The purplest house ever

The purplest house ever
Canon PowerShot S95

My wife and I have been walking neighborhoods all over central Indiana for the last few years looking for one that gives us the most of what we want in a home and its surroundings, with prices we are willing to pay.

We’ve recently visited the Irvington neighborhood on Indianapolis’s Eastside a couple times, and we think this just might be the next place we call home. We’re at least a year away from being ready to move, though.

When Irvington was planned in 1870, it was as a town — Indianapolis didn’t extend this far east yet. Indianapolis annexed Irvington in 1905. The National Road, known locally as Washington Street, bisects it; a small business district with shops and restaurants lines this main street. To the north and south lie a network of narrow streets, many of them curved, a few of them still paved in brick. Homes are older, built between 1870 and about 1960.

This extremely purple house is for sale. I checked it out on Zillow — it’s lovely inside. But zomg, the purple. Now, purple happens to be my favorite color. What I’ve learned, however, is that a little purple goes a long way. At my last house, I used purple as an accent color in my kitchen, but used a particular complimentary shade of green much more. Purple mostly showed up in my kitchen in utensils, small appliances, and bakeware. I still have a complete set of purple Pyrex.

My Canon S95 got the color exactly right in this shot. Purple has not historically been its strong suit. It usually renders it as a purplish blue.

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36 responses to “single frame: The purplest house ever”

  1. brandib1977 Avatar

    My goodness! That is some serious purple!!! I’m guessing it stands out against the neighbors though.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      It does! Considerably.

      1. brandib1977 Avatar

        What was the little girl’s name on Willy Wonka? She ballooned? :)

        1. Jim Grey Avatar


          1. brandib1977 Avatar

            Yes!!! This old gal reminds me of Violet!!

  2. DougD Avatar

    Awesome, one of my high school teachers had a purple house. The school hockey team was away at a tournament and sent him a postcard addressed to “purple house, Stoney creek Ontario “ and it got there 😃

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      That’s awesome!

  3. Andy Umbo Avatar
    Andy Umbo

    I Love Purple! …and this happens to be a tastefully done purple!

    I’ve lived all over the U.S., and when I get to a new place, I start in the middle of the city and drive around in circles, working my way out, looking at everything; checking the neighborhoods, the stores, and who’s on the streets. You know, of course, that I’m not a fan of Indianapolis AT ALL, especially after doing this when I first got there! I will have to say, tho, the two places I saw when I first got there, that I felt were like the places I’m used to living in, were Irvington, and a neighborhood called Little Flower.

    You certainly know Irvington, but Little Flower is also an area of nicely built (probably German work) style houses, seems to be mostly teachers and people from Eli Lilly who I met on the street, and of course, affordable.

    Unfortunately both were surrounded by high-crime, and I even knew people on my staff who lived in Irvington and were beaten and robbed on the street walking at night, so of course, buyer beware. I would have moved to either because it was the type of people and places I was used to from Chicago, Milwaukee, and Washington DC.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      The challenge with Little Flower for us is that it’s mostly 2-bedroom bungalows. We need at least 3 bedrooms, and would be happier with 4.

      The crime is what makes me the most hinky about Irvington. There’s a part of me that wants to just return to the 56th/Kessler area with its sprawling brick ranches — and next to no crime.

      1. Andy Umbo Avatar
        Andy Umbo

        Plus one for 56th and Kessler, but it was out of my price range!

        1. Jim Grey Avatar

          The house I lived in over there most recently was in the Little Flower price range. This was mine:

  4. Dan Cluley Avatar
    Dan Cluley

    It’s a little bright, but I like it. If it was half hidden behind a tree like the neighbors houses I think it would be fine.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      True, a little tree cover would help here.

