Orange is the New White?

Orange is the New White?

Orange is the New White?


Pumpkin. That’s the only suitable name for the paint color.

I don’t even know who lives in this house across the pond from us anymore. Our 20-year-old neighborhood is in a “fruit basket upset” stage: a state of flux, where the older families are moving out and new are moving in so fast my head is spinning, and I no longer have any idea who anyone is as I walk down our streets, waving at unfamiliar cars.

For all I know, Peter, Peter Pumpkin Eater could live here.

That would actually explain a lot.

When the new homeowners were first considering changing the color of the siding from the muted green it once was, they tested out a patch of the orange on the side facing our house. From far away, it looked as if they had perhaps replaced rotted cedar siding with a few new boards.

Not so much.

Turns out that they had painted a patch pumpkin, and were trying the color on for size.

Apparently, the color palette took root, grew on them, no one (s)quashed it, and then, at some point, they must have turned to each other, given a shared high five, and said, “Orange you glad we chose this color?”

Do I like it? Nope. I think it’s jarring, and I would never choose it for my home.

Does it matter what I think? Double nope.

The fact that I dislike the color of their house, I believe, is pretty much irrelevant. The ability to make individual choices comes with the territory of living in a democratic society; it comes, part and parcel, with the freedom of personal expression and choice we enjoy in this country.

We can choose to send our kids to private schools, public schools, online schools, or homeschool them; we can have open, heated debates about the racial tension in Ferguson, Bill Cosby’s presumed guilt or innocence, and whether or not Jay “The Interception King” Cutler deserves a spot on the Bears’ roster next year; and we can, given homeowner association rules agree, paint our houses pink, purple, or pumpkin orange if the mood suits.

Come next fall however, if a larger-than-life, jack-o-lantern mug were to appear on their back wall grimacing at me all the livelong day, I might not be feeling quite as open-minded.

Right now though, in these gray, often sunless days of winter, I guess a little orange on the horizon isn’t such a bad thing.

What’s your take? Do you think homeowners have a right to paint their homes any color, or should they, out of courtesy or perhaps some type of ethical obligation, stick to a more standard color?





Written by Becky


  • Catherine says:

    The problem with pumpkin is that it clashes with all the pretty pink flowers that I would want to plant beside it.

    • Becky says:

      Catherine! So glad you stopped in! And, hey, I’m thinking that flowers in ANY color could only enhance the look: pink, purple, or otherwise.

  • A pond? Neighbors across the pond? Oh my! We urban dwellers can usually see our neighbors right outside our windows. Were I to swing a cat, if I had a cat to swing, I would smack my neighbor in the ear if the windows were open. Unless your neighbor has a telescope it doesn’t matter what color you paint; who can see that far. As long as there aren’t any contrary rules use your palate that suits you. Happy New Year to you and your family. Keep up the good words.


    • Becky says:

      I get where you’re coming from, James. At our last home, we could sit on the back porch during the summer and listen to simultaneous, detailed conversations of 5 neighboring families if we so chose. As a result, we decided that we wanted to move far out, away from the crowds, where there was room to swing a cat without fear of nailing a neighbor. As it stands, we can stroll down the road 200 yards or so and look a working farm right in the face. And I really like that. What I don’t at all like, however, is having to hop in the car to get almost anywhere we want to go. Ah the trade-offs in life. . . Happy New Year to you and yours as well! I look forward to popping in to visit your blog again very soon!

  • Warren Goercke says:

    Becky, as you know I graduated Syracuse University way back in 1975. I’m a huge fan of the “Big Orange”. I am proud to say that the Orangemen basketball coach Jim Boeheim was there when I attended the school. As you can tell, I’m soft on orange. Tell you what though, when I come to visit you guys, I will purchase a brush and some paint, borrow a ladder, take a quick row across the pond to your orange neighbor at 3am and paint a big blue “SU” on the side of the house. Happy New Year, Warrren

  • Stephanie says:

    I really like the Pumpkin! I wouldn’t mind looking at it at all. I’ll even trade houses with you to save you the agony of having to see it each day, because that’s just the kind of friend I am. 🙂

    • Becky says:

      Steph! Your snarky comment was sent to my spam file, and I only now resurrected it. It put such a smile on my face, though, because you know how much I adore the snark. Anyway, I really, really appreciate your generous offer to trade homes to spare me the agony, but, frankly, you had your chance when the house next door went up for sale, and you passed on it. Therefore . . . no pumpkin for you!!!

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About Me:

Hi! My name is Becky. I’m a mom, a wife, a friend, a writer, and a compulsive thinker. Don't invite me to a spa or to shop the day away, but rather, make me laugh, engage me in interesting conversation, play a game with me, or give me a cappuccino and homemade vanilla bean flan and I’m yours ‘til the cows come home.

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