Monday, February 14, 2011

curb appeal :: exterior paint color?

our previous house

I'll be honest: My best ideas aren't always my own original ideas. I've usually been inspired by a photo in a magazine, a photo on a blog, or an actual real house. (see a complete house tour here.)

Many of our choices for our previous home were inspired by other houses in the neighborhood.

The paint color? Inspired by a home down the street.
The front door? Inspired by a home down a different street.
The railing? Inspired by the house right next door to us.
The carriage doors on the garage? Those were our choice, but we were probably influenced by the plethora of carriage doors in the neighborhood.
The garden? Well, that was all me.

We knew the *look* we were going for in our previous home; however, this time we're going for a completely different look. If you've paid any attention to the front door that we have ordered, or the new fence we plan to install, you already know that we're going for a more contemporary, modern style this time round.


There's only so much you can do to the house exterior without breaking the bank.

The fact is that our windows have white casings. As minor as that seems, it greatly affects the look of the house. I'm not saying it's the end of the world -- I'm just saying that the white-cased windows need to be considered when choosing the exterior paint color. Another thing to be considered is that the house exterior is stucco versus siding.

I have scoured the internet for inspiration, but have come up mostly empty-handed. The two photos that I have bookmarked are...


both images via houzz

We're thinking that a dark, rich grey is our best choice. But which one?

Anyone want to recommend a paint color or a great inspiration photo?


  1. After an exhaustive search of paint colors, I brought home swatches that looked...almost exactly like the existing color of the house! We changed it a fraction of a shade (which made a big difference to me). Like you, I felt like there was only so much I could do; I didn't want to try to fight the inherent characteristics of the house.

    I really like the color in your first inspiration picture because it doesn't skew steely-blue. I prefer an almost clayey brown-gray.

    I do really like the mix of colors on this house:

    And this:

    I think you could do some really cool things by mixing exterior colors/textures with some natural wood (at the very least in your fence).

  2. @ Kim~ I agree...I would rather lean towards a clayey brown-gray than steely-blue. Thanks for the inspiration photos. That's a great one! {I bookmarked it.} We discussed adding natural wood as accents... we'll see. Thx!

  3. I totally feel you. Exterior changes can be really expensive and you are tied to some existing things that you don't want to/can't change such as windows and roof colour.

    I like your deep gray choice, it would play really nicely off your new wood door and fence option and has a nice contemporary feel to it. I'm sure that some nice grasses etc. would play toward that look as well.

    What I've read about exterior colour is the whole dark (pushes your house away from street visually) vs. light (makes house bigger and looks closer to street).

    Our previous owner painted our original 1950s cedar siding sage green which is really irking me because I feel the original would have been amazing and goes better with our clay coloured brick. However, I doubt that I can remove the paint, so I'll have to repaint this summer...We already removed the ugly burgundy shutters (who puts shutters on a 1950s split!!!!)

    Good luck!

  4. first off, your previous house was beautiful. great job. second, i am drawn to your first new exterior inspiration photo. it could just be the lighting, but it seems to be a warmer gray. i looked through my inspiration folder and didn't find anything but will keep my eyes out. i have several jars of some gray samples if you'd like to check em out. i might need your help deciding if my front door needs changing. i can't decide if i'm happy with my choice. no, i know i'm not happy and i like your taste. help me!

  5. I agree with Teresa, your first house was beautiful. I also think the first inspiration photo was the way to go. I tend to like the warmers grays, and it will look great with wood accents. I'll keep my eye out for exterior inspiration for you. I wish we could paint our house. It's an awful, cheap looking brick. We'll see, hopefully we'll be moving soon. Also, about the blog design. I did enjoy the class and learned quite a bit. I am taking the advanced graphic design course now...We worked with blogger and wordpress. If you take it let me know. Also, I didn't know you were on blogger. I might be able to help out if you some simple questions. She didn't go deep, deep. I know how to basically install templates I have designed on photoshop.

  6. Thanks so much for stopping by. Best of luck with your home remodel and let me know if you have any questions about the process of converting your FP :)

  7. @ Giulia~
    I think -I hope!- that it will all blend well together. We'll definitely be using landscaping choices as another way of updating the look: grasses, succulents, etc.

  8. @ Teresa~
    I think I'm going to go grab a handful of grey swatches at Home Depot, and then start narrowing it down. Who knows how long it will be before I even get to paint the house?!

    Thanks for the compliments on our previous home. I'll totally help you with your front door. It sounds like fun!

  9. @ elizabeth~
    Thanks for the compliments on my previous house, and thanks for keeping an eye out for grey inspiration! Hmmm... a brick exterior, huh? No ideas at the moment.

    Thanks for the heads up on the classes. Did you see that Decor8 is offering a class, too? I might treat myself as a birthday present...

  10. @ Carrie~
    Thanks for stopping by, too. I'm assuming my husband knows what he's doing...otherwise, I may ask your advice! : )

  11. I found your blog while searching exterior house color images. We too have recently relocated to SLO. We're in the middle of buying a 1963 ranch and really love the color of your previous house. Do you have the name of the green you used? Thank you!

  12. @ Lisa~
    We used "Bungle House Grey" by Sherwin Williams to paint the Bay Area house. It's a discontinued color so you won't find the color swatch out front; however, they will still make the color for you -- just ask! Good luck. ;)

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  14. Do you know the paint colors on your previous house? I really like them and they'd be perfect on my house.

    1. Did you happen to find out the color of her previous house?

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