Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Simple Guidelines for Picking House Colours

(excerpts from Vicki Payne's article ~ The Charlotte Observer)
Colour can evoke a visceral response, whether for interior decorating, clothes, makeup or cars.  It makes a first impression...accentuates attributes...and softens flaws...and offers a glimpse into your personality.  The colours you choose can also be influenced by many sources:  friends and neighbours, magazine photos, designs on TV shows...or by experts who annually select what the 'big colours'  will be in home décor, fashion and graphic and industrial design.  However, what's hot today usually has a short lifespan.  Rather than chasing trends, you can be sure you'll be happy for  years to come, by following a few guidelines on choosing exterior colours for your home...whether 'new' or 'rehab'.

Deciding between bright and cheerful colours or deep, rich earth tones
will influence all other decisions.

You don't have to be a colour expert, but you should take a little time to learn how colours work together...or find someone who does.

You'll want to make your home distinctive, but for the sake of your neighbours, be considerate of your selections and surroundings.

Ensure that your choices in siding and trim don't clash with materials  you are not planning to replace such as roof shingles, brick, stone and tile.

The size and lot location of your house matters.  Light colours can make a house look bigger...and dark colours can make it look smaller.  If the house is set back in the lot, a lighter colour can also make it look closer to the street.

Landscaping will continue to grow and change colours as the seasons trees, shrubs, and flowering gardens need to be considered.

Use neutral colours to de-emphasize things such as air conditioning units or gutters and downspouts; use contrasting or accent colours to highlight such things as architectural detailing, porch railings, windows and front doors.

Once you have selected your colour  palette...ensure the quality (and warranties if applicable) of your product purchases...this is conducive to the homeowner's 'peace of mind.'

Keeping your home's exterior looking fresh and timely
doesn't have to be challenging!

New Home Construction
For several years I represented builders as a Sales Person...often assisting the home-buyers with their detailed purchase options...both exterior and interior decisions...from choices of brick, siding, shingles and paint trim to cupboards and flooring, etc. In a sizeable North Burlington survey, I purchased one of the builder's designs; he advised me that my choice of lot would be the last one to be purchased (since construction vehicles needed this lot to reach the rear of other homes under construction). 

Many customers selected brick of standard tones...Burlington Beige (as we called it), brick reds, browns and ivories with siding on the upper levels and shingles to co-ordinate.  My choice of brick was a silver-gray with charcoal roofing.  Although the builder included 'shutters' on the front windows, he was amazed that I requested them on all windows...why not?  I'd be utilizing my back yard more than the front!  These he painted an 'indigo blue' ...very attractive!  Then I added a front yard 'lantern-style lamp post' from which I could hang exterior colourful wreaths with ribbons as seasonal accents. 

For the interior, although 2 or 3 carpet colour selections were available, I chose a light gray marble-patterned ceramic flooring for the service areas and a silver-gray carpet to run living and dining rooms, the staircase runner, upper hallway and all bedrooms. This neutral colour-scape allowed personal selections by each family member...navies, wedgewood blues, pinks or rose...even tangerine for décor accents. Such a 'joy' to create a colour scheme for both exterior and interior!

My front gardens flowered with delphinium, larkspurs, blue lobelia and rosebushes...accented with miniature evergreens (dwarf conifers) e.g. mugo pines. The backyard housed a deck, utility shed (with shutters, of course) with attached doghouse. Gardens of annuals and perennials were my 'pride and joy'.

When my builder began a new survey in Walker's Heights,
I fell in love with a specific design ~ considering it a good investment,
I started all over again...with a lot across from a parkette of trees and stream.

Merle Baird-Kerr...written March 10, 2015
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