FORT WORTH -- In a neighborhood already known for its elaborately-painted homes, it takes a lot to stand out. But Nina Dillmann has somehow managed to do it anyway.
“There’s two shades of blue. Dynamic blue and undercool,” she says, listing off the colors she’s using to paint her house.
“Electric lime, kismet lavender… oh! Jovial pink!” she says, laughing. “Nine different colors.”
Colors like icy lemonade, confident yellow, daffodil and dishy coral are being expertly applied to her Victorian-style home on College Avenue in Fort Worth’s Fairmount Neighborhood. Her inspiration for the design might ring a bell.
“First in the process was seeing the movie 'Up' by Disney, several years ago,” Dillmann says.
You’ll know the image when you see it: the multi-colored house that’s carried by balloons.
Dillmann says she always loved the bright colors and message. But it took going through a pretty dark time to get her to act on her desires.
“2014 was cancer year with my daughter, and then spring 2015 I had a mild stroke,” Dillmann recalls.
Everyone is now healthy, but it left her with a new perspective.
“Life's too short. Life’s just way too short,” Dillmann says.
So she told her husband, Doug, she wanted to paint the house in colors that would simply make her happy.
“I'm on board. I was really tickled,” Doug Dillmann says.
Justin Smith of Pinnacle Painting was hired to do the job. It was unlike one he’d ever seen before.
“I was like wow, this is a lot of colors,” Smith says. “But I was really impressed with the inspiration.”
Nina Dillman just wondered if neighbors would feel the same.
“I was frightened. I was scared to death,” she says. “I was like 'what are they going to do to me?'”
But to Nina’s surprise, over the weeks they've been painting, the majority of reactions from neighbors and passersby has been positive.
“It’s interesting to say the least,” says next door neighbor Ray Feyen. “And colorful.”
“Nobody’s thrown rocks at us yet. Everyone keeps coming by for another look. Every time I see them walk by, they're smiling,” Nina says.
And when the pain has dried, above the door, for all to see, will be this message: Keep Looking Up. It’s a phrase with special meaning to her family and now, she hopes, to those who walk by their home.
“If we can make somebody smile with this house, that’s awesome. I like it. It makes me smile,” Nina says, laughing.
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