Desperately seeking curb appeal! Help w/ paint color

jiggreenNovember 3, 2010

Hi! We have removed some much overgrown shrubbery in the front of our home and are now left with basically a blank slate. We are on a fairly busy road, so I do not want to paint the house a light color (too much road grime!)...I'm torn between a colonial blue or barn red..but am open to suggestions! We will be redoing the roof next year and I'm leaning towards dark charcoal colored asphalt, but hubby is thinking metal (I like the idea of metal, but I also am concerned about our budget!) We will also be fixing the porch at the same time (the hip roof looks wonky to me, almost like it's sagging, but it's actually's the way they laid the roof shingles...they did a bad, bad job) The porch floorboards are soft so we will be replacing those as well as the railings that we removed. I would like to add a stone wall and landscaping to the front...that little hill slopes down to the road and there is no shoulder's pretty treacherous to mow! Most of the projects will have to wait until next year..either for budgetary concerns or good weather! For now though, I need to do something so I don't cringe everytime I see the front of the house! Ideas please!

I really, really like the color of this house, as well as the crisp white trim.

The thing that concerns me about really accenting the window trim is that we have one window that doesn't match (I'll let you all figure it out!) ..and also because the house was added onto, the span between the windows is a little off...there is more space between the center window and the 2nd window on right than there is between center window and 2nd window on left.

Please help!

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Can't quite tell, but what is the siding material--shingles or clapboards? What year was it built--mid 1800s?
For mid-century and earlier houses, Downing recommended earth tones such as sandstone, straw, light greys etc. Barn red was a New England color, and darker colors seemed to be popular there also--where are you located?
Personally, I don't think accenting the windows would highlight your 'off' window--it doesn't seem terribly noticeable and adds charm to the house.

    Bookmark   November 3, 2010 at 1:46PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

The original portion (left side) was built in 1814. Actually, it was originally built as a 4 room tavern, log construction. The siding is aluminum, underneath that is german siding, and the framing is logs. We are located in Pennsylvania. I really want to stay away from the lighter colors. We are set back about 20 feet from a road that carries a fair amount of traffic (including trucks). The white gets too dingy (it looks grayish right now, but the house is actually white!)

    Bookmark   November 3, 2010 at 2:15PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I think the house has always been white..I haven't seen any evidence of any other colors on the house exterior itself (and the german siding underneath the aluminum is painted white) but based on the colors revealed from the peeling paint on the porch posts...the trim accent colors were dark green, and prior to that, red, and prior to the red..a mustardy yellow.

    Bookmark   November 3, 2010 at 2:22PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I knew you had to be in PA with that double door!

What about a paler gray? I love the inspiration picture you posted, but with aluminum siding, it might come out kind of dour.

    Bookmark   November 6, 2010 at 2:47PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

love your house, love the blue too.Arent old homes great,mine is 1700s we restored it completely keeping all trim ,doors windows etc,I live in pa too.beautiful state

    Bookmark   November 6, 2010 at 7:36PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I love the blue! Have you considered extending the porch the length of the house? Since you're working on the porch anyway...

    Bookmark   November 6, 2010 at 8:42PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

xantippe, it's no longer a double door house..that is our oddball window, and the one that concerns me about accenting the window trim. It doesn't have the wide trim around it that the other windows have, it's also longer than the other windows. I've thought about gray, but I was thinking that I wanted a change..since the white already looks gray :) I love deeper colors on houses (and not just because of road grim..something about them just has always appealed to me)

Bulldinkie, living in Pa is so wonderful for driving around looking at all of the old houses. It's always been our dream to own one, and now here we in our very own money!

kindred ny, we have tossed around the idea of extending the porch..I love the idea! We'll have to see what the budget dictates when we get to that part of the renovation. One thing is for sure though...I HATE the hip roof on the whether we extend or not, the porch redo will have a shed style roof and not a hip roof!

Since I took the pictures last week, I painted the front door and front storm door does a bit to perk up the front but mostly it just makes the rest of the paint on the house and porch look sadder :)

How stupid would it look if I painted the trim around the windows and the oddball window didn't have the same treatment? Any ideas on what I could do to camouflage ...or should I perhaps just accept it as part of the quirkiness of the house?

    Bookmark   November 7, 2010 at 10:00PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

A good builder could fix the window to match.

    Bookmark   November 7, 2010 at 10:26PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Kindred, our cape is not as old as your house, but it is BLUE and has WHITE TRIM. Many old houses do not have matching windows, and I would not stress over it. Like Bulldinkie says, a good contractor could correct the mismatched window.

At the bottom, I am providing you a picture of DH's cape, and those windows are not symmetrical either. But it does not really matter.

Now about a stone wall in the front. I like the idea and it would be a charming way to ground your house to its lot. I note that the power pole is in the center of your house, and that is usually set in public your stone wall would have to be behind that power pole. Just make sure when you extend your porch that your house "setback" is maintained in case the house is not straight situated square with the property line at the street. I once lived on a culdesac, and could not extend my porch because of the circular 25' setback from the curb.

Note in the photo that our door is painted WARM TERRA COTTA, which ages to a soft barn red. Love the colors.

Oh yes. I'd remove the aluminum awnings on the side windows.
They are so 1950s.

    Bookmark   November 8, 2010 at 5:38PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
1850s exterior door hardware?
I have an 1857 Italianate-ish home that is missing...
Need your ideas for a new-old home,...
We are planning to build a home that appears to be...
Rule of thumb on recreating hardwood floors?
I'm recreating the peg and groove oak hardwood floors...
Hi. I have never posted in this particular forum before,...
Foundation problem?
Hi all, this is a 1950s cape and every winter when...
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™