In my two previous posts on our wonderful West Cork colourful houses, A Lick of Paint and An Extra Lick of Paint, I’ve concentrated on overall house colour and on how that colour stands out in the landscape or the streetscape. Since that second post was written, in March, two of the most colourful houses I photographed have been re-painted, both in shades of khaki. Am I chronicling an endangered species? I hope not!
So in the spirit of celebrating our colourful tradition, I am devoting a post to the trim choices – the window surrounds, the doors and the chimneys, the shop fronts – that add to the vibrancy and delight of our neighbourhoods, villages and countryside.
The most common trim choice is white and often that seems the only, or perfect, choice. Or perhaps the safest. It certainly provides a lively contrast to a bold colour.
However, the juxtaposition of two bold colours, or even three, for walls and trim is irresistible.
Windows are a natural focus for colour. Sometimes the frame and the surround is painted the same colour and sometimes two colours are employed, both contrasting with the wall colour.
A local tradition seems to be to paint the chimneys the same colour as the walls, although occasionally the trim colour is used instead. I particularly like the chimneys in Eyries on the Beara Peninsula. Note the jaunty use of the trim colour on the chimney pots, on the second-to-last house in the lower photograph.
Many traditional village or town commercial buildings here are masonry, with the shop-fronts in painted wood. A few examples here – although traditional shop-fronts deserve a post to themselves at some point. I also include cafés, restaurants and pubs in this category.
Kinsale is a cornucopia of colour! Herewith just a few examples of what you’ll find if you wander its streets.
Trim colour is often used to good effect on garden walls and gate posts in addition to the house. Here’s a fetching example from near Union Hall .
So – what do you think, Dear Reader? Do you have a favourite among these examples? Do you have any photos of your own to share? If so, comment below, or drop by our Facebook Page and vote for the one you like best. I will finish with one of my own current favourites and an exuberant addition to Ballydehob.