27 June 2011

colors and stuff.

Who knew it would be the toughest decision of my entire life choosing exterior colors?  It's so easy to find photos of great color combinations, and to drive by google map the newer neighborhoods looking at the latest trends, but actually trying to replicate a look is proving to be extremely difficult!

These are some of my favorites which I have been hoarding in a desktop folder for a while now...

 Photo: Sherwin Williams


The obvious trends you may be noticing here are medium-tone stained wood accents and lighter, muddy-earth tones.   I took the top photo to the closest Benjamin Moore paint store and had them replicate the colors in solid stains.  I spent about $80 on samples and painted my little heart out as soon as I got home.  

It looked terrible.  The colors themselves were right, but the way they looked on my house was just all wrong.  This is why I'm learning there are so many other factors to take into consideration when deciding on exterior colors, and it's not just as easy as copying someone else's winning look.  Here are some of the factors I have learned to take into account:

-roof style, material, color, age
-gutter color
-neighborhood themes ie. stand out or blend in?
-architectural details ie. knee braces, size and style of window and door frames
-semi-permanent (expensive-to-replace) factors ie. stone, brick, rock work
-material of house ie. vertical/horizontal cedar siding, stucco, shingle, combination
-age of house itself
-style of house itself
-number of colors to use
-current design trends
-colors and style of existing landscaping
-window style ie. aluminum, vinyl, wood

I get stressed out just looking at this list.  Our unfortunate neighbors have been forced to look at the one side of our house with about 47 different colors that I've been testing for the past three months, and i'm quite sure that the poor girl at the paint store is ready to kick me in the shins.

We have narrowed it down to our favorite color combination being Copley Gray HC-104 for the body color and Iron Mountain 2134-30 (both are Benjamin Moore colors) for all the trim, barge boards, fascia boards, and knee braces. I will probably change my mind 3 more times before we start painting but as of now, this is the top choice!

Copley Gray                                       Iron Mountain

These might look scary dark on your monitor, but once on the siding itself, they lighten up substantially. Here are my test samples on the house (Copley Gray is on the bottom body of the house, with Iron Mountain being the top color on the door trim.)

We currently have brown gutters, which will not work with this new charcoal trim color.  I went to the gutter store (exciting, right?) and got samples of the colors they offer, and of course am now back to square one.  They do not offer a dark gray color that works with Iron Mountain, so we could go with black gutters or with a more slate-toned gray.

Some people take the gutter sample right to the paint store and match their trim exactly, so they blend in as much as possible.  I think i'll do that next week and see how it looks in comparison to what we have now.  Keep ya posted!

This guy has nothing to do with anything, he was just being cute.



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