Tips for Choosing Exterior Paint Colors

Tips for Choosing Exterior Paint Colors

Exterior Painting Home Painting Paint color

I love this time of year! The sun is shining, the neighbors are barbecuing and I’m doing what I love best – helping clients choose colors for their homes. With every paint contract, I offer a complimentary color consultation. I have to admit this is the part of my job that I enjoy the most. It gives me a little extra time to build a relationship with my clients. And, I learned early on that no matter how expertly we’ve applied the paint, the client gets the most enjoyment when the color is perfectly suited to their taste and lifestyle.

Along the way, I’ve learned some tried and true tips for choosing exterior paint colors. Here we go…

Be a pioneer – think outside the box

Occasionally, I check in on the big-name painting sites to see what they’re saying about the latest color trends. On one such recent visit, I read some really poor advice: consider your neighbor’s house and make sure your color selection doesn’t clash.

I couldn’t disagree more! In my experience, when the time comes to update your exterior paint colors, chances are the majority of homes in the neighborhood are also using outdated colors. Painting provides a great opportunity to make a bold move and bring in some contemporary colors… or select a color scheme that you just love, regardless of what the neighbors are up to.  Don’t let the fact that so many people choose run-of-the-mill beige stop you from moving into a more interesting or vibrant palette. With a little guidance and reassurance, we can bring in an improved palette with current colors to set a new and refreshing trend in the neighborhood.  Chances are, the neighbors will appreciate it as much as you do!

How to choose colors – look for inspiration – it’s all around you

Does the house have a brick or stone facade? Consider the landscaping features and the roof color. Look at pictures in magazines, online or in brochures provided by the paint stores; these are great resources for paint colors. I often ask my clients to take pictures of houses they like when they are out and about. The Houzz.com website is another great place to collect ideas and inspiration.

When choosing exterior colors go darker – don’t be afraid

Natural lighting washes out color, so you can hardly go wrong by going darker. I can’t remember a client ever saying they wish they had chosen a lighter color, but I’ve heard many remarks about wishing for a darker palate. When selecting colors, even in the darker palettes, it pays to consult with a professional who understands which colors are best with regard to fading.

 Add emphasis and accent to your exterior

The house will look bigger if the garage door is painted the same color as the main color on the house. This strategy works great, unless you have a custom, fancy garage door that is a beautiful accent all by itself.

 Give your front door a pop of color

I love red doors; they are just so Portland!

Black doors are classic, but there’s risk of blistering if the door gets too many hours of full sun. There is an endless selection of fun colors and palettes to match or compliment your house color, which can create a unique and beautiful focal point.

 A little is enough – don’t overdo

It’s tempting to add splashes of color here, there and everywhere, but this approach is only really effective with certain architectural styles such as Victorian, craftsman or bungalow. The most common and best combination for most homes is 1) a base color, 2) a trim color and 3) a door accent color.Exterior of house showing base color, trim color, and front door color

When in doubt, call in a professional to consult. Most of all, remember that the colors you choose say a lot about you… so don’t be afraid to let your style and preferences show!

You never need to go it alone. Give me a call and I’ll bring my color swatches over.

 

Until next time,

Nancy

Analogous Color Schemes – Decorate in Perfect Harmony

Analogous Color Schemes – Decorate in Perfect Harmony

Home Painting Interior Painting Paint color

Make the right choice

Choosing the perfect color scheme can feel overwhelming. What if, once it’s on the wall, you don’t like it? What if, after a year, you’re tired of looking it?

Reflect your personality

If you’re like me, it’s important that your style of décor and color schemes reflect your personality – although, in my case, I really don’t want the scatterbrained, distracted and flighty part of my personality to come through! I look for the sophisticated and subtle parts of me hidden deep down inside. What better way to draw them out than with the colors and décor I choose for my home? When choosing colors for a client, I rely heavily on intuition and experience. When it comes right down to it, some colors just pop and feel “right” in a given space. And, I also consider how it all comes together, which is my way of saying it’s important to select colors that are analogous.

What is analogous?

Choosing analogous colors from paint paletteAnalogous is just another way to say similar or comparable. Analogous colors are the colors that correspond to each other on the color wheel. When you look at the colors splayed out on the wheel, the color on either side of your dominant color is analogous. The best part about analogous color schemes is that they flow nicely. Unless you are specifically trained or gifted with color, picking colors around the wheel can end up looking like a mess. If you pick colors next to each other, you have a much better chance of getting it right.

Create an impact with comparable colors

The wonderful thing about color is that a little change can make a big impact. You don’t need to pick green in one room and red in another to give your house interest. Picking green in one room and blue-green in the next can be just as striking with a much better flow. The rooms will feel like they are related to each other, in a sense connected, and the style theme will carry from one room to the next.

