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Owner of Alleged 'Spite House' in London Allowed to Keep Her Paint Job

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Carl Court/Getty

The paint job on Zipporah Lisle-Mainwaring’s London townhouse certainly makes a statement. According to her neighbors, that statement is meant as an over-the-top slight against them. Whether or not that was Lisle-Mainwaring’s intention, a London court has ruled that she’s allowed to keep the candy-striped house the way it is, The Guardian reports.

The conflict began when the neighborhood forbid Lisle-Mainwaring from tearing down her house, which she uses for storage, and building a new one in its place. The red-and-white stripes appeared on the facade in March 2015 and The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea demanded that she repaint “all external paintwork located on the front elevation” shortly thereafter.

The notice, which was served under the UK’s Town and Country Planning Act of 1990, said that the “stripes on the front elevation, [are] incongruous with the streetscape of South End and the local area.” Instead of painting over the stripes within 28 days as the notice required, Lisle-Mainwaring took the matter to court.

The 71-year-old property developer’s initial appeal to a small claims courts failed, so in 2016 she launched a judicial review action with London’s high court. The judge, Justice Gilbert, ruled that while the bold pattern may be aesthetically questionable, it's “entirely lawful.”

As for whether or not the house was painted out of spite, it’s not the most outrageous idea. People have been erecting so-called “spite houses” (and even "spite fences") for centuries. But as Justice Gilbert stated, the “color scheme may have come about because of an owner’s eccentricity or because of his/her pique. The [law] does not apply any differently to the latter than it does to the former.”

[h/t The Guardian]

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MODS International, Amazon
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You Can Now Shop for Tiny Houses on Amazon
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MODS International, Amazon

Whether you’re in the market for board games, boxed wine, or pickup trucks, you can likely find what you’re looking for on Amazon. Now, the web retailer’s catalogue of 400,000,000 items includes actual homes. As Curbed reports, Amazon will deliver a tiny house made from a shipping container to your current place of residence.

The pint-sized dwelling is made by the modular home builder MODS International, and is selling for $36,000 (plus $3754 for shipping, even for Prime members). The container is prefabricated and move-in ready, with a bedroom, shower, toilet, sink, kitchenette, and living area built into the 320-square-foot space. The tiny house also includes heating and air conditioning, making it a good fit for any climate. And though the abode does have places to hook up sewage, water, and electrical work, you'll have to do a little work before switching on a light or flushing the toilet.

Becoming a homeowner without the six-digit price tag may sound like a deal, but the MODS International home costs slightly more than the average tiny house. It’s not hard for minimalists to find a place for about $25,000, and people willing to build a home themselves can do so without spending more than $10,000. But it's hard to put a price on the convenience of browsing and buying homes online in your pajamas.

[h/t Curbed]

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For the First Time in 40 Years, Rome's Colosseum Will Open Its Top Floor to the Public
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The Colosseum’s nosebleed seats likely didn’t provide plebeians with great views of gladiatorial contests and other garish spectacles. But starting in November, they’ll give modern-day tourists a bird's-eye look at one of the world’s most famous ancient wonders, according to The Telegraph.

The tiered amphitheater’s fifth and final level will be opened up to visitors for the first time in several decades, following a multi-year effort to clean, strengthen, and restore the crumbling attraction. Tour guides will lead groups of up to 25 people to the stadium’s far-flung reaches, and through a connecting corridor that’s never been opened to the public. (It contains the vestiges of six Roman toilets, according to The Local.) At the summit, which hovers around 130 feet above the gladiator pit below, tourists will get a rare glimpse at the stadium’s sloping galleries, and of the nearby Forum and Palatine Hill.

In ancient Rome, the Colosseum’s best seats were marble benches that lined the amphitheater’s bottom level. These were reserved for senators, emperors, and other important parties. Imperial functionaries occupied the second level, followed by middle-class spectators, who sat behind them. Traders, merchants, and shopkeepers enjoyed the show from the fourth row, and the very top reaches were left to commoners, who had to clamber over steep stairs and through dark tunnels to reach their sky-high perches.

Beginning November 1, 2017, visitors will be able to book guided trips to the Colosseum’s top levels. Reservations are required, and the tour will cost around $11, on top of the normal $14 admission cost. (Gladiator fights, thankfully, are not included.)

[h/t The Telegraph]

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