EcoSalon republished a great story written by Lindsey Anna Toleda entitled Seeing Red (When the Homeowners Association Wants To See White). It’s a well written piece about the importance that heritage, images from their travels and color plays in lives of Lindsey Toleda and her husband.

Lindsey and her spouse live in a homeowners’ association (“HOA”) and really wanted a red front door. She wrote:


“. . . Our front door. In deciding what kind of entrance we wanted for our home, we set out to dictate the terms. We really wanted the first (and last) image of our home to leave everyone seeing red after having fallen in love with colorful doors while traveling.

Red – the color of passion, of life and death, of warmth, and in many cultures, of prosperity and joy. Red is creation and destruction. Red is not slinking into the background of life. Red means setting ourselves apart from a sea of bland doors and perhaps even bland lives behind those doors so neatly painted in our neighborhood.”


After talking with their HOA about painting their door red, the Toleda’s were told that all doors in the association must be painted white. In a refreshingly practical way, this passionate woman wrote: “So what do we do? Do we fight it? With so many battles in life, this one doesn’t seem like a big deal in the grand scheme of things. . . Perhaps we’ll just paint the inside of the door red so that when anyone exits the house, they get a warm, passionate send-off.”   


Like Ms. Toleda – I LOVE color! Maybe it has something to do with my heritage, but my favorite place to visit is Ireland. If you have ever been there, I bet one of the first jolts you received was from the brilliant colors the houses are painted. I even have a picture in my office of a row of homes painted electric blue, turquoise, salmon and mustard yellow.


While there is no way our HOA would ever permit Larry and me to paint the exterior of our home sea blue, we have found a way to express our love of color. In the summer, our flower gardens are ablaze in bright yellows, purples, blues, pinks, oranges and reds – just to name a few. The interior of our home is also alive with yellows, golds, deep reds and blues.  Some of our friends probably cringe when they enter our home, but we love the color and have even complied with the covenants!


You can live in an HOA and still express who you truly are. It just takes a little cooperation and creativity.