Eating a meal one day, I noticed the floral designs, blue on white, of our kitchen wallpaper, and I thought about how every room in a house is decorated differently yet the outside is essentially the same. You can have green in one room, blue in another and wood paneling in a third. But the siding is all one color, often a bland, nondescript (a synonym for boring) weathered-looking gray or brown. That style came along sometime around the early 1990s and is, I think, an attempt to replicate saltspray-faded seashore houses, so now thousands of bland houses stand in drab ranks in housing allotments occupying former farmland bearing rural British or early American names that try to make the allotments sound like the farmland and woods they replaced as we obliterate the natural environment and then yearn for what we destroyed.
I see the same blandness on cars and trucks. Dull gray, pale gold, silver, black and white seem to be the favored colors for the majority of vehicles, which blend in with the highway, especially on a rainy, gray wintry day, even more so after acquiring a layer of salt on snowy days. It seems vehicles should be bright so other drivers see them, not dull and pale.
I would like to see cars with multiple colors. For example, they could be painted in tartans (that’s plaid for you non-Scottish folks), and you could order your family’s tartan as your car’s paint job. Or you could have your picture painted on your car, making it easy to find in a parking lot but inconvenient if you like to be anonymous on the road.
Could the same be done with houses? Why can’t the outside of houses be more colorful and varied, like the interior? When I pondered our floral wallpaper, I imagined something similar on the exterior. Why not have vinyl siding that looks like ivy growing on leaves? Or they could make siding that looks like bricks (choose your color) or stone. We could even have weathered bricks for that rustic country look.
Maybe you could have your family’s picture put on your siding. That would help first-time visitors find your house. (Turn left onto Birchtree Lane into the Walden Farm allotment, turn right on Lexington Lane, and look for the faux ivy house with the picture of our family next to the picture window.) Or the picture could be placed on the picture window, the kind that is transparent to the residents but appears as a solid picture to visitors and passers-by.
For people who don’t want to be found, a house could be sided with vinyl that looks like a yard, with trees on the upper parts and shrubs and grass on the lower. Advances in technology should allow for siding that changes with the seasons, turning brown and gray in November and white when it snows. The next level would be holographic siding. A company would take holographic photos of the yards and trees around your house and embed the holographs in the siding so when you see the front of the house the hologram shows the back yard, and when you stand in the back yard, the rear holographic siding shows the front yard. That could make it hard for criminals to find the windows and doors. Maybe they could make gag siding that looks like the interior just to fool people.
All kinds of specialty sidings are possible. For example, I would like siding that looks like an antique sheet of music. Because I transcribe music with calligraphy pens, I could take a sheet of handwritten music to the store to order my siding, even using one of my own tunes, complete with a copyright notice at the bottom. Car guys could display their favorite models on their siding, and the jokers among them could order garage doors that look like an open garage door with antique vehicles inside. Wouldn’t that be a shock for crooks who think they’ve happened upon an open garage stocked with rare antiques on a dreary winter night?
I’m mostly kidding, but if you see customized siding and garage doors in the future, send me the information. It was my idea first, and I should get some royalties.
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