ended as happily. The glorious Sicilian light works its magic too. xx

  • Sandee wheeler

    I really like the idea of the neighbors input! You would hate to invest so much thought and money in a paint job only to find out people didn’t like it!

  • John Schinina

    Ciao Jann, Am curious finding the reason why so many homes are not painted. Someone told me it’s a tax reason, would love too know.
    By the way yellow is my favorite color.

  • Hello from the mountains of Colorado! I am fascinated by Sicily so this was a happy find. I have subscribed to email posts from your blog.
    Now…about Santa Fe….I have visited there many times over the last 30 years since my brother and his family moved to the little village of Dixon. I am one of those people who LOVES New Mexico.
    I do worry, however, about the longtime drought in New Mexico. We also are in a drought here where I live but it has snowed quite a bit in the last week so that will help a little.

  • Nancy

    Love the idea. As long as the neighbor has good taste.

  • —Oooo, I love Italy!

    Fab Idea. Xxxxxx Kisss

  • Lise

    Love the idea :-)

  • Just read about you and you live in NEW MEXICO!I have been talking about going to SANTA FE now for two years!I’m in California close to SAN FRANCISCO!What a small world…………..

  • Love that idea of painting three colors……….then having the neighbors input!
    Found you through CARLA!Will look forward to your posts………as I lived in ITALIA years ago!

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