A Matter of Taste

When I was in 3rd grade, my father built us a new house across town. At the time we lived in a small bungaranch (or it is ranchalow?) with a bomb shelter in the basement. In 2014 I wrote a post telling a bit about that bomb shelter.

But this post is about our next house, sort of. My parents pored over architectural plans and made changes so that the house would be exactly what they wanted. It was a very well-constructed white aluminum siding and pink brick ranch with a full basement. My bedroom had a built-in desk, vanity, and bookshelves. We had a wood-paneled family room with fire place, and the living room had a wall of glass looking out to the woods behind. The house was 1,787 square feet (thanks, Trulia), which seemed of castle-like dimensions to me, particularly since I had most of that big basement to play in.

My father had some help from subcontractors, but all the framing, the masonry, and extras like concrete walks and patio were done by my father. With me watching and fetching.

When the house was almost completed, my father said my mother could choose the finishing touch. She could select the color of the front door.

This is where I wish I could put a little cardboard swinging door over the answer so that you would have to guess first. Then you’d pull open the door (like on a page of a child’s cardbook book) and look in shock at the color.

I remembered this story because I read Joey’s red door post on Thursday.

But our door wasn’t red (which is always striking on white or gray houses). Our door was turquoise. Yup. Gulp.

Maybe you love blue for decorating (I generally don’t as I prefer warmer colors). Or even turquoise. Or think it’s teal.

But it’s not. Turquoise is turquoise, and I’m sorry but it is not an appropriate color for a door, even if the rest of the house is lovely.

Flash forward. I moved into my house in Phoenix with its gold-tan stucco walls and dark brown trim–both in a sort of mottled faux finish. The colors suit the landscape here. And they are “house colors.”

After we moved in, I noticed that the faux brown around my windows and doors had started to peel. I went up to the door and pulled at a paint shred that was just hanging. As I ripped it up, I saw the color underneath.

It was turquoise. I am NOT kidding. The whole dang house is trimmed in store-bought turquoise trim. It’s not painted, but permanently coated with turquoise. And it defies paint on the top of it, which is why it peels all the time.


When the gardener and I visited Michigan just before my father got sick, we went to see our old houses, schools, and haunts. This is a pic of the pretty house that no longer has a turquoise door. The only thing is, the house was more distinctive looking with the turquoise door. So maybe it’s all a matter of taste–not good or bad–but individual. Sadly, we only lived here for a year and a half because, even after all my father’s work on the house, we couldn’t afford to keep it.


I’ve been really busy preparing everything the publisher needs for my chapbook, as well as doing a little work on the memoir. Fingers crossed on how all this goes . . . .

I hope your Valentine’s Day is lovely even if you don’t have a special love. Find someone who would be warmed by a valentine–and deliver. Word of warning if you plan on a bouquet: if they have cats, try to stay away from lilies and carnations, which are toxic to cats. Roses and orchids are safe. And the fewer greens the better because nobody ever seems to know which ones are toxic and which ones aren’t.

Muah!!! xo <3


Filed under #AmWriting, #writerlife, Arizona, Family history, Memoir, Nonfiction, Poetry Collection, Writing

27 responses to “A Matter of Taste

  1. The Michigan house reminds me of a house in my east coast adolescence (in Virginia and North Carolina). Lovely! In New Mexico, there are turquoise doors everywhere. Turquoise is considered good luck. (Not saying I particularly like it, but it seems to spark up the pervasive adobe.) Happy Valentine’s Day to you and yours 🙂

    • Turquoise was not good luck for us in that house. We had to move very quickly, and I was bullied during the time we lived there. 🙁 Happy Valentine’s Day to you and your furry boy Mr. Chapman!

  2. I think you were destined to live in a turquoise house, Luanne. I love the color, but not so much on a house. 🙂
    Happy Valentine’s Day!

  3. We touched up the house a couple of summers ago. White trim on the windows, latte tan on the main, AND a turquoise door. We have long, dreary winters and that gorgeous blue reminds me of summer days.

    • LOL, you see it IS all a matter of taste! It’s funny now that I see our old house with the white door I really miss the turquoise on it. It looks funny there in the middle without it. And I think my mother’s reasoning was similar to yours. It is in Michigan, after all.

  4. That house reminds me of my NJ home. We did a lot of work to it (including the exterior). We had gray siding with white brick and I painted the front door….wait for it…..teal. Teal is lovelier than turquoise or maybe I just like it. It worked with the gray siding and charcoal shutters. Not bright. Very subtle.

  5. They must have had a sale on turquoise paint back then. Great post. Happy Valentine’s Day!

    • LOL! Well, my house now is much newer than that house, so there is no excuse for the turquoise window trim. I think it’s weird to have it colored that way at the factory, but a builder built my house, and I think he put it together out of leftovers on his other house projects! Happy <3 Day to you, too!!!

