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 } March 7, 2004

Not Under My Roof

And Why Flashing is a Good Thing

Restoration Diary,

Our house the first week of home ownership, Sept 2002. The roof appears to be the only thing that doesn’t need repaired.

We learned that the reason water pours down our walls every time it rains is because the flashing on our roof was installed on top of the roof shingles instead underneath them, and in some areas flashing wasn’t installed at all. Flashing is a metal that is installed where the dormer meets the roof and over other joints; as well as around the chimney, roof vents, and valleys in your roof. Flashing prevents water from seeping in and gushing down your plaster walls. Very, very important!

The new roof that was recently installed before we bought our house, the one that was supposed to last up to 25 years, had to be completely torn off. The installation was shoddy, and that is being polite. The previous home owners must have been aware of the problem. It doesn’t rain all that often in Southern California but it does rain occasionally. There is no way to miss a waterfall gushing down your walls!

We had purchased a 1 year home warranty policy to cover things like roof, plumbing problems or appliances breaking. The insurance company refused to honor the policy because they stated the roof was improperly installed in the first place. Our policy is essentially worthless, just like our roof. An interesting article on home warranty policies.

House, Oct 2003. An improvement but we still have so much left to do!

A brand new roof with flashing has been installed. We had to replace the cedar shingles on the dormers because they were rotten from water damage. Over the past year we have torn out the old cement steps and installed wood ones. The brick columns on the porch have been rebuilt. I removed the asbestos shingles from the porch and found the original wood railing still intact.


We had the roofing removed from over the pergola. It is so nice and open now! It will be beautiful covered in vines or climbing roses.

Comments { 3 } November 15, 2003

Halloween Horror

Nothing to give you a fright like a thunderstorm when your roof is being replaced

Restoration Diary,

Back porch ceiling doing its best Niagara Falls impersonation.

When Heather and I left tonight to go visit some friends, the first drizzle had appeared – signaling in the fall season in southern California. We were a little worried since our new roof is not yet complete, so we put a tarp over some of the boxes we had in the upstairs sun room which was exposed to the outside since the siding had been removed. We then headed out expecting a nice evening with friends. { Heather: Stupid or just optimistic? }

In the middle of dinner, after I had consumed my first martini and was well into my first beer, the rain started to really come down pounding on the streets and the rooftops. Heather started to get really worried because she was afraid our ceilings would get ruined. I shrugged the whole thing off thinking that there wasn’t anything we could do. After a couple minutes of debating the situation, Heather decided that she wanted to leave to check the house. I decided that I would go with her. So we cut our evening short and left.

Rain poured down from the sky on our drive home and the windshield wipers had difficulty in keeping a clear view of the road. The roads themselves were slick and the divider lines blended into the asphalt under sheets of water.

When we arrived home we quickly checked each room. The living room was ok. Our renovated dining room was ok (what a relief). Then I heard Heather yell, “We’ve got a huge problem!

See that blue bucket on the top shelf just filling up with water?

I went into the kitchen and to my horror saw water dripping from different parts of the ceiling. Heather opened up the cabinets and brown water was dripping all over our clean dishes and glasses.

No, the horror isn’t how ugly our back porch is…it is that waterfall gushing down the wall!

We moved to the back porch and discovered a small waterfall flowing from the ceiling on the back porch and in the bathroom. We went upstairs and found water dripping in the upstairs bathroom and in the second bedroom as well.

We had a small disaster on our hands.

We scrambled around the house for buckets and I climbed up into the attic to see if I could contain the water up there. When I was in the attic I found water dripping from the roof, but not in huge quantities. Heather handed me paint trays and I put them under the leaks in the roof.

Crawlspace above the kitchen and back porch. Look at all that water! And that is knob and tube wiring!! Egads!!!

Heather told me the problem was actually in the crawlspace that was above the kitchen and back porch. As I was investigating the problem, Heather yelled “The ceiling is coming down in the kitchen! Get a bucket quick!” I ran downstairs with a bucket to find that the dripping was turning into a steady stream of brown water pissing from the ceiling.

Kitchen ceiling. The only thing still holding it up is the wallpaper.

At that point I decided I needed to get onto the roof and cover the unfinished roof with plastic. Heather called our contractor.

Heather wanted to get into the crawlspace with buckets to contain the water. I wanted to go out the second story window onto the unfinished part of the roof. I quickly moved boxes out from the crawl space and we put buckets in there to catch the water. Then I dismantled the window and tried to put a big piece of plastic on the roof. I was going to nail the plastic down but Heather didn’t want me out on the roof since it was raining.

Bathroom on the back porch flooded with water.

After some time our contractor and his father showed up to assess the situation. They then proceeded out the window and onto the roof with a big piece of plastic. They nailed the plastic down and told us they would be back tomorrow to finish the roof installation. They were very kind. They had even called earlier when we were out to tell us it was raining.

So now we have a HUGE mess. The ceilings need to be replaced in two rooms. They had to be replaced anyway, but now the need is more urgent. All our dishes need to be washed and the cabinets need to be cleaned and dried out.

Fun. { Heather: Not so much… }

Comments { 3 } November 1, 2003