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Swedish couple blown off over shades of grey

Swedish couple blown off over shades of grey

Published: 04 Sep 2012 13:44 GMT+02:00
Updated: 04 Sep 2012 13:44 GMT+02:00

A couple in southern Sweden was forbidden from painting their house because their proposed shade of grey “didn’t match” the other seventies-styled homes on their street.

“It’s so dull that this kind of thing can happen,” said disgruntled resident Ellinor Johansson to The Local.

“The house is my boyfriend’s – surely he can paint it whichever colour he likes. And I don’t see what the problem is with grey!”

The couple notified the Höör municipality in March that they would be painting the house and garage but had to wait until September for the response, which informed them that their choice of paint colour was simply not permissible.

“All the houses on our side of the street are painted in a similar colour. They’re all from the seventies and don’t even look that great. We were told that we just couldn’t paint the house in the colour we'd chosen.”

“What’s worse – all the houses on the other side of the street are really modern, and are all painted in different colours. It doesn’t make sense."

While the painting plans have been put on hold, Johansson explains that the fight is far from over.

“We’ll probably lodge an appeal against their decision, who knows where it will lead, but hopefully we’ll end up with a grey house,” she told The Local.

Oliver Gee

Follow Oliver on Twitter here

The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

14:48 September 4, 2012 by Abe L
Sweden, the country where your neighbours decide what colour you can or can't paint your house in.

Having to get permission to colour your house in a certain colour is ridiculous in the first place, it's YOUR house.
15:37 September 4, 2012 by poppycockcoconut
It's not only in Sweden that this can be an issue. Many of neighborhoods in the states that have Home Owners Associations are subject to this same BS. If I want my house purple, I'm going to paint it purple. I don't care if it matches the other houses, or if offends you, don't look at it.
17:29 September 4, 2012 by Swedishmyth
At least HOA's are private, and there are houses that aren't connected to them. These people actually had to apply to a municipality for a permit to paint their own house.

If they were to go ahead with it anyway, what crime would they be charged with? Unlawful harmless utilization of one's own property?
22:04 September 4, 2012 by krattan
My house is ugly and the state says it's gonna stay that way.
16:46 September 5, 2012 by oldonpalouse
My wife has always told a version of this story from 60 years ago as one reason why she left Sweden. Is the sameness of color because of 'lagom'? Must everyone be the same or have the same opportunity for a pleasing color?
18:59 September 7, 2012 by KossBoss
@oldonpalouse

No, I don't think it sounds like it would due the reason to be lagom. Lagom is a virtue or ideal that means that things should be well balanced, not that everyone or everything should be the same.

However, I do know that many older housing areas where the houses are culture marked, have restrictions on what colors and other modifications that are permitted to preserve it's historical value. And like some other person said above, this is not only an issue in Sweden, which regarding this particular case is quite rare actually. Instead, look at the gate communities in the US with all their rules and fine selectivity. I doubt they would allow you to paint your house pink or turn your fence to graffitti in there. That would be like committing suicide. ;)

One of my neighbours' yard looks like a junk yard and I wouldn't mind if they moved at all.
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