When selecting colors, it should be a goal that your space appears as though it was completely decorated all at the same time and in the same style. That doesn’t mean you can’t mix up styles; however, if you do, try to carry that theme from room to room. In this way you avoid the perception that every room represents a different stage of your life.

Need a little inspiration? Invite me over and I’ll bring my color wheel. Choosing the theme for your home can be both fun and inspiring.

Until next time,

Nancy

Winter Paint Colors – Fresh Inspiration

Winter Paint Colors – Fresh Inspiration

Home Painting Interior Painting Paint color Uncategorized

Winter in Oregon is a pretty monochromatic affair; but, this year, when the temperatures dropped down below freezing, ice frosted the ground and snow flurries fell gently from the sky, we couldn’t help but be enchanted by the colors of winter. The cold, cold winter days bring to mind images of evergreens cloaked in snow, of holly berries and of shimmery blue icicles.

We love these chilly, winter colors and want to inspire you

Bring the best of winter into your home using color.

Wintery Whites
alabaster, winter, wintery white

Alabaster 7008

It would be silly to think of winter without thinking of snow, ice, and the color white. Although picking the right shade can be tricky, the perfect white can leave your spaces feeling crisp and clean. Most commonly, white is used on ceilings and trim. You can also use it on your walls for a modern look. Though most people think of white walls as boring, they can be useful in helping your unique furniture and artwork to stand out. Some of the whites we love are Sherwin William’s Dover White 638 or Alabaster 7008 and Benjamin Moore’s Super White (stock) or Cloud White OC-130.

 

Blustery Blues
palladian blue, blue, winter, wintery blue

Palladian Blue HC-144

This chilly, winter color has seen a comeback in recent years. While it experienced a decrease in popularity (perhaps clients were haunted by memories of their baby blue childhood bedrooms) for a while, blue has always been my favorite color and will feel fresh and relaxing, even in your most stressful spaces. Don’t be daunted by the variety of blues available, choose a softer blue for a wintery feel—we recommend Benjamin Moore’s Palladian Blue HC-144. Looking for something a little brighter? Avalon Teal CSP-645 from Benjamin Moore will be the crowning jewel in your winter color pallet.

 

Roaring Reds
pomegranate, winter color, winter red

Pomegranate AF-295

Snuggling up next to a warm fire is one of those winter time activities that we just can’t get enough of! Whether or not you have a fireplace in your home. adding some of the passion that red has to your space can make it feel a little less dismal this winter, and a lot cozier. Bring the heat to your walls using a deep red like Benjamin Moore’s Pomegranate AF-295 or its fiery counterpart, Chili Pepper 2004-20. Both colors are sure to warm up even the coldest of winter nights.

 

 

Gorgeous Greens
cascade green, winter green, cool green

Cascade Green 0066

Especially here in Oregon, where green could be the state color, winter is the season for greens! You can find it in holly leaves, in wreathes, in evergreens and, of course, in the Christmas tree. Green is earthy and calming and picking the best green for you could be the easiest paint choice you’ll ever make. Almost all greens can be used with great versatility in every room of your house. We’ve narrowed it down to just a couple of greens that will compliment your wintery décor. Feeling frosty? Check out Sherwin William’s Cascade Green 0066—this green pairs well with gray and is more of a neutral green. Our other, darker choice is Sherwin William’s Basil 6194.

 

Great Grays
light winter gray, cool gray, french gray

Light French Gray 0055

If green isn’t Oregon’s state color, gray might be. For us, one gray day after another might make you feel a little stir crazy by February; but, gray doesn’t always have to bring you down! Gray can lend sophistication and grace to your space, and gray is always in style. For us, Benjamin Moore’s Tranquility AF-490 is a great, wintery version of this color. Another option would be Sherwin William’s Light French Gray 0055. Both of these colors are great for the winter and all year round!

 

What colors inspire you? If you want one of these colors in your homes or are having trouble picking a color, let us know. After all paint is what we do!

Wishing you a great start to your year,

Nancy

Front Door Color Options – Make a Great Impression

Front Door Color Options – Make a Great Impression

Exterior Painting Home Painting Paint color

Choosing the right color for your front door can seem intimidating at first, but will help create a great first impression of your home. Curb appeal is a hot topic in the real estate market and can improve the value of your home. What’s more inviting than a freshly painted and vibrant front door? I prefer selecting neutral tones for the exterior siding and trim in the Pacific Northwest because the neutral palette blends well with the landscape and ever changing cloudy skies. But who wants a boring house? I know I don’t, so I encourage my clients to use a color that pops on their front door.

Consider a vibrant orange, Kelly green, or even a warm, sunny yellow. This is the time to think of your favorite color and just go for it. Be daring and outrageous, really let your personality shine. Go for a color much deeper than you feel comfortable with or so bright that it scares you. This is one area where I’ve seen the risk of making a big, bold statement pay off.

