San Francisco's Victorian houses are usually painted in color schemes that emphasize their ornamental woodwork. When a house is being painted, you usually see a sign for the color consultant along with a sign for the painting contractor.
Recently some home owners have taken the opposite approach and painted the whole house black---walls, windows, trim, everything. Usually, there is just one of these on a block, as you can see here.
There is a certain appeal to this look, but our local architecture critic, John King, has started sounding the alarm. In a recent column, he writes, "I can now state emphatically, without reservation, that the black house craze has gone too far." He particularly objects to other architectural styles being painted black: bungalows, Spanish revival. mid-century modern.
When I walk by one of these, I enjoy the surprise and the dramatic impact. But I agree with Mr. King when he warns against taking this too far. Two or three of these in a row or a whole block of them would be overwhelming.