We need more painted houses

Elm Street

Elm Street, Cardiff

I hate pebble dash. It is boring and beige. Wales has far too many pebble-dashed houses.  If are not familiar with the phenomenon its a “coarse plaster surface used on outside walls that consists of lime and sometimes cement mixed with sand, small gravel, and often pebbles”. Its a way of tarting up the outside of a house. I guess its cheaper than having the bricks re-pointed because it seems to stay that horrible porridge colour for ever. Welsh terraces in the towns and valleys are full of these dull fronted houses. I much prefer red brick. Or painted. Many of my houses for the “Hollowed Community” exhibition were red brick or painted interesting colours.

In Ireland it seems that all the Victorian terrace houses and cottages are painted in bright colours. (See photos of Cobh Harbour above )

Having a brightly painted house is a gift to the community. It does not matter if your house is a grand detached house with a sea view or a humble terrace, it is cheering to behold. When a whole street does it, it becomes a cause for celebration and art!

The Yellow House

The Yellow House (Swansea)


The Purple House

The Purple House (Cardiff)



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11 replies »

  1. Oh yes, what a difference color makes. I would think that living in a home that is vividly colored would life one’s spirit. Your painting of the yellow house and the purple house made me smile.

  2. Yes. I agree. People would not need to remember your house number, either. You’d just say its the yellow one! Thanks for your comment!

  3. I believe the stuff you call “pebble-dashed” is the same stuff we call “stucco”, especially in California. The definition is the same, and it certainly looks the same, which is to say…dreadful!

  4. That’s interesting. I guess ease of maintenance trumps looks. Its a shame because under the pebble dash I think there is lovely red brick. We have pebble dash over the back of our house but no one looks at the back of a house!

  5. I love colored houses. In the neighbor hood I live in many of the houses are in new developments. They are all brown or grey. So dreary. In the older part of the town there is not too much color but at least the window frames were painted with some color and the doors. The old houses have wooden sides and are painted usually white. Some however are painted an interesting blue and one is a bright teal. I love those ones. The new houses are some sort of large, square , stone siding with a black roof and window frames and doors painted black. Dull! Thanks for your colored houses.

    • Anne, Brown or grey new houses? Yawn! Yes, I think the best colour you could hope to get with a new houses in the UK is red brick (which I like). Painted houses is clearly something that only established communities engage in. In Ireland villages will paint their houses every 10 years or so- Thank you for your comment

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