Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

The yellow house February 23, 2015

Filed under: Uncategorized — Audrey Kletscher Helbling @ 5:00 AM
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You can't miss this bright yellow house along a Redwood County road just off U.S. Highway 14 in Lamberton.

You can’t miss this bright yellow house along a Redwood County road just off U.S. Highway 14 in Lamberton.

WHEN I SEE A HOUSE painted a jolting hue like this bright yellow house in Lamberton, I have questions.


Is this the homeowner’s favorite color?

How have people reacted to this color choice?

What do you think of houses painted in unexpected, bold colors? Have you ever chosen an unconventional traffic-stopping color for your home? Let’s hear.

Β© Copyright 2015 Audrey Kletscher Helbling


44 Responses to “The yellow house”

  1. Almost Iowa Says:

    Down here on the barrier islands, it is popular to paint houses in a wide range of pastel colors. Even the new housing developments do that.

    What you don’t see is eye-popping road-safety colors like what we used to have in the old neighborhood in Saint Paul. I recall my old buddy Stan commenting on one house, “That’s gonna take two coats to get rid of,” he said. :}

  2. Dan Traun Says:

    Paint sale. Perhaps they just wanted to be different than the majority of others with their muted earthy tones.

  3. Beth Ann Says:

    I love it but I imagine it is different than the houses surrounding it? The one thing that has not thrilled me about living on the “prairie” is the lack of color and imagination in the colors that houses are in our area. Everything is brown, tan, muted shades of colors that just blend into the background and don’t stand out. I love color and while I don’t know that I would have a red house (other than brick) I do love to have some color to make it stand out a bit. This yellow house makes me smile!

  4. treadlemusic Says:

    My/our first thought is……they must have gotten a “deal” on the paint!!!!! Another oft seen color is bright Robin’s egg blue….yikes! My poor eyeballs just slam shut!!!! LOL!

    • I hear you. My husband works at an automotive business with the main colors being the most horrid shade of blue accented by a goldish yellow. These stores stand out in every community, and not in a good sort of way, in my opinion.

      • treadlemusic Says:

        I know that “branding” is a key element in such color situations but I do think that the communities could be a tad more proactive in their building requirements/guidelines. I have seen those stores in historic buildings with their signage at a minimum but still very recognizable!!!!!

      • I totally understand the branding. But the color?

        In Faribault, some bridge railings along roadways are painted a similar blue. Cannot stand it. Just like I cannot stand the color of our blue recycling bins with the canary yellow lids. Please, give us a recycling container that blends into the landscape instead of shouting “Hey, look at me, I’m a recycling container.”

  5. Jessie Stracener Says:

    What a neat home!

  6. kathy hagen Says:

    I lived in a big yellow house in Connecticut before returning to MN. I loved it. The house was like a big warm smile, especially on a wintery white day. In the summer and fall my friends and neighbors would often gather on the big porch for an evening refreshment. I always wonder why people are surprised or even sometimes dismayed at the colors we paint our homes. If they are freshly done, well kept and show the love we have for our home and those who live in it, why does it matter? I enjoyed that the color of my house was as welcoming as I hoped my home would be.

  7. Missy's Crafty Mess Says:

    While I think that the color is rather loud I really want to go snoop in every inch of it. I can see myself knitting in the rounded area.

  8. Rena Says:

    I think, perhaps for most folks, the color initially looks bright and cheery at the store, on a color swatch, but turns out different on a grander scale and out in the sunlight. Personally, I like when folks are daring and different – their homes usually reflect their unique personalities. Here in Grand Forks, we live in the old district with many Victorian homes painted in bright and unusual colors – I like it! Yet there is one painted a Pepto Bismal pink that turns my stomach. I feel sorry for the neighbor who lives across the street from the two-story pink house!

  9. Kathleen Cassen Mickelson Says:

    I live in a mossy green house that blends in with our garden. It’s soothing. But there is a purple house in our neighborhood that I adore because it’s different. It’s mid-century modern architecture and the deep purple paint work well together and it makes me happy. It matches the lilac bushes that line one side, so I am guessing it’s a favorite color of the owner. There is a bright mint-green house a few blocks from ours that I hate the color of, but I love that the owners chose something they liked regardless of what others may think. And that’s how I feel about that yellow house – it’s bright, it’s happy, and, hopefully, it makes the owners happy. Diversity is so much more interesting than a beige neighborhood.

  10. Ha ha, when I see one, I always ask myself; “did I miss the FREE house paint give-a-way at the Benjamin Moore outlet?” We have some real “beauties” here in my town that would make that one seem tame by comparison.

  11. Our first house was painted a Bright Blue – family and friends either loved it or hated it – we lived with it because it came that way and did not live there long enough to change it. I love the color combo of the yellow of the house and the color of the roof together – it has character.

    Happy Week πŸ™‚

  12. I actually like the color. Maybe I am odd or maybe not, but it does break the monotony of the status quo.

  13. Littlesundog Says:

    When I lived in Nebraska, I found that the Czechs, Swedish and Polish people loved the bright colors. That still holds true down here in Oklahoma, but now we add more color flair with a large population of Hispanic folks in the area. Then there are the Native American “earth” tones. My mother-in-law just painted her house (not quite a football field distance from here) the most hideous lime green color that she thinks matches the mustard yellow tone rock that makes up for the main part of the house. SHE loves it, so I guess that is all that matters. I don’t usually remark on people’s choice of clothing either. I saw an older woman wearing a fur skirt the other day, completing the outfit with a v-neck sweater, leggings and ankle boots with heels. Honestly, she had the figure for it and it all went together,but I myself wouldn’t be caught dead in something that eye-catching!! I don’t think there needs to be rules about what is acceptable where personal choices are concerned. Whatever blows your skirt up I say!

  14. Jackie Says:

    It really depends on the color as to how shocking I see it. I like this yellow, the white trim seems to mellow it out. We once had a burgandy colored house with (this color) yellow trim. It was actually really nice, hard to imagine I’m sure, but trust me… it really was a lovely combination.

  15. chlost Says:

    Husband and I just had this conversation. We drove past the first home we owned. We had picked out the blue color from a small sample, imagining it as a muted blue. We drove up to it the day it had been painted (it was winter with snow on the ground) and were shocked at how bright it was. We ended up liking it. Part of our discussion was that some colors just should not be sold as house paint…including a bright purple we’d seen in a past neighborhood. I have to admit that I get very tired of the choices of beige, tan and taupe, especially when it is a whole street of them. But I find I like the house as a neutral color and to see bright landscaping as the accents of color. Obviously, others have different opinions.
    I like yellow for a house color, but a more muted one would be preferable to my eye.

    • It often seems to be that way with paint. The color is more intense on a wall or house than you see on that small sample.

      I tend to go with the more neutral, definitely not daring in my choices, likely reflective of my nature.

  16. Our neighbors used to have a lovely blue and gray home – so soothing. We came home from a trip one year and saw a tomato soup color through the trees. The neighbor had painted her house tomato soup on the second floor and kind of a celery green on the first floor with lime-y green trim. Quite a shock! I have gotten used to it over the years, but I still miss the misty New England blue and gray.

  17. Norma Says:

    I was raised in a yellow house. I never thought of it as being different. Lived there the first 20 years of my life.

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