Saturday, April 5, 2008

Obsessing over Color

As the days start getting warmer, I'm starting to think again about exterior color. I've been looking at my color scheme - particularly in the front of the house and thinking that I don't quite have it right yet. I feel like the dark green brackets above the bay window are too stark of a contrast against the white (which is actually a cream, but still looks very white...) So I pulled out my "Painted Ladies" books (Pomada & Larsen) and looked back at some of my favorite pictures, trying to figure out what I liked about them and pinpoint what I feel is missing in mine.

Now, it's a little hard to directly compare my house to, say, San Francisco ornate Victorians, because the style IS really quite different. Houses in this New England neighborhood tend to be much more basic. (I guess that's why they call it a "folk Victorian") But I think I can still do more with color on what I have.

Here are the bay window details on some of my favorites in the books:

What do you think? Can you see what I'm missing? I have a few ideas...
On the brackets, I want to fake some relief by adding a stripe down the middle in a lighter green, like this:

Then on the 1st floor windowsill, I want to paint a medium green. I can then add the missing crown/bed molding under the sill in the dark green.

Then on the side of each window, I can add some light green details. Something basic, or maybe with a center gold highlight.

And above the windows, I could also add another light green detail, with some gold rosettes or such...

And of course, as Jim points out, I really do hate those asphalt shingles in between the two floors. I've already sneaked a peak underneath those, and they were originally wood shingles. I'd like to reshingle it with painted octagon shingles.

Will all of this make it too ridiculous or too fussy? Hard to tell. But I definitely need some medium and/or light green around those brackets. Now, what will be a good medium and light green? Here's the color chips I've been using for the house:

It may be too small to read, but I've marked the 2 reds I've used - the bottom one is the main color - and I've also marked the green on the brackets. The light green I've marked I tried sampling on the back of the house, but it comes out too light, I think:

So maybe the two above the bracket color become medium and light. I'll have to pick up samples to test it out.

I have some more color obsessions, but I'll save those ramblings for tomorrow...


Stacey Lund-Walker said...

I think you should make your brackets either the same lighter pink you have on the bottom of your bay window, or mimic the bottom stripe of the bay window by having a small amount of the green with a stripe of the same pink. But make sure you have the same ratio of pink to green that you have on the bottom stripe.

Stacey Lund-Walker said...

Let me try again. You need to incorporate the colors you already have on the bay window throughout the baywindow. If you want to add a lighter green stripe you'll need to paint something else on the bay window the light green also. The way you've got it painted now you have a heavy, dark color on the top (an accent color that's only 2 small stripes on the bottom right now) which is why it looks funny. You should figure out a 3 or 4 color scheme that will eventually balance itself out when the bay window is finished being painted.

Tiffany said...

Yes... I think you are saying what I am thinking/trying to say... I want to add some things around the window in light green to go along with an added light green stripe at the top. The painted shingles I'll add will be primarily the lighter pink, so I think that will balance the pink color.