The Flintstone House is an eccentric house in Hillsborough, California. It was designed in 1976 by William Nicholson and most recently purchased by Florence Fang in 2017 for $2.8 million. Large dinosaur statues and other Flintstone-themed artwork cover the front and back yards. Town officials from Hillsborough sued Florence Fang, stating that her property doesn't comply with the community's code.
- This is the Flintstone House. If you're ever driving down Berryessa Way in Hillsborough, California, you can't miss it. The house stands out among its neighbors with its smooth purple and orange domes, not to mention the huge dinosaur sculptures in the yard.
When William Nicholson designed the house in 1976, he didn't have the Flintstones in mind. That designation came later.
WILLIAM NICHOLSON: When it first was nicknamed the Flintstone House, I was really taken aback because, you know, I mean, this was my baby. This was my creation. You know, and you had a pride of authorship come in there.
- Nicholson was actually inspired by the Blue Mosque in Istanbul, Turkey. He had visited the mosque, and the interior dome ceiling made him want to design a home from the inside out. So even though the house gets a lot of attention for its funky exterior, the inside is also a sight to behold.
Colorful stained glass windows are built into the walls. Round built-in shelves line the walls of the kitchen, along with fun details, like these swirling designs in the ceiling. Inside the tallest orange dome is a sitting area called the conversation pit. An orange upholstered couch curves around the front of the fireplace. And a big window looks out onto a succulent garden and patio.
The house has three bedrooms and two baths. One of the bathrooms has a stone bathtub and shower. Upstairs is the smallest bedroom that could also be used as a painting studio or just a lounge space. The house is filled with artwork and sculptures added by the owner, Florence Fang.
FLORENCE FANG: Everything to me is a piece of art. You know, the light is a piece of art, and all the windows, and the ship.
- Fang bought the house for $2.8 million in 2017. She says she's loved the house since the first time she came inside. The conversation pit is her favorite part.
FLORENCE FANG: Every time I walk in this room and there's a high ceiling and you're sitting here, you just feel like yourself, kind of small. And you feel, like, so peaceful. But for you looking outside and you see, you know, the cars from the bridge. Then suddenly you realize, you still belong to the world, still belong to the community. That's a very nice, nice feeling.
- The house was already painted orange and purple when Fang bought it, but she took the Flintstone theme to a whole new level. Along with Flintstones sculptures, colorful mushrooms dot the yard. Aliens, dinosaurs, and other funky objects cover the property. But not everyone appreciates the eccentric decorations. Town officials in Hillsborough filed a lawsuit against Fang, calling the house an eyesore that doesn't comply with the community's standards.
But Fang is defending her vision. She says her house represents the idea of the American Dream, with all different kinds of creatures living together in harmony. And Nicholson agrees.
WILLIAM NICHOLSON: Why shouldn't a house be fun? Why shouldn't environments that we do be fun? Why shouldn't architecture that we do be fun? This is fantastic, and this is what Florence is caused to happen.