Sunday, February 09, 2014

We always learn something new

With every project Linnea and I learn something new.  This Victorian renovation will be more of the same.  Since the house is in the Restoration Area of historic homes in Tipp City, we have to abide by the building code and the decisions of the city Restoration Board.  We want to meet the board the end of February to present our first plan on emergency work.  The house desperately needs gutters, soffit repair and some siding replacement.

Since this work comes under the broad category of 'emergency work' needed to keep deterioration from happening/getting worse, we may not need actual permission from the Board.  But, since gutters will be in the purview of the board (coloring, type, etc.) I think we should get off to a good start.  So Linnea is working up a plan on paint for the exterior, hence the books on Victorian decoration and color.  We've learned a bunch about how the Victorians painted their houses and did their interiors, as well as how Victorian excess in color and decoration, the Industrial Revolution and mass production led to the Arts and Crafts movement.

Roger Moss (in his book Victorian Exterior Decoration) introduced me to a French gentleman named Michel Eugene Chevreul, scientist and chemist.  Chevreul developed the first explanation of why colors complemented some other colors, but not all.  He noticed, as others had, that some colors when placed next to another color either intensify or conflict.  He discovered that the human retina (the light and color sensing back of your eye) produces an afterimage of a complementary color and if it's overlaid on a similar, but not complementary color, then it's intensity is decreased.  if it's overlaid on the complementary color then it appears to increase in intensity.  A complementary color is really a pair of colors that when combined in the right amount to each other, they will produce either white or black.  They produce the greatest contrast when near each other.  Anyway, what this means to renovation is that these discoveries were happening about the time Victorians were painting houses.  Also, in a yet to be read Wikipedia article, artificial dyes were coming into use which allowed new colors and the mass production of house paints in these new paint schemes coming from the fertile minds of scientific artists.

So when we meet with the Renovation Board in a few weeks, I want to have a planned and historically accurate (required by the Board) plan on what colors we want to paint the house (which has been known in Tipp for a generation as "The Pink House").  So that explains why Linnea is playing paint-by-numbers with the prints we made of a possible elevation of the rear of the kitchen.

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