Business Insider Edition

A woman painted her house bright pink and covered it in emojis after neighbours reported her for renting it out on Airbnb

Rachel Hosie , Business Insider US
 Aug 08, 2019, 03:16 PM
The controversial 'emoji house' in Manhattan Beach, California.

  • An Airbnb host has responded to complaints from neighbours by painting her house bright pink and covering it in emojis.
  • Kathryn Kidd first annoyed locals in the residential area of Manhattan Beach in southern California by illegally renting out the house on Airbnb, Easy Reader News first reported.
  • After neighbours reported her, she responded by painting the property hot pink with two huge emojis on the walls.
  • Kidd maintains the paint job was simply meant to make people smile, but local residents believe it's a direct response to their complaints.
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An Airbnb host has responded to complaints from neighbours by painting her house bright pink and covering it in emojis.

Kathryn Kidd's two-level house in Manhattan Beach, southern California, has provoked debate after its drastic makeover, according to Easy Reader News.

If the hot pink hue of the walls wasn't enough to make the house stand out, Kidd made sure the building would really make a statement by painting two ginormous emoji faces on to the walls: one with a zipped-up mouth (generally thought to mean "shut up") and the other with a tongue sticking out.

Both the faces, painted by graffiti artist Bobby Rodriguez, known as Z the Art, have googly eyes with long, fluttery lashes.

The paint job is thought to be a retort to neighbours who reported Kidd for renting the house out on Airbnb illegally after grievances with noise made by guests.

In May, Kidd, who lives a few blocks away from the property, was fined $4,000 for having short-term renters in the property, Easy Reader News reported. Short-term rentals (less than 30 days) are illegal in residential areas of Manhattan Beach such as this, according to the city website.

Kidd maintains she didn't know about the law until she was fined, and will now only offer long-term rentals.

Susan Wieland, who lives opposite the emoji house, believes the eyelashes on the faces in particular are aimed at her, as she'd had eyelash extensions put on just before the faces were painted.

"I feel like I'm being bullied, frankly, by her," she told Easy Reader News of Kidd.

"That word keeps coming up to me: she's a bully, and she feels she is entitled. She just wants to make things uncomfortable for us."

Wieland added: "I feel like I've been directly attacked with my eyelash extensions. It's definitely directed. I had them done here in Manhattan Beach, and they did them way too big. Now it's painted on the house."

"It's mocking me. It's heartbreaking … I mean, it's literally staring right at me."

But Kidd insists the house's makeover wasn't directed at Wieland and was simply intended to cheer people up.

"Instead of everybody being so gloomy, always so depressed, always in other people's business, I just wanted to send a message to be happy, be colorful, be positive, and enjoy," she said.

"Everything doesn't have to be gray. It can be full of colors. Life is full of rainbows.

"I get tired of looking at gloomy buildings so I do something that makes me smile and probably makes someone else smile, too. That was my inspiration."

Read more: The owner of a 'Flintstones' house in California is being sued by neighbors over the 'eyesore' property, which features big metal dinosaurs and a 'Yabba Dabba Doo' sign

But Kidd's intentions have been called into question after comments made by artist Rodriguez in a now-deleted Instagram caption.

"Are your neighbours constantly ratting you out? Have they cost you thousands in fines? Why risk a case when you can send them a pretty message?" he wrote, according to the LA Times and Easy Reader News.

What's more, now that the house has prompted debate online and in the news, it's attracting visitors, which is causing further problems for the neighbours.

"Besides the obvious ugliness - and no one believes this is just artistic expression - it has now become a traffic nuisance issue with people stopping by to take selfies in front of the emoji house. It's nuts," neighbourhood resident Chris Strickfaden wrote in an email to the LA Times.

"I believe generally people should be able to do what they want with their property within the guidelines of the city, without governmental interference, including painting their exterior.

"However, this situation is not about the right of the homeowner. It's about one homeowner saying F-U to the person she blames for her plight and F-U to the rest of the street."

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