It’s not all rainbows and sunshine for Jane Gottlieb.
Tired of the drab houses that lined her upscale Santa Barbara, Calif., neighborhood, the 70-year-old artist decided to paint hers a rainbow of colors. Her goal was to brighten people’s days, according to the Daily Mail, but unfortunately, not all residents supported her vision.
“I don’t understand this obsession with beige and brown. I just don’t know why that is such a popular color combination for the world,” says Gottlieb. “I’m attracted to color. When I see anything that is bright or colorful, I want it.”
So Gottlieb spent two months — and splashed out $5,000 — to have her home painted in nine bright hues. Everything from the roof and the chimney to the patio and the stairs are covered in shades of blue, green, yellow, red, purple and pink.
Once it was done, Gottlieb felt she had turned her four-bedroom house into a “piece of art.”
It’s since been dubbed the “rainbow house,” the “color house,” and the “Easter house.” Many people walk past just to see the bright spectacle, Gottlieb reports.
“When people come that have never visited before, they just instantly smile. They are instantly happy because they’ve never seen anything like it. They say, ‘Oh my God, this is amazing,’ ” says Gottlieb. “I hear the same thing all the time: ‘You can’t be unhappy in this house.’ ”
Some of Gottlieb’s neighbors, on the other hand, are not thrilled.
“Nobody in the neighborhood really likes it because they all have these beige Mediterranean houses,” she explains, “and I have this bright, fanciful art piece.”
But that hasn’t deterred the well-known artist — whose prints have been exhibited across the globe — from spending the cash to keep her oasis vibrant. “The outside has to be repainted every couple of years because it fades,” she says. “Sometimes, a year goes by, and I don’t paint, but roughly it costs me $5,000 a year.”
There’s more: The interior is equally eye-catching. The living room features a purple couch and green fireplace, while Gottlieb’s studio sports a retro blue hue and checkered pattern throughout. The kitchen, bathroom, and shelves upon shelves displaying Murano glass and other curios add to the riot of colors, according to a home tour published on Curbed.
“I don’t even know how many colors there must be on the inside,” she says. “My favorite room has got to be either my studio or my purple living room because it looks out onto the pool and the ocean. We’ve decorated it with colorful Italian furniture and my artwork.”
Of course, the home didn’t look this way when Gottlieb, her husband, David Obst, and their dogs moved in 23 years ago. It was (surprise, surprise) beige and brown. After renovating, Gottlieb decided to start adding color — and never stopped, inside and out.
“It’s a never-ending thing,” she says. “It’s my 3-D art piece filled with my art, and I’m really proud of it. I love living here.”
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