  5. Michael Avatar

    Color (aside from mint green accent) looks great, but I’d have to think that’s a pretty fresh job and wouldn’t look so hot in 5 years once it fades a bit. Roof needs repair on both side dormers, too, and that location is not a DIY job.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      Yes, it’s probable they painted it fresh so they could sell it. But to leave the roof in that condition … that doesn’t make sense.

  6. -N- Avatar

    I think I could live here myself! It is a fantastic, deep and rich purple. Yep – go for it!

      1. -N- Avatar

        Oh, what a beauty! Thanks for the link. I love these kinds of houses.

  7. Darts and Letters Avatar
    Darts and Letters

    this is sort of the Dutch Colonial style, isn’t it? I specifically like this one because of the porch. The color is great (I love it) but I’m trying to extrapolate ahead maybe five or seven years and imagine what it’ll look like once it has faded. It will be less of a Barney the dinosaur house, for sure. But I’d hate to lose too much of the vibrancy that’s part of the color’s charm, here. we painted our house a really deep ocean blue and it was pretty as heck but now it’s more of a powder blue from our southern exposure and I really don’t care for it all. The other thing that strikes me about this place is the interior fireplace. That’s really common but it still has always been a characteristic I found quite interesting. I wonder what the advantages or disadvantages are? guess you can save on tuckpointing, lol

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      That chimney is still there, and it’s assuredly brick, and if there are structural issues with it you can’t see them. Ask me how I know this is a thing. :-(

      I don’t know what this architectural style is called but I’m ambivalent about it. I’m more a Craftsman bungalow guy, except so many of those have just two bedrooms. I also like American Foursquares for their efficient use of space.

      Right now we’re in 1900 sf, four people. Moving down to about 1400 sf would sting. But the two kids are both adults and will eventually be on their way, so we could suck it up for a while if we needed to!

  8. tikanyis Avatar

    If I did return to Indianapolis, having grown up there (no fault of mine!) Irvington would be it.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      It’s lovely, to be sure. I still sort of miss my old house off 56th/Kessler/Cooper though. It wasn’t a hip neighborhood, but I was happy in my home.

  9. analogphotobug Avatar

    Well I have a Purple House Too! And it makes me very Happy!

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      Awesome! I’ve never owned a house I needed to paint, so the temptation isn’t there to try it.

  10. Andy Umbo Avatar
    Andy Umbo

    BTW, there’s another very nice purple house in Zionsville. 210 N. Main Street. The street view image shows the purple better…

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      I know it well. I think the people behind this one in Irvington executed it much better.

  11. M.B. Henry Avatar

    Oh GOSH this brought back the best childhood memory. Every summer I used to spend some time with my grandparents in Ohio. And in the town by their house, their was the purplest, purply house you ever saw with turquoise framing. I was always so excited to see that house, not just because of its stellar paint job, but also because I knew we were close to grandma and grandpa’s house! :) Sadly, new owners moved in there several years ago and painted over the purple. So thanks for resurrecting the purple house from my memories!!

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      I’m happy to have reconnected you with that memory today!

  12. Peggy Avatar

    I would love a coloured house. We don’t really see that too much in England unless you are at the coast. Otherwise the only colour you see it cottage white. They make me happy. Purple looks so bold, love it.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      Cottage white is so tidy and clean!

  13. Khürt Williams Avatar

    I find brightly coloured homes much more interesting than the cookie cutter beige and grey homes that line the streets of nearly every neighbourhood in New Jersey. Winter is almost here and I’ll wish there was a purple home to add some colour.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      I live in a modern midwestern suburban neighborhood and every house is some shade of beige. The only color is trim and shutters, and even then the HOA limits us to boring hues: muted greens and blues, plus brown. Snore.

  14. Steve Mitchell Avatar

    If you can’t see the Toyota sign from there you will probably consider it a step up! A couple of coats of paint will change the purple to any shade you and the neighbours can agree on!!!

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      I very much look forward to the day I can no longer see the Toyota sign!

  15. nataliesmartfilmphotography Avatar
    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      It certainly stands out!

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