Sunday, June 2, 2013

Haus: Dilemmas of the MiniTrad Owner

I cannot help it.  I've been thinking a LOT about paint.

Haus, Sweet Haus
When we were in the market for our new haus, I had very definite ideas about the exact sort of haus that I wanted.  It would be old (built before 1940) and it would have a lot of charm.  Instead, we bought a house built in 1948 and with the curb appeal of a plain box.  *sigh*

(Why did we buy it, then?  The neighborhood, mostly.  But the interior features several darling details and original elements that we just adored.)

Since buying the haus, I've learned a lot more about post-war architecture.  For a start, our home is transitional, but mostly Minimal Traditional in style.  Minimal Traditional, or MiniTrad, homes were pretty much exactly what it sounds like: usually single-story homes built with very minimal details, and traditional elements.  They were often small and square, wasting almost no space on hallways.  Effective, efficient, affordable housing for our returning soldiers and their families, basically.  Our home feels a touch more transitional, though, in that its footprint is longer than most, has a large kitchen and service porch, and has a very long hallway from front to back.

Most MiniTrad homes are rather plain building on the outside.  Ours, being almost all stucco, is double drab in that it's currently painted the color of sand.  And did you spy that uninspired white accent color on white trim?  Yeah, yawn....

If there is one good thing about having a home that was built in the late 40s, it's that color was starting to be all the rage in homes.  The color palette was moving away from the earthy tones that dominate the Arts and Crafts movement, choosing instead vibrant, almost painful colors.  Folks were using color to brighten their lives and to forget about the austere war years.  Yellow was very popular in interiors.  Bright blues, and even jade, started to appear on exteriors.  The homes were small enough, that such bright colors didn't look garish.

My efforts to find a suitably historic palette have not, alas, turned up a plethora of available paint.  But I did find out that Sherwin Williams does market and offer a Historic Collection.  Worse still, they have a wonky, but addicting color visualizer tool.  (Wonky in that all attempts to save images after "painted" have thus far failed, or produced buggy images.)

Still, can you imagine how much more fun my haus would look painted gold with avocado trim?  Or jade with bright blue door?

Alas, I think we will have to wait a bit.  While the wood trim is liable to need some touch-ups soon, our  financial priorities have limited our ability to purchase paint for the stucco.  Any ideas on how to brighten up our home with just a new color trim?


  1. Our kitchen is painted the Cascade Green from their historical interior palates. It lends wonderfully to not only our plethora of tiki kitsch but with the open entryway lead in to the dining and kitchen area. (Our house was built in 1946.) It's an addicting range of colors for sure!

    1. I am a green fiend. I just love the color. Our living room is currently green, but it's such a mild color that our equally mild-color furniture looks blah.

      I think I could spend hours playing with color options, both inside and out. When what we *really* should be doing is retrofitting our bathroom. D'oh!



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