Another consideration for your front door is to pick the right product and sheen. I love Rust-Oleum Sierra Beyond in a high gloss sheen. You can find this product at Powell Paint Centers.

Here are a few color choices to consider – all from the Benjamin Moore color line:

  1. Fresh Lime 2032-30: Choose this bold color to tie in with your green landscaping. This color replicates the green of spring.
  2. Patriot Blue 2064-20: If blue is your favorite color, there’s no better place to use it than your entrance.
  3. Sunflower 2019-30: Even the grumpiest neighbor can’t help smiling at this bright and sunny color.
  4. Vintage Wine 2116-20: A bold classic that will pop with the right amount of sheen.

The possibilities are endless, so have fun exploring the colorful side of you.

Until next time,

Nancy

Choosing Paint Colors for Your Home

Choosing Paint Colors for Your Home

Exterior Painting Interior Painting Paint color

I am mad about color! I love how color looks and the way it affects my mood.  I love taking a space and transforming it with color or updating a house and watching people fall in love with their home again.  I am not an interior designer or professional decorator, but never-the-less, I offer a complimentary color consultation to each of my customers once they enter into a contract with us.  My eye for color and many years of experience are what I draw on to help choose the right color.

If you’ve ever stood in front of one of those displays in the paint store with the myriad of color swatches, pouring over magazines, checking out colors on line and fanning through the decks of color, you already know that choosing color can be hard!  How many colors should you choose?  Are accent walls all the craze they used to be? What color do you paint the ceiling?  Can I use more than one color on the trim?  Should I stay neutral and play it safe or should I go hog wild?

I will address each of these questions in this article and give you a few tips to help you achieve that beautiful palette you’ve been dreaming of.

How many colors? One of the first questions clients ask is how many colors for my walls.  Most of us have seen (or maybe even had ourselves) homes where each room is painted a different color.  This may have scared you enough that you are afraid to choose too many colors; and, rightly so!  More is not always better; in fact, more is just more.  I recommend sticking to three or four nice colors and that’s it!

Accent walls: I do not care for accent walls unless there is a specific reason for it, such as drawing attention to a fabulous piece of artwork or bringing focus to an architectural feature such as a fireplace.  I do not recommend using an accent color to add interest to your space.  If your space is that boring, focus on bringing in something of interest first, like an exceptional piece of furniture or artwork.  If you are struggling, this is where my interior designer friends excel.

Ceiling color: If you have vaulted ceilings, painting a color on the ceiling will bring it down and make your space cozy. If the ceilings are high enough, going darker on the ceiling than the wall can come off nicely.  I also like color added to tray ceilings, such are often found in dining rooms and master bedrooms.  Don’t be afraid to go dark or bold in these spaces; otherwise, I like white for ceilings.

Try to pick one white for all your ceilings.  This will help the flow of color from room to room and give your home a nice airy feel.  I prefer the whitest of whites for ceilings, such as Benjamin Moore’s Super White.  A warmer white that goes with just about any color is Sherwin William’s Dover White.  These are two whites that work well in almost any space with most colors.

Trim and wood work color:  White woodwork is gorgeous, but adding a bit of color to your woodwork can be just as beautiful!  The same whites that look good on the ceilings, look good on woodwork; but, white isn’t the only option!  Here’s one way to add a bit of color to your woodwork: Paint your kitchen island a dark color that compliments the rest of your woodwork, then carry that island color into another room, such as your study.  I also love painting the woodwork the same color as the walls, except with a different sheen.  If you decide to go this route, choose a flat for the walls and a satin for the trim.  This is great for both traditional and modern spaces.

Is a neutral palette the best choice?  A neutral palette is almost always reliable and beautiful.  Decorating rules tend to state that the walls should complement your furniture, not the other way around.   It’s the job of the wall color to make your belongings look better.  In fact, you’d be surprised how the correct color can make that shabby sofa look acceptable again. If you are picking colors for yourself, pull neutral colors out of your sofa, rug, artwork or other “inspiration” piece.  Pick colors that are related on the color wheel from room to room and don’t go crazy!  A few nice colors that feel related will go a long way in giving you the dream space you are looking for.

If you love bright, bold or unique colors that reflect your personality, don’t be afraid to use them.  Just use them sparingly.  A pop of color here or there, whether in a room or brought in with accent pieces is an excellent way to brighten up your house.  I love the extraordinary and unexpected – in limited amounts.

I’ve given you a lot of Sisu rules for choosing paint colors, but I have one caveat: “Decorating rules are made to be broken!”  Following all the rules would be rather boring, right?  But, unless you are experienced with decorating or have enlisted the help of a professional, it may have better results if you stick to the rules.

Happy decorating

Nancy