Choosing House Colors: Bark Brown?

February 28, 2012 § Leave a comment

Talk about fitting in! Dark, rich tree-bark brown is about as close to nature as you can get for a house color that will fit unapologetically into almost any landscape.

What I love about this brown house, however, is how creative the homeowners were when it came time to choose a new roof color. Instead of opting for a light brown, gray, or dark forest green (all great options, by the way), they chose a light sage dimensional roof that looks spectacular. Then they pulled the trim color from the lightest shingle tone and used that for trim around the dark brown windows (also a nice touch), the corner trim, and the garage doors.

The result? Something different! How refreshing! Are they locked into a green roof? Yes. But who cares…

Who Says You Can’t Paint Your House Pink?

November 10, 2011 § Leave a comment

Pink can be a tasteful house color for old Victorian homes and even new-construction homes with made-to-look-old character. Ranging from bubblegum to rose to petal pink and even lavendar, you name it — we’ve seen it.

Although some homeowners may go a little over the top with the pink, here’s a house that I find to be really well done. The soft ballet-pink hue is paired with creamy white trim and topped with a medium gray roof. What works so beautifully for this property is that the gray is carried over to the garage outbuilding that stands alone completely in both style and color. By limiting the pink to the house only, the homeowners have balanced what might be considered a soft feminine palette with a dose of solid, neutral dark gray — a touch of masculinity, if you will. The design principle of balance, the yin and yang, is evident here. And it works!

Good Design Learns from History

February 4, 2010 § 2 Comments

This historic New England barn is original to the property, and its characteristic beauty helps to define the classic regional style. Owning an historic property can be a real joy for those whose passion is preserving the beauty of the past, but don’t think you have to own a historic treasure to enjoy the pleasures of a striking outbuilding. 

If you need more space for a workroom or your vehicles, you can add a lot of character to your property by incorporating  the unmatched elements, colors, and materials used in previous centuries to make your own history, whether it’s a barn, a large work shed, or simply your garage. 

I get lots of questions about how to match exterior colors and blend materials between house and garage, but as you can see from this photo, there’s absolutely nothing matching between this barn and the accompanying house. From the unpainted board-and-batten style siding,  brass lighting, and  farm-style scale, this barn stands on its own. The colonial house has traditional, painted,  horizontal lap siding and white windows. The bridge color between house and barn is black — the black windows on the barn carry over to the accent color on the house (note the black shutters and lighting as well as the black pergola and fence next to the driveway). By painting the wood accessories on the house black instead of leaving them natural, the unpainted barn takes center stage.

Even if you have no plans to build a major additional structure in your yard, keep this basic design principle in mind when you’re working on your exterior. Colors and materials do not have to match.

Garage Doors Have a New Look

February 13, 2008 § 41 Comments

garage-door2.jpegGarage 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.

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