  6. Ah, now I disagree, and think any color is suitable for the right door on the right house — turquoise included 🙂
    Our shed is yellow with a turquoise door. I did not choose it, but I don’t plan to replace it.

    • LOL, yellow with turquoise I really couldn’t do, although I might think it was cute on somebody else’s shed or even house. For instance, some of those New Orleans houses are bright color combinations–and I loved them. And many Mexican houses are bright colors–again pretty. Island houses, again pretty. But I was not thrilled with that door as a kid. Am I’m not thrilled with turquoise under the brown trim at this house. Now if it was CORAL. That would loverly. But I do think that the house as it is now with a white door (double doors really) is missing something that it had when the door was turquoise.

  7. I was going to say that the turquoise door probably made your house distinctive.
    It’s funny that you wrote that you mostly like warm colors. We didn’t really plan it, as we’ve painted rooms over the years, now our downstairs rooms (living room, kitchen, dining room) are all warm colors, but upstairs bedrooms are all blues, and the bathroom is a mixture– black/white/grey with blue accent tiles and yellow touches.

    • A lot of people favor blue for bedrooms because it is a soothing color. There are a lot of blues I like for a lot of things, but in decor, I don’t feel at my best in blue. Of course, I like red and orange tones, and they are the colors that make people hungry!!! and eat more :/. Yes, definitely more distinctive. And it wasn’t ugly at all. I was just a kid so I probably felt it made us stand out haha. I wasn’t fond of finding turquoise hidden under the brown trim on my house now, though, as it’s more of a pain to keep it painted!

  8. Luanne, this is such a lovely post. My thought when I saw the photo of the house was, gosh, all that work that your father must have done to bring it to completion seems to live in the visual of the house – even though it is no longer turquoise-door-ist. I want to tell you how much I enjoyed this post. You told the tale of the house-building effort with such suspense! (I’m taking notes on how to keep the reader’s interest!) I also very much enjoy the brief updates on your writing-professional work, and your note about cats and the danger of greens. It’s like a small peek into the Life of Luanne, Poet!

  9. Oh Luanna, I loved this.. taste has always been something that keeps me thinking and trying not to be judgemental about the choices that other people make !! We always think our own taste is so good !!!

  10. My husband likes things “painted right.” He bit his tongue when he “let” me paint the goat barn doors red. I left drip marks. I said it looked fine from a distance. Our front door remains unpainted because it has to be done right. 🙂

  11. I’m sorry your family couldn’t keep that house, turquoise door and all. The yard in that photo is so green it hurts — but in a good way.

  12. I wrote one of my first door’s posts, using words and not photos. Since I didn’t have a phone that took great pictures. I wrote about my best friend in third, fourth and fifth grade whose parents had a brown thatch look siding house with a Bright Orange door. My Mom then chose to have my Dad paint our front door Hot Pink! This was on our white split level with brick along the front section under the picture window. Mom asked Dad to come up with a pattern of red bricks, white and hot pink bricks interspersed to continue her color scheme.
    Many people thought the friends (my friend’s parents and my own parents lived five doors down) were a little crazy. 🙂 Turquoise would have fit right in. . . 😀 ha ha!

    • LOL, I love it! Well, it might have been those days. When I was in junior high (same time period?) bright neon yellow and orange and hot pink were the HOT colors. So that makes sense to me. Turquoise was probably something my mom had liked since the 50s when that color was big. I think.

  13. Do you remember my story without photographs of my Bretton Ridge (North Olmsted, OH) house where my Dad had to paint the front door Hot Pink?! It was crazy that we had a half wall of brick only in the front part, not the garage part that split and came out towards the road and entered sideways. My Mom asked my Dad to paint every five bricks a white brick, every 3 bricks a pink one and the brick was a mild color but never realized it may be like your own family’s house with rose/pink tinted brick
    Anyway, my friend Sandy’s Mom got the neon fever and chose a bright orange in a deep brown wooden shingles house. Same neighborhood only about six houses down. We still write at Christmas and follow each other on LinkedIn. 🙂

  14. Guess what? You can delete either of these same messages. I must be sleepy since I wrote similar comment awhile back, Luanne. We were in elementary when we built our home I was in fourth grade and we sold it with a white door, leaving the interspersed white, brick and pink colors alone. I loved this house! Your Mom really was stylish because I do see turquoise and it looks modern even today in small focus points or details in homes. My deceased first MIL had turquoise, lime green and black and white paisley wall paper in her Master bathroom. This was in my freshman year of college. She was an art teacher who graduated from Xavier College in Cincinnati, Ohio. She was an awesome artist. 🙂 Part of why I married the dumb lug. 😉

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