March 18, 2013 § 4 Comments
Wherever I go I study house color, trim color, front doors, and overall curb appeal (it’s kind of an obsession). And this house (even with its imperfections) struck me today as a good example of a house that is comfortable in its skin.
The siding color is yellow but not too lemony and not too orange. Kind of pale but not too cream. Buttery but not too saturated. It’s just, in a word, perfect for this little house.
The trim is not white-white but an off-white without being too beige. A whiter white would look too crisp and a little too Cape Cod for this antique. Off-white gives the house an aged, relaxed, comfortable look. No face-lift needed here.
And the accent color, a soft weathered green with just a touch of blue is really not an accent color at all. Instead of interrupting the house color, like black shutters would, the green simply finishes the house like curtain panels finish a room.
The point is, these homeowners let their house speak to them when it was time to pick a house color palette and didn’t try to make the house into something it isn’t.
March 13, 2013 § Leave a comment
Many of us have more than one entrance on the front of the house, and sometimes one is rarely used. How do you indicate which door you want visitors to enter? Do you paint both doors an accent color or just one?
If you use the main front door as your guest entrance — if you’re having a party, say, and don’t want people traipsing through the kitchen — then paint that front door an accent color (red in this case) and all other doors a color that coordinates with your siding (maybe a shade or two darker or just the trim color). If you paint both front doors red, we are not only left with two focal points but we’re confused as to which door is preferable. Painting only one red door will announce which one is open for guests. In this photo example, the homeowners painted both doors red but distinguished the front door from the porch entrance with a wreath. Not quite as clear as using color, but it works.
Now here is where it gets tricky. If you NEVER want anyone to go to the front door, then paint that door a neutral color that coordinates with the siding and paint the porch door red. It’s okay. The same applies to all the various side doors, garage doors, and shed doors. Paint them all a coordinating color but not the same as your main door. That guest entrance is special.
Just a guideline if you’re struggling with too many doors and what to paint them.
March 5, 2013 § Leave a comment
Where a particular hue sits on the color wheel can make a world of difference when it comes to choosing house colors. Especially if you’re trying to coordinate the color with another material, like brick.
In this example, one yellow leans toward orange. The other one leans toward green.
I don’t think I need to say any more.
February 28, 2013 § 2 Comments
Sometimes the best house color is one you might skip right over in the fan deck. Like this one: most likely Ben Moore’s Livingston Gold HC-16, a dark mustard-like brown with a definite green undertone. The kind of color you don’t want to see if you’re feeling queazy.
Although you probably would not choose this color for an interior room (for the reasons mentioned above), what a great house color for this old farmhouse with attached garage in natural cedar shakes. The combo is terrific — earthy, aged, and plucked from nature’s rock and wood palette of colors.
I slammed on the brakes to take a photo.
January 25, 2013 § Leave a comment
Yes, it’s winter and the roof in this photo is covered with snow, but now we can focus on the rest of the house, particularly the stone. What works on this house is the color palette that is taken directly from the numerous available hues in the stonework itself.
The bricks are a monochromatic rusty red color that complements the stone without competing with it — a challenge when you have multiple materials on the house. The siding is a gray neutral, also in the stone. The trim is pulled from some of the darker taupe stones. How easy is that? Job done.
If you are building a home with different materials, use the busy one with the most colors (stone or brick) to make the rest of your color decisions. That way, the whole house will come together in a harmonious cornucopia of color.
The alternative? Choosing a color that is not in the palette at all. The result? A disjointed effect that divides the house into sections and makes it seem smaller. Can be done, but it’s tricky and needs a professional colorist to pull off. Do yourself a favor and stick with the natural palette that presents itself to you from your building materials.
January 24, 2013 § 1 Comment
As we get more and more snow this winter, I notice what house colors look good in snow and which ones look awful. I’ll start with the thumbs down. White. It either blends away completely except for any contrasting colored shutters or it looks downright dirty. It’s also cold-looking. If you have a white house and a long winter, make sure you have lots of greenery in the foundation plantings, trees in the yard, and a wreath with a big red bow on the front door.
My favorite color for long, cold, white winters is a sunny yellow. Wow, does that color look terrific against the white snow. Try Benjamin Moore’s Concord Ivory http://www.benjaminmoore.com/en-us/paint-color/concordivory. Paired with a black roof, black shutters, and white trim, you’ve got a knock-out house year round.
January 10, 2013 § 6 Comments
One approach to choosing an accent color for your stone or brick home is to let the stone or brickwork dictate the color. How easy is that. The stonework on this house and walkway revealed a whole palette of dusty blue-gray greens from which the shutter paint was then custom-mixed to a perfectly coordinated color.
In the brick example, this Old Town red brick contains a lot more colors than just red. Purple is what pops out and that gorgeous shade was the inspiration for a dark purple shutter color: Ben Moore’s Caponata AF-650. Dark purple shutters are a wonderful option for other homes as well, not just red brick.
Natural wood tones always work for shutters, especially on stone or brick and especially if the shutters are actually wood and not vinyl. Old World wonderful.
When selecting a shutter color, take your color cues from your house. Chances are pretty good that if you have a stone or brick house, you have quite a palette of colors to choose from already.