January 2, 2013 § Leave a comment
Just like the LBD (little black dress), black houses are popping up all over and with predictably dramatic effect. The trend seems to be particularly hot in Southern California although I’ve seen it in Massachusetts too. Why black? Well, why not.
-Black as a house color fits into any neighborhood and certainly stands out from the myriad white, yellow, and beige houses already out there.
-Black looks terrific in the winter if you have snow in your area. We all know how dirty white houses can look even after a fresh snowfall.
-Black can make a small, insignificant ranch look modern and even spacious. Add a pop of bright color to the door and you have a stand-out in the neighborhood instead of a ho-hum been-done-before.
-Black, like white, makes any color look good. Imagine the opportunities for vibrant landscape color along the foundation of a black house.
-Black is a color to consider if you plan to paint your red brick rambler. If you’re tired of the tract house vibe, why not make a major statement.
When does black on the house NOT work? When it starts to fade unevenly and make the house look like charred remains of a terrible event.
If you decide to paint your house black, you must prepare to keep the paint fresh, the lawn mowed, the weeds pulled, the clutter corralled, and the driveway plowed because your house will create quite a sensation on the block. Nobody will drive by without noticing. And that’s kind of fun.
Bored with beige yet? Consider black.
November 1, 2011 § Leave a comment
Historic brick homes like this one, built in 1810, have an exterior look to maintain. Many are under the control of town boards that determine what changes can be made to the house. But even if you own an old home or are considering buying one that is not in an historic district, don’t even think about replacing the wood shutters with easy-maintenance vinyl or the wooden front door with fiberglass.
Exterior “upgrades” that only consider the time management issues of the homeowner are not upgrades at all. Instead, embrace your older home and its history. Preserve the look by choosing a paint trim color that is not too new-looking. A gray, beige, or grayed-white will give an aged look to the trim that is appropriate for the age of the house. Charcoal instead of black will give the shutters and door a faded-black look that freshens up the paint job without destroying the look of the house. Use wrought iron or brass for your metal instead of nickel (too contemporary). And use native plants for your landscaping instead of the current, most trendy flowering shrubs.
Buck the urge to over-improve with new man-made materials. Let’s preserve as much history as we can!
October 4, 2011 § 2 Comments
Sometimes a house looks a little too hot for the neighborhood. And for this orange brick house in a neighborhood of other orange brick houses, the matching orange roof took the house over the top (literally!).
The cool grays and whites in the trimwork could not balance the warmth of this overall orange color scheme. To give the eye a cool compress, we chose a gray roof that picks up the many gray tones in the brick trim around the windows and doors and contrasts nicely with the orange brick. The roof is Georgetown Gray by Certainteed. Now the palette of warm and cool colors distributed evenly makes the house look balanced and pulled together.
If you are choosing a new roof, remember that the roof color is as much a part of your home’s color scheme as the siding and trim colors. Even more so because you will not be changing the roof anytime soon. It is okay to choose a roof color from the same hue family as the siding color (a brown roof with a tan house, for example). But remember to create contrast somewhere, either with the trim color or the pop of color on the front door. If you have a brick house, choose a neutral color that is in your brick or choose a dark neutral that will allow your brick to take center stage. When in doubt, seek the help of a professional in your area or write to me. I’ll help you. A second set of eyes is critical before you make that big investment.
Driving up to your house should make you say, “Ahhhh, good to be home.”