• March 7, 2004

The Green House

Inspiring Arts & Crafts and bungalow exterior paint color combinations

Exteriors, Inspiration, Paint

Green house located in the West Adams section of Los Angeles.
Green house located in the West Adams section of Los Angeles.

When I was a little girl, for a short time I lived in a 1920′s house that was painted olive green. The house was called the Bilz Farm but to me it was always “The Green House.” When David and I started looking for a house three years ago we weren’t even sure what type of house we wanted, but I knew I wanted to paint our future home green.

Olive green body color, cream trim, brown and ox blood red accent colors
Olive green body color, cream trim, brown and ox blood red accent colors

Above is one of my favorite green exterior paint jobs in West Adams.

We removed some beadboard panels in the sleeping porch of our house and discovered original clapboard siding that was stained green! It seemed like fate. I spent my free time looking at paint samples, pouring over books, magazines and historical publications agonizing over just the right shade of green to paint our house.

Two toned green exterior with cream trim and peach colored accents. West Adams.
Two toned green exterior with cream trim and peach colored accents. West Adams.

After driving David crazy for months, “Are you sure you like this shade? What about this one?” I finally selected what I considered to be the perfect shade of green. I painted the siding around the bottom of the porch in what became known as Favorite Green. One of our neighbors stopped by to let me know it was the ugliest shade of army green she had ever seen. Two weeks later, another neighbor 3 houses down painted their house almost the same shade as Favorite Green.

Olive body, dark olive brown trim, and burnt red accent color. West Adams.
Olive body, dark olive brown trim, and burnt red accent color. West Adams.

We began to notice all the green houses in our area. A surprising number of restored houses in our area end up painted some shade of green. We are considering replacing all the cedar shingles along the top story and staining them a chestnut color and painting the clapboard siding on the first story creamy tan. We would do this so that our house would be different, but I’m having a hard time letting go of green. In my heart I still desire The Green House.

Green exterior. West Adams area of Los Angeles, CA.
Green exterior. West Adams area of Los Angeles, CA

Comments { 8 }
  1. Lauren

    But, none of those houses are your house. Follow your heart and paint the house the color you really want. Lauren

  2. Cheryll

    Heather, Don’t you just hate it when people steal your ideas?! Your alternate color choices sound nice. Why don’t you use your “favorite green” as your trim color on doors and around the windows etc. This “favorite green” must be a fabulous shade of green for the entire neighborhood to have adopted it!
    I have been visiting your site everyday now for 2 months and because of some kind of BUG in my PC, I was unable to send you comments until today. I switched over to MSN and everything seems better. I have wanted to talk to you so badly. Now I can! Lucky you! Ha! I LOVE THE WORK YOU HAVE DONE ON YOUR HOME! IT IS SO BEAUTIFUL AND EVERYTHING YOU HAVE CHOSEN IS SO TRUE TO THE ARTS AND CRAFTS STYLE! YOU TWO ARE SUCH AN INSPIRATION FOR ME, and alot of other folks too I am sure! I know it has been hard work because we own a 1912 Aladdin Bungalow (The Albany) and we have just begun restoring our place! I would love to keep a diary like you and David have but I am unsure as how to start it. I do have photos from the beginning of the “tearing out” process. Right now that is all we have done. There was a drop ceiling in the kitchen and that was the first thing to go! Under it we found 50 year old wallpaper barely clinging in spots, and evidence of a pantry wall having been removed sometime in the past. From the prints of the original floor plan we knew there was a small back porch. We found that 3 weeks ago. They had made it part of a “dumb space” where they put in the stairway to the upstairs in 1960. We are going to tear that all out, put the upstairs stairway where it should have been put in the first place and put the back porch and closet back as they were. THANK GOD WE HAVE ANOTHER HOUSE TO LIVE IN WHILE WE ARE DOING THIS!!! We had a 50′s kitchen that has been torn out. Right now the kitchen is gutted but I have the original kitchen cupboard (in the Dining Room… don’t ask!) as a pattern to use for the cabinets we want in the kitchen. We really only have 3 bad spots in the house (kitchen, bathroom and the “dumb space” with the stairway) that really have to be overhauled. The rest of the house is in great shape with most of the woodwork unpainted. We have the oak colonade and built-in bookcases (on both sides with the doors!) between the Front Room and Dining Room like your house. Yours turned out so beautiful! I can’t believe yours was painted and how nice it all turned out. WHAT SORT OF CRAZY WOULD PAINT THAT BEAUTIFUL WOOD WHITE!!!! It must have been some sort of SICKNESS that infected just about everyone in the country during the last half of the 20th century! That and Paneling-itis! We had paneling in one room and it is gone also! Oh… our house was rented out for 17 years to the same tenants (we thought they would never leave!)and they painted the fireplace (just like yours)the same color as the walls and put their couch in front of it. As if the fireplace wasn’t even there! Dumbest thing I have ever seen! The room is 18×18. I have ALOT of furniture and am afraid I won’t have enough to fill that room!!! My sofa won’t be in front of the fireplace!
    Well, I just wanted you to know that you are not alone in this “SAVE THE BUNGALOW” quest of yours. We are on the same quest. All our Children are grown, youngest is still in college, and THE HOUSE is now top priority with us. I really think the kids are jealous! The other day my daughter (the youngest) said, “I am so sick of hearing about THAT HOUSE! That is all you care about anymore!” Is it possible to be jealous of an inanimate object?
    We too are animal lovers. It took 3 kittens to replace Jessica when she went off to college. (It only took 1 cat apiece for the Boys!) But cats and dogs do make excellent children replacements. Actually, they are much better behaved and quieter than the real thing! I have 3 real children and I know! All 3 of my kids live close and I see them everyweek but it isn’t the same as having them little and having them to cuddle with. The other night my daughter was over and when she came in I had 3 cats sitting on me. Her remark was, “I’d give you a kiss Mom, but I can’t get near you!” I think she is jealous of the cats also.
    You will probably hear from me often. I love your site and I feel like I KNOW YOU GUYS SOMEHOW! WE have ALOT in common. It must be that “Bungalow Fever” we all have! Ha! Keep up the excellent work on your lovely home, paint the trim on your house your “favorite green” and PLEASE keep posting! Cheryll

