Saturday, 4 February 2006

Our Transforming Street

I think our street will soon look like a seaside town. The fashion for brick is being overwhelmed by pale exterior paint. Large victorian houses slathered in cream, or white, and more recently two that are pale blue, and a pale pink one.

Used to be that those which weren't rendered on the outside and retained their original brickwork would either be just brick or painted in brick-coloured paint (a sort of mustard or dark red) with grouting in black (the outlined brick was very popular for some time, and there are still examples today). Or those who steered clear of the outline and kept with their brick colours. Even the houses with rendered outsides would be dark - dark red mostly, or pebble-dashed. Apart from the one green one.

The cream is creeping in at remarkable speed. Even the green house (a semi-detached whose side is open to the canal) is now cream on the front and back and on the side as far up as the painter could reach without scaffolding (a good two thirds of the side remains dirty pale green, but at least the family won't notice as they walk down their side path, as long as they don't look up).

I like the seaside look for cottagey streets - theres a lovely little street of small houses in Finsbury Park which I used to like walking down, and periodically you come across them in Islington. I like the grand cream coloured houses of Regent's Park with their columns and railings. But I'm not sure we'll ever pull it off here. I suppose its a sign of gentrification, and people do care about their property more now than ever before (which is a good thing). Perhaps I'd prefer if we laid off the cream and went with the other candi colours a bit more - it might convince me a little better. Maybe I should try to get the neighbourhood group to adopt a palette!

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