Monday, June 2, 2014

Show your true colors!

So, last week I played hooky from our blog, but for good reason. My son had the opportunity to play in the D3 Baseball World Series Championships in Appleton, Wisconsin, for the second time in a row.
Now, being the mom of a pitcher, you hear all sorts of things being yelled from the stands. One that has stuck out over the years though as been, "Paint the corners, kid". This means move your ball around the strike zone and keep 'em guessing. Very easy to yell as a spectator.
 
Appleton, Wisconsin is about the best place to hold this tournament as they are just one big mid-west basket of kindness. You can't walk down the street without engaging in full conversations with complete strangers. The architecture also displays this generosity of spirit as they are not shy in displaying their love for detail and color.
 
'Paint the corners, kid' got me thinking. As I was soaking in the diversity of style and palette, it might be a good idea to post a little something on exterior colors. Whatever your material, there will come a time when it has to be addressed and a little thought and prep work can go a long way both esthetically and practically.

Mother Nature hit us with a long winter, whose effects on your house have surely come to light as you have come out of hibernation, and started spending more time outdoors.

It's likely that you already know that repainting your entire house is going to cost you a good chunk of change. And since it's not necessary to do it all that often (thankfully!), it's a decision that shouldn't be taken lightly. You're going to have to look at it and love it for years to come!

I saw these two houses in Appleton, WI and had to stop and pause for a moment (...something designers do a lot when we see something that inspires us!) What


I fell in love with while gazing at these two lovelies, was that they had that iconic Victorian sort of Painted Lady look but on a classic craftsman style house! And it works so beautifully!

There are plenty of historical palettes to choose from and they don't need to be used for just that period. I think it's fun to mix up the period colors with different architectural style. I particularly love this brick house for bringing in some color detail without distracting from the brick. The matching chairs out front are a nice touch too!


In order to narrow your decision down, there are some a few things to consider; such as the color of your roof, chimney, walkways, front steps and even your driveway. While you won't be painting these elements they still certainly play a role in what color you choose.

Take this house for example, I particularly like the use of the stone and mustard color. Here they found a color that they liked within the stone and chose to call that out in the overall color scheme. It would have been equally dramatic to go with a gray, it's just a matter of personal taste.

Study your surroundings and take some queues from nature. Trees and lots of leafy green foundation plantings may suggest an earthy palette of greens and browns. If you have lots of spring blooms in vibrant colors, choose a paint color that will compliment them. A beach setting might suggest vivid blues, turquoises, and coral colors.

You may also want take into consideration your neighbors house(s). You don't have to imitate their palette, and certainly you have the freedom to put your own spin on your color scheme, but it might be nice to compliment each other!

Many paint companies like +Benjamin Moore Paints and +Valspar Paint will provide you with color palettes that work together. I like how creative they've become with the color wheel. Some palettes use opposite colors, such as red and yellow, while others stay on the same side of the wheel, analogous, and play off the architecture with more subtlety.

We learn so many important lessons from the past, therefore it's important to honor your homes history. If you are looking to preserve the past, you will probably want to use a color scheme that is historically true. Refer to a historic color chart too select something to reflect on the past. Or, if you are looking to update the look of your house, while highlighting some of the architectural details, go for it! It can often result in a very dramatic fa├žade! Just be sure that your house still honors it's surroundings.


I'd be lying if I told you that choosing your exterior paint color was going to be easy, but hopefully I've given you some insight and tips to help narrow down the choices!

Good luck and remember, "Paint the corners, kid!"

Renee