  3. heather

    Lauren, thanks for writing that. I’m trying to convince myself that our area can handle one more green bungalow.

    Cheryll, that is a good idea to try to incorporate favorite green into the new color scheme.

    “Bungled” and “remuddled” are two phrases it sounds like you are becoming intimate with! :)

    How lucky that you discovered your house was an Aladdin and can go by the original floor plan. Consider yourself blessed that you don’t have to go through the paint stripping process, although it sounds like you have your hands full anyway. There is something so rewarding about bringing a house back to life.

    We currently have 2 dogs, 3 cats and a 25 lb. aquarium full of fish. My husband wasn’t raised with animals and he is at his limit. No more animals! Our animals haven’t gotten jealous of the house yet but they are very jealous of each other!

    I wish you all the best with your restoration and am so glad to hear from you!


  4. Cheryll

    Hi again Heather! We have 5 cats in the house. Three are from the same liter that I kept alive myself when their worthless mother ran off as soon as they were born. I had to feed them with an eye dropper. They are my babies and there is no way I will ever part with any of them. My husband is at his limit with animals also. I think he would divorce me if I brought another four legged creature into this house.
    I really love our old house. I get over there and don’t want to leave. My husband has owned the house for 20 years. It was his Grandmother’s and after she died he paid 10,000 in cash for it and it has had the same renters in it ever since. When he and I got married 8 years ago and we were trying to decide where we were going to live, I mentioned “the old House”. His remark was, “You don’t want to live in that old house!” I was in the house for the first time last year, and when I got inside the house, I nearly had a heart attack because I recognized what the house was. I SHOULD HAVE RECOGNIZED IT FROM THE OUTSIDE! I have always loved the Bungalow style. When I was young, we lived in a nice one for awhile and one of my grandmothers lived in a beautiful one. Pocket doors, claw foot tub and the whole nine yards! My husband didn’t have a clue that it was a craftsman bungalow. He didn’t even know what a craftsman bungalow was until I told him. It took me about 6 months of research until I finally found our house in the Aladdin catalogs. It is an exact match down to the exact floor plans, materials and measurements. What threw me was our house has only 2 dormers instead of the 4 that all the catalogs showed. We actually used the floor plans from the old catalog to find the pantry and back porch. My brother (a building contractor for 30 years)is going to redo the roof and add the other 2 dormers and redo the porch to the original style shown in the pictures. I can’t imagine wanting to live anywhere else!

  5. Andrew

    Heather, That was a great choice to paint your house green. My 1928 Colonial originally had cedar shingles stained in a bluish green(must have been in style before the depression. My grandparents covered them up(becuase of rot) with white aluminum siding and black shutters in 1974. It looks ok but not appropriate to the year. They also covered up small windows with it also. Most of the house is brick but the dormers are sided and one day i would like to remove the siding and reshingle then stain to a green. They also removed arts and crafts brackets up there to cover with metal soffit which covers beadboard soffits. Pittsburgh has ecletic architecture, my house is colonial revival, arts and crafts, and a little spanish with the red tile roof. I love this house a lot and its on a hill. My house is shaped like a salt box and has large round pillars sipporting the part of the house on top of the porch. If your interested I can send a picture.

  6. Exterior Painter

    The greens look lovely! I am a huge fan of bungalow homes. The Arts & Crafts style is just so harmonious with nature. Thanks for sharing the great photos!

  7. teresa

    The first Green house located in the West Adams section of Los Angeles shown above is very similar to mine. We’re about to repaint and I’d love to know if you know the colour and brand of paint used. i love your blog, btw.

  8. Lesley

    I also love the west Adam’s house colors. Please share the names of the colors with me. I will be building a home in Louisiana soon! Thanks

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