All the Trimmings

Near Dunmanway

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.

Marine blue

Orange you glad to see me?Gallery, Union HallWhite and bold-colour contrast can also look charming the other way around – white walls and colourful trim.

However, the juxtaposition of two bold colours, or even three, for walls and trim is irresistible.

Purple on Mustard

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.

Ballydehob windowsills

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.

Eyeries Chimneys

chimney trimMany 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.


The Coffee Shop Union Hall

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.


19 thoughts

  1. Gorgeous Finola, what a kaleidoscope which challenges those Central American towns which are alive with colour. The paint industry must be thriving in Ireland. I like the plain white with blue trim, but the Boatman’s Inn would be just impossible to pass without it drawing you in for a cool glass of Murphy’s.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I love Budd’s too and I have to say the colours of Causkey’s bar made me go “oh wow”….I love purple…I think that must be a lilac colour so bright, it might glow in the dark? On a dark night, I suppose you could always find your way there! I do really love the shots of the house upon house done in different colours…reminds me of a garden! Can’t wait to see it with my own eyes! April

    Liked by 1 person

      • I hope to be in your area in the spring…..May-June?. Right now we are in the driest hottest weather we have ever experienced, our green province is brown and the forest fires are extreme. I’ve lived here all my life, and have never seen such a dry spring and summer.


  3. A fabulous array of zinging colours. I especially love Budds (been trying to get that shot for ages) and Ballydehob doorways with flowers. ‘Stop the car, Robert!’ is a frequent refrain whilst out on expeditions!


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