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So bummed - Hate the exterior color I chose. Please help.

Posted by Kitten1313 (My Page) on
Thu, Jun 20, 13 at 14:06

I have been trying to find a color for my home exterior for months. I have tried at least 10 swatches and finally decided on SW Unusual Gray for the body and SW Alabaster for the trim. The windows themselves are actually a tan color, which adds a little bit of accent interest. I painted the front door SW Bunglehouse Blue.

Anyway, now that it's done I don't like it at all. The whole thing just looks so washed out, especially in full sun. The house faces south and gets a lot of sun in the front. Our driveway is gray stamped concrete, which adds to the washed out problem (which my husband warned me about...) The garage doors, which you cant see in the pic are Alabaster.

We considered doing the doors Bunglehouse Blue to match the front door, but our painter advised against it.

Is there anything that I could do to perk things up a little and make it look less washed out?

This post was edited by Kitten1313 on Thu, Jun 20, 13 at 14:49


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: So bummed - Hate the exterior color I chose. Please help.

Whenever I see a post about hating the new color, I'm always prepared to see some pinky-beige bleh color. Then I see yours and it's gorgeous!!! Not having the bias from seeing the previous color, which may have had more depth, I think this is really nice on your house. And when the cedar ages, it will set it off nicely. I love the door color, as well. Hope your will learn to love it as you get more used to it.

This post was edited by olychick on Thu, Jun 20, 13 at 20:19


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RE: So bummed - Hate the exterior color I chose. Please help.

I could see the pic in the preview, but then it didn't post. hopefully this works.


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RE: So bummed - Hate the exterior color I chose. Please help.

You know what, I think all you need is some color in the landscaping and then you will have a beautiful, overall look. I LOVE the color you chose. Just punch it up a bit with some flowerbeds.


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RE: So bummed - Hate the exterior color I chose. Please help.

Your photo shows fine on my monitor.

Although I understand your feeling about the color being washed out, I think it's quite pretty - and I think you'd like it much more if you chose a bold contrasting color for your front door.

Something in the brown to gold range might be particularly good with your warm colored roof - take a look at B. Moore's Coffee House Chocolate, or Saddle Brown, or Massicot, for instance. (I'd put them in here, but I don't know how to do that.)


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RE: So bummed - Hate the exterior color I chose. Please help.

I actually love the front door color and in person it contrasts beautifully.


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RE: So bummed - Hate the exterior color I chose. Please help.

I think it looks great! Love the colors you chose and they work well together. Very pretty. It doesn't look washed out to me. Just different than you were expecting.

The only thing that looks off is the roof color, which doesn't look new. So when the time comes there, choose something cooler.


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RE: So bummed - Hate the exterior color I chose. Please help.

It is certainly a lovely blue, and does work very well with the siding color. And since it is a good partner, I don't see why you shouldn't paint the garage doors that blue, too. I like dark garage doors - that big expanse of white rarely does much for a facade, and calls too much attention to them.

So if you don't want to change the blue, I'd follow bestyears' advice and plant, plant, plant.


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RE: So bummed - Hate the exterior color I chose. Please help.

I would change the door color as bronwyn'smom suggests. Then, when you get a new gray roof, I'd paint the front door a navy blue.


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RE: So bummed - Hate the exterior color I chose. Please help.

I agree with landscaping to bring in more color. Also, when you redo the roof, I would go with black or very dark grey. I think it may be the brown that is throwing things off for you. I like your colors.


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RE: So bummed - Hate the exterior color I chose. Please help.

The roof will not change. It is cedar shingle and darker and with much more dimension than the picture shows. The garage (foreground) has the same roof. Cedar shingle is a lifetime roof.


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RE: So bummed - Hate the exterior color I chose. Please help.

I love your colors, I see them as soft and pretty and not washed out.


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RE: So bummed - Hate the exterior color I chose. Please help.

What color was it before?

