Add purple trim to cement a home’s McMansion status

How much does adding purple trim contribute to making a large home a McMansion? Residents in Auckland, New Zealand weigh in:

The house, which is still under construction, is now sporting a bright purple trim right around the multiple eaves, and from what we understand, the owner (who also owns the neighbouring section) is perfectly entitled to do this…

But not everyone is opposed to the colour. “Brings diversity and a spot of colour to the neighbourhood,” one wrote, while another suggested the owners must be Melbourne Storm rugby league supporters.

Negative comments about the design and colour (“Barbie McMansion”) are also slammed by other residents, who think homeowners should be free to do their own thing: “It’s not my cup of tea, but each to their own. They own the land and they build to their specifications, it doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks.”…

“Those colours should be illegal,” writes another local. “With all the compliance you need to go through to build anything I can’t believe this got through council. Go them if they like the colours and can navigate their way through the criteria.”

The discussion, as described here, seems to involve the property rights of the owners and whether such color and design are in good taste. There do not appear to be restrictions on the color. This would be true in many places in the United States that are not governed by homeowners associations or preservation guidelines. At the same time, official guidelines on colors are different than what people expect to see on homes. Purple is not a color that would be viewed favorably in many American neighborhoods. While it could fit in some locations where the color palette is different for exterior parts of houses, it would be viewed as inappropriate in many settings.

Mix these two discussion points regarding McMansions, homes that often involve property rights – can people build a giant house wherever they want or right next to homes of different sizes? – and aesthetic judgments – are McMansions out of proportion, built poorly, and badly designed? – and the simple choice of a trim color mixes with numerous emotions. It is hard to be neutral with such a negative term for a house.

In the long run, could the purple-trimmed McMansion end up becoming a kind of local oddity? Some might not want to live near such a home but others might find it interesting to view when out for a drive or as part of a varied local landscape.

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