Insights • Inspirations • Destinations • Design

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Why Are White Houses So Enticing?

What is it about white houses that enchants, enthralls and entices us every time? Is it the architectural simplicity? The sentimentality many of us have for a home that shows understatement and pared-back elegance, rather than McMansion-style extravagance? Is it the fact that they remind us of fairytales, with their charm, and their cheekiness? Or could it be the idea that there is something so timeless and classic, so perennially perfect about a white house?

RR and I have been noticing so many pretty white houses on our walks lately that we're beginning to think our next home might be a white cottage by the sea. (Or as close to the sea as we can be while still remaining in the vicinity of a big city.) These are just some of the beautiful styles we've passed on our walks through South Yarra, Toorak and Portsea lately. NB These are all FANTASTIC White House neighbourhoods, so if you're a White House Addict, as I am, grab your dogs and go for a stroll through these areas. The only problem is, it's rather difficult to take photos while the dogs are straining at the leads. Which might explain why some of the photos are slightly wonky. That's Coco's fault. She spotted a particularly sexy golden retriever strolling along ahead of us.

(Top two images also from our Toorak / South Yarra strolls.)

This triptych of architectural splendour is just opposite Como Park in Melbourne's South Yarra neighbourhood. I always love walking past these homes. Look at the clipped topiary and the black shutters! Every one of them is immaculate. They make our house look rather dishevelled.

This next house is, in my (unauthoritative) opinion, one of the most beautiful white houses in Melbourne. Lots of people know about this house, which is tucked behind Hawksburn Village, and many of them (like me) detour past for a sneek peek. It's very difficult to take a decent photo of the front because the owner has cleverly planted a row of pleached limes in the nature stripe. They're so elegant. And they really enhance the architecture of the house. Anyhow, I happened to park here last week and saw the owner getting her groceries out of the car. I politely said hello, told her that her house was lovely, and she was gracious enough to strike up a conversation. Then she kindly allowed me to take a few photos... She's also invited me back for a look inside. I'm almost too shy to take up the lovely offer, but I think curiosity will get the better of me... 

Here's the owner, the stylish woman that she was, elegantly actioning some camel cashmere. (As Faux Fuchsia would say.) I haven't shown her face to protect her privacy, but she's as beautiful as her house!

Blue doors always look beautiful on white houses. (Do you know that if you paint your front door and the eaves under your verandah blue, it keeps the bad spirits away? Or the bees. I can't remember which it is now...) 

The last image shows the fence between this white house and the neighbours. Clever, isn't it? It allows for privacy while still appearing to be neighbourly. Love how the white trellis matches the architecture, and the ivy frames the 'picture'.

There's a fantastic secret walk that meanders along the clifftops of Portsea and takes you past some of the most beautiful white houses on the Victorian coast. You can access it at Point King Road in Portsea (park at Point King Road, walk down to the beach and then keep walking up the sandy path toward the city). Don't let all the white gates fool you. They're just for show. It's a public path. Anyone can stroll along. 

Here are just some of the white architectural jewels you'll see along it. You can walk right past the gardens. It's the best property porn on the peninsula.

Many of these clifftop houses have their own private pier. Most of the piers match the architecture of the houses. This one often has a family in it, enjoying  a summer BBQ.

The bathing boxes on the beach at the end of Point King Road are also white. (You gotta love a neighbourhood that keeps things stylish!) These bathing boxes sell for incredible sums. I think the last one sold for $455,000 in 2010. That's half a million Australian dollars. For a boat shed. That's one lucky dog. Our puppies just get a $20 dog bed to sleep in.


  1. All our houses have been white except this one!
    They look so fresh and clean and work so well with whatever you want in the garden.
    The next one will have to have a blue door and verandah ceiling I don't think I mind whether it keeps away the bees or the bad spirits as I don't want either!!!!
    Jules xxx

  2. What a stunning post, Janelle! Thanks ever so much for sharing that divine house and yes, please do return there ☺. J x

  3. Beautiful white houses! So crisp and fresh when surrounded by greenery.

  4. Ah, I would love a white house and white picket fence, it's all blonde sandstone in my area alas.

  5. I love your chutzpah you cheeky girl!
    Millie xx


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