July 31, 2010 § 3 Comments
Sometimes color appears out of nowhere and dazzles you — even for only a few moments — like it did the day I snapped this photo in the late afternoon sun. The yellow of this barn grabbed my attention and said, “Stop where you are and look at me — I am gorgeous!” A few moments later, the barn was in shadow and the intense color was gone for another day.
When you’re choosing a house color, be sure to paint some sample colors on the house and look at them in various lights — early morning, late afternoon — and on cloudy days as well. You may see the color change. That might be a good thing or maybe not. I once watched my living room color change from tan to gray to green to pink all in the course of a 12-hour period. To a color person like myself, that experience was horrendous. I had the primer out within the week. (The color I painted my living room was taupe — the mysterious color that accepts other hues around it and changes like a chameleon. Some people actually like that — I have clients who do — but not so much for me at least on the interior.)
Color depends on light. And light or the lack of it can change your perception of the color itself. What you thought was one color in the paint store or even when you opened up the can turns out to be quite something else once it’s applied to your wall, whether it’s inside or out. Use your sampling time to see how light affects not only the color you’ve chosen but also the “value” of the color (how intense it is). If the color attracts too much attention for your taste, move more toward the gray side of that particular hue. Dull it down a touch and you’ll get it right. Color will be more intense on a large area anyway, like the side of your house. Check it out first before the painters arrive.
April 26, 2010 § Leave a comment
The homeowners took their time to get all the details right. The enlarged portico with dry-stacked stone porch and columns, the tapered pillars above, the arched wood ceiling, wide chunk white contrasting trim, a period pendant light fixture, and the solid wood door with period wrought-iron hardware. There’s even a little black door-bell (with undoubtedly a charming ring on the inside).
What can I say… there goes the neighborhood…
March 11, 2010 § Leave a comment
This yellow historic New England barn has lots of terrific architectural elements — cupula, weathervane, clerestory windows over the door, even a windmill in the back — but find the light fixture on this massive building! It’s the tiny white squiggle right above the big green barn door. Rats! A missed opportunity to finish this grand piece of history in style.
Here’s another example of a big barn (it also has a cupula out of view), but it has an appropriately scaled light fixture above the door. This blue barn has my vote. Nice!
March 6, 2010 § Leave a comment
Stand at the curb and take a look at your lights on the porch and garage. Do they stand out or can you barely see them unless they’re turned on? Most exterior lights are too small for the scale of the house. In many cases, they look absolutely puny from the street. Not good…
The light fixture pictured here is a Medieval Dragon Lantern from www.artisancraftedlighting.com and it really makes a statement. The scale of this lantern (it’s 51″ high and 32″ wide) fits its grand home. But even if you don’t live in a castle, your lights should be large enough to fit the scale of your door. Here’s the guideline:
A light next to the front door should be about 1/3 the height of the door and placed at least 66″ from the floor. If you have two lights, one on either side of the door, they can be a little smaller (1/4 the height of the door).
When in doubt, keep searching for the right lights. You may not find them at your typical big box stores, but they’re worth hunting for! You’ll add a real touch of class to your exterior with appropriately sized lighting.
February 13, 2008 § 41 Comments
Garage doors rival the front door for attention these days as the look of the garage door becomes increasingly sophisticated and worthy of notice. This particular garage door even has lights trained on it to show off its beauty at night. Who could imagine that the old standard garage doors whose plain and often tennis-ball-dented faces needed camouflaging would be replaced by such distinctive architectural specimens.
Having said all that, please note that if you have one of these carriage doors or plan to get one or two or three, go ahead and show them off. But if your garage still has the garden variety garage door, you are best to paint it the house color with trim color around the outside and refrain from highlighting it. Continue to focus all eyes on your front door.