I love the look of ivy covered homes and walls.....in moderation.
I once lived in a house that was 50% covered in ivy. The old house was made from stone and mortar with a faded creamy lemon patina render and it looked beautiful covered in the green ivy leaves. I use to think it looked just like an English cottage.
But then it died and the nightmare began.
Suddenly the look of my home changed from a quaint English cottage to the haunted mansion.
Not only that but the clean up of the dead ivy nearly destroyed the structure of the house because the ivy roots claw their way into the mortar and the white suckers attach themselves to the brick and when you pull the dead ivy creeper away from the house, the old house comes with them!
I ended up costing thousands of dollars in repair.
So your asking yourself, why would I even think about encouraging ivy to grow on the walls of my villa. Well I wouldn't but stone garden walls, well that's a different thing all together. As long as it's away from the house I have to admit that it does look great.
If your thinking about planting ivy to creep up the walls of your brick, stone or weather board house, then train it and REGULARLY trim it so that it's doesn't take over. Or before you know it, your house will be wearing an ivy suit!
TIP: If you do have ivy on your brick work and want to trim it back without the ugly mess, then the only way is to hit it with a blow torch. You then just brush away the ash.
A blow torch scares the hell out of me so I just use my Crème brûlée torch on the small "mind of their own sucker and tendril bits"