October 23, 2018
The color of the exterior of your home can be one of the most important decisions you will make.
Why? Well, it’s that first impression and sets the mood from first glance at the house.
Your home could simply be white but that is very intentional and how it interacts with the door, trim, chimney and landscapes is vitally important in creating the feeling that you want to accomplish.
In my CAD system I can “color” the exterior materials in rendering and will sit for sometimes hours with my clients until we get it right. We will change the color from brown, to blue, to grey, and back again until we get close. But honestly, it’s still just close.
The best way to determine the final color is on site with large format samples. On the Glass House project, we landed with a grey 5’-0” bottom section of siding with cedar clapboards above, black trim and black/grey roof. We determined the shade of grey while working on materials for the entire house, together, in my studio so that they would flow from exterior to interior. The House was primed this color and in result decided it was far too blue. WAY too blue! It was not all that big of a deal because the painter still had another coat to do. So, it was our opportunity to bring in more samples in order to get the color just right on site.
The biggest challenge for us was how the sun was impacting the different sides of color on the house during different times of day. I pulled large samples of C2 ($8/each at your local C2 dealer) and cut them in two. I also painted 2 samples of Benjamin Moore. I taped these sample in each color on the south and west sides of the home. Once dried we viewed the samples in different light and compared how it was affecting the color on the different sides. The end result was that we needed to go much darker than originally thought.
The goal of the entire project is to create a home that blends with the landscape and we used the many boulders that are on site as color inspiration. By going with the far-left image (C2- “Wildwood”) we were able to have just enough contrast and still go relatively dark.
Taking the time and effort to get the color right is worth every minute. Don’t just give your painter a 1” paint chip and have him paint the entire house while you are on vacation (I’ve done this, it turned out to be purple!). Take your time and paint samples or clapboards and let them sit in different light on different planes. THEN make your final decision. (Note: your neighbors will notice that you are doing this and give plenty of opinions. Just smile and nod because at the end of the day, it’s your house – your decision!)
Lastly, be brave and bold with your color. If you need help, let us know! It’s not too late to get paint on your home for the winter, but the challenge will be finding a painter that has time. I am currently on a waiting list for next summer for my building. So, get on the list and let’s figure out what color you will be painting your home!
Colors we considered for the “Glass House”:
C2 colors – Left to right: 1. Wildwood 2. Wall Street 3. Rolling Stone 4. James Brown 5. Katsura 6. Barnacle
On the house now…BM Chelsea Grey