Design snapshot: Painted-lady cottage trim

Many of the "painted ladies" stick-and-shingle cottages, like this one, at the Oak Bluffs camp-meeting grounds on Martha's Vineyard offer playful trim combinations of contrasting color and carvings. Here, red, flowery barge boards and white, balcony skirt trim cast sharp, graphic shadows on the cottage's shingle backdrop.

The brightly trimmed gothic-revival style window appears ready to blast upward -- held at bay by the bleeding-heart balcony trim, pointing in the opposite direction. The staggered-height horizontal members in the guard rail reinforce the play between opposing up and down forces.

It's a dynamic composition eager to please appreciative passersby.

Read more about the Vineyard camp-meeting grounds here and here.

by Katie Hutchison for House Enthusiast