Our house went from light gray to brick red. I liked the gray, but LOVE the red! But I had spent years planting my gardens with red and purple flowers (perennials), which looked terrific against the gray, but horrible against the red. I've gradually turned almost everything over to whites and yellows, which look great.

I think a pot of red geraniums on each side of the front door would look really nice.

And I agree with those who suggested you go with a darker roof color. And I would paint the garage door the same as the door.


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RE: So bummed - Hate the exterior color I chose. Please help.

I would also like to see a bolder front door color, but if you are set with the blue, add flower boxes in brown on either side of the door (or just one) and add a punch of color with tall flowers or a topiary.

Also, can you enlarge the light fixtures on each side of the door?

The house and trim colors I like. Looks good with your style of home. :)

This post was edited by newhomebuilder on Thu, Jun 20, 13 at 15:58


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RE: So bummed - Hate the exterior color I chose. Please help.

I'm wondering what kind of help you are looking for since the roof and door stay. Are you considering re-painting?

Yes, it doesn't look like a cedar roof from here. Those are beautiful. This will gray naturally then (no protective stuff on it)? Gray will look pretty with your house colors.


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RE: So bummed - Hate the exterior color I chose. Please help.

I think reacting the way you have is pretty common. It takes the eye a while to get used to a new look. From my point of view, it's looking fantastic. I love your choices and I have no problem with the roof, it goes well with the choices you made. I do agree with some flowers and what I would do is add two new light fixtures in a yummy bronze plus the same with a nice door bell and you'll have a perfect look. It's like changing your hair color, takes a while to adjust.


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RE: So bummed - Hate the exterior color I chose. Please help.

The front door is very pretty as is. I like the house color, too. The garage doors are difficult to imagine. What about painted the same as the main house color, with the paler trim? I'm not sure what kind of detail they have. How would you feel about pink flowers? (I tend to biased in favor of Zephirine Drouhin rose-type color.)

Here is a link that might be useful: Some roses as a color idea


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RE: So bummed - Hate the exterior color I chose. Please help.

I am with the rest of the folks, unless perhaps the colors aren't showing up true in your picture. That may be the reason so many are mentioning the roof and door color, because the roof looks like brown shingles from where I sit. I think a different front door color would make a huge difference. I actually like the color on the house but in the picture it does not work well with the roof and door. Now that I think about it, maybe it's the exterior color that does not work with the roof and door. Since a new roof is not possible and I am presuming the exterior color will stay, I'd try another door color, even shiny black.


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RE: So bummed - Hate the exterior color I chose. Please help.

Very charming home!

Just add some bright color with flowers planted under the trees ....


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RE: So bummed - Hate the exterior color I chose. Please help.

I think it is beautifully perfect!!!!


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RE: So bummed - Hate the exterior color I chose. Please help.

Thank you everybody for the advice and kind words. :) I agree it takes some getting used to.

Flower boxes and/or pots flanking the front door are a great idea. I'm HORRIBLE with gardening, so it's hard for me to figure out what to do, but I will work with a landscaper for some ideas. Still need to think about painting the garage doors. I'll try to post a pic.


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RE: So bummed - Hate the exterior color I chose. Please help.

Okay, so what is it you do want to change? Once the roof grays, it will look better, I think. I am familiar with cedar shakes which are thicker than the shingles, but I imagine the shingles will age well also. You should get a good 30-50 years out of the roof if you keep up with the maintenance.

If you aren't considering repainting, and as I said before, I do like your colors, then your best answer is to landscape with colors you like. It is amazing what a difference landscaping can make! Case in point: your Cornus kousa by the garage is just lovely.


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RE: So bummed - Hate the exterior color I chose. Please help.

Oh and the other problem is, we have 4 large carriage lights on the garage (two on door side, two on street side) which I bought thinking --- I don't know what I was thinking. :( They were quite expensive (for me) so I can't change them unless I can sell them for a decent amount on Craig's List.

The lights that flank the door are much more suited to the house, I think. Sort of nautical style. I would like to replace the carriage lights with that.


