Artist Transforms Beige House Into Rainbow Paradise


Consider painting your front door a pretty pastel colour to be a little too daring?

If you feel like tossing caution to the wind, we suggest drawing inspiration from artist Jane Gottlieb, 70, who spent thousands turning her home in Santa Barbara, California’s outside and interior into a rainbow paradise. The total opposite to the current trend of all black homes.

Jane like living in a massive work of art, even if not all of her neighbours are fans of the extremely brilliant house and it costs thousands of dollars to paint the exterior every year to keep the rainbow colours.

And onlookers enjoy taking peeks at the house, often known as the rainbow house (for obvious reasons).

Talented artist Jane, whose work has been displayed all over the world, told Metro: ‘When people come that have never visited before they just instantly smile, they are instantly happy because they’ve never seen anything like it.

‘They say “oh my God, this is amazing”.

‘I hear the same thing all the time – “you can’t be unhappy in this house”.

‘I don’t understand this obsession with beige and brown, I just don’t know why that is such a popular colour combination for the world.

‘I’m attracted to colour, when I see anything that is bright or colourful I want it.

The house requires a yearly paint job to keep it looking bright (Picture: Mercury Press & Media)

‘Nobody in the neighbourhood really likes it because they all have these beige Mediterranean houses and I have this bright fanciful art piece.

‘Some people call it the colour house, the rainbow house or the Easter house and when I tell people where I live so many people have already seen it.

‘The outside has to be repainted every couple of years because it fades.

‘Sometimes a year goes by and I don’t paint but roughly it costs me $5,000 a year.

‘I have very happy decorators. They have a really good time here because they have fun with it and I’m keeping them busy.

‘It’s a never-ending thing.’

Jane, who shares a home with her 73-year-old writer husband David Obst, is always coming up with new ideas. She also acknowledged that by changing the colours in her home to ones that are even more colourful than before, her home has become lighter.

The couple moved in 23 years ago and revived the 1970s modernist details (Picture: Mercury Press & Media)

When the couple first moved in 23 years ago, they had to spend two months tearing down additions and extensions that had been put up to cover up the home’s original modern architecture.

But in doing so, Jane found a tonne of modernist features from the 1970s, which she chose to emphasise with vivid and daring colours.

She said:

‘When we first moved in it was beige and brown with the beige carpet and all these truly awful and ugly built-in parts.

‘It was originally built in 1977 and it was a very modern and unusual house for Santa Barbara because they are usually Mediterranean houses around here.

‘The previous owner did not like the modern lines so he got rid of every corner and put in all of these add-ons to hide all of these beautiful lines, but when we got it the bones were still there.

‘When we started ripping out all of these awful add-ons I saw all these beautiful details and I knew that I just had to paint them out.

‘It only took two months, it was easy for me to pick the colours.

‘There isn’t any room that has the original colours that they were when we got here.

‘At first the colours were all more lavender and lime green but over the years they have got brighter and brighter.

‘I don’t think David has realised, it’s just been a progressive change over the years.

‘Each time the decorators are coming I have a new idea and I think “that colour would look great” or “this just needs to be a little bit brighter”.’

Jane shares the home with her husband and their dogs (Picture: Mercury Press & Media)

After beginning her career in the art world 35 years ago, Jane first gained notoriety for her hand-painted Cibachrome prints before becoming a Photoshop pioneer and used the programme to produce fantastical and vividly distorted images.

Jane considers her home to be her greatest piece of art, despite the fact that her prints have been displayed all over the world and achieved international acclaim.

The rainbow house serves as a residence for Jane, David, and her four dogs, Popcorn, Pepper, Freddie, and Lulu. It also houses her studio and some of her most valued works of art.

‘Purple and blue are the dominant colours but outside alone there are three pinks, two purples, one blue, one yellow and two lime greens,’ Jane says. 

‘Inside my favourite room has got to be either my studio or my purple living room because it looks out onto the pool and the ocean.

‘We’ve decorated it with colourful Italian furniture and my artwork.

‘I don’t even know how many colours there must be on the inside.

‘It’s my 3D art piece filled with my art and I’m really proud of it, I love living here, it’s a great place.’

Take a look inside another rainbow house by Kat or Katwise as she is known on Etsy.