Practicing What We Preach

16Michael Larsen and Elizabeth Pomada recently repainted their Edwardian and it is a sprightly, stop-them-as-they-go-by PAINTED LADY. So we have gone through all of the trials and triumphs that we’ve been told about over the years.

Our home at 1029 Jones Street in San Francisco appeared in the introduction of Painted Ladies Revisited. Although it was a handsome design, created by Bob Buckter, we had no part of the color choices and were never very pleased with it. I saw it as blue. Michael saw it as brown.

We recently purchased our flat with the people on the second and third floor as Tenants-in-Common, hoping to switch to owner-occupied condominiums. The house had not been painted in l8 years and the paint was peeling and unhappy, particularly on the third floor. So the six of us (one couple per flat) got together, renewed the mortgage to pay for the job, and met to select colors. The top two couples are more conservative than Michael and I are, so we finally agreed on simply “juicing up” the present colors. From blue-grey, we’d make it a better blue, and from tan/peach, we’d make it a more true apricot. And we then worked with Bob Buckter to choose the “right” colors.

He created a scheme for us and we hired Local Color to do the painting.

By accident, the man on the top floor drove by a wonderful yellow house on Dolores Park. He noted that Bob Buckter had done the design–and then discovered that it was Bob Buckter’s house. So he took photos and showed it to us. It turns out that he had never liked the idea of painting the bricks at the base of the house blue. In this design, they’re brick red. So he loved it. And when we saw a happy house in two yellows, with dark blue, dark red, teal, cream, and gold leaf, we loved it too. It was instantly unanimous. Bob re-jiggered the numbers on his pattern. And Local Color went to work.

In three weeks, the scaffold and netting went up, the house was painted from top to bottom, and we had a new, happy, glowing Painted Lady.

The minute the scaffold came down two German tourists stopped and took pictures, exclaiming joyfully about the pretty house. My assistant drove down to the next block before she realized she had passed our house–she didn’t recognize it. Cars stop and take pictures. People shout out praises as they walk up our steep hill. We have a real Painted Lady. And we’re very proud of it.

Here are before, during, and after photographs to inspire you.