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RE: So bummed - Hate the exterior color I chose. Please help.

OK, forget the lights. Could you put house numbers over the door?

Otherwise, just go with the planters and plants. You should be fine. ;)


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RE: So bummed - Hate the exterior color I chose. Please help.

Your colors work well together. Work on the landscaping to add more color: consider adding window boxes to the lower front windows and changing the front landscaping. What zone are you in? I think it's charming and needs minor changes.


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RE: So bummed - Hate the exterior color I chose. Please help.

I'm partial to the new wood colored garage doors, though they can be pricey.

Maybe you can find a wreath for the front door that ties in the brown roof to the blue door.


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RE: So bummed - Hate the exterior color I chose. Please help.

I love it! I agree with the others-- all it needs is landscaping. You have a beautiful backdrop!


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RE: So bummed - Hate the exterior color I chose. Please help.

Honestly, I really like the colors and hopoe that you now do too. I'd add some red, pink, white colored flowers.


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RE: So bummed - Hate the exterior color I chose. Please help.

I agree with everyone. Your house is fine. What you are feeling is the disappointment that the color from your swatch doesn't match your finished product. I am guessing your house was darker before?
I would leave the door for now. It was just painted. Work with your landscaper and decided on perennials and annuals. You have lots of places for bordering plants.
I agree with putting two urns on either side of the door with red geraniums. Your eye will go to all these pops of color.
When you need to paint your house again, really look around your neighborhood at examples of what you like. You can possibly get the owner of the home to tell you what color they used. My husband did just that with siding. He saw a work in progress and used the same siding color as well as the company doing the job.
There are a few decorators on this site that could probably steer you in the right direction.
But for now, enjoy your lovely home.


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RE: So bummed - Hate the exterior color I chose. Please help.

I like the gray siding, and the door is a lovely shade of blue. The problem is the roof. The blue door looks good with the siding, but not with the brown roof. That is what says "blah" to me. If your roof were gray, the gray tones and beautiful blue door would blend.
Consider painting the door green, which would pull together the gray siding and the brown roof. Easier than putting another roof on.
On the other hand, if your cedar roof is going to turn gray, anyway, don't change anything right now. Time is on your side.


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RE: So bummed - Hate the exterior color I chose. Please help.

If the roof will not change, you need to complement it. Personally, I would repaint the house, rethinking the entire color scheme.


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RE: So bummed - Hate the exterior color I chose. Please help.

Thank you so much everyone. I am starting to get used to the house, if not loving it. I agree the landscaping needs to be kicked up, and I'm going to do the window boxes on the front garage and two windows flanking the front door. I may do cedar and paint them the blue of the front door.

I guess it just takes time to get everything done, and my husband has no plans to tackle the landscaping until next summer. Thanks again for the kind words and advice. :)


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RE: So bummed - Hate the exterior color I chose. Please help.

The roof is cedar and will turn silver as it ages, solving the brown issue. I think where the OP says, "it will not change" she means she won't be getting a new roof.


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RE: So bummed - Hate the exterior color I chose. Please help.

I agree with everyone I think your home is lovely. I even might be interested in those lights:)


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RE: So bummed - Hate the exterior color I chose. Please help.

I'm with those who like the house color. It's mine, in fact.

Regarding the garage doors, those are the trouble spot in the typical home. Ideally, the garage would be detached and hidden, your chauffeur would drop you off and then make the car disappear too. These days, instead of hiding garages discretely hidden behind hedges, we have big, klunky utilitarian garage doors trying to grab attention from what should be a compelling and delightful front entry. So, my recommendation is to not try to punch up the garage door in any way. THAT's not where you want people to look. Your painter had the right idea, but still went the wrong way in painting it the typical bright look-at-me white. I'd take the house color itself a shade or two two darker and paint the garage doors that color.

It's so nice that you do love the front door color, which is lovely with the gray. I agree with Bronwynsmom, though, that more contrast would fix the washed-out effect you're seeing from the street. Just look to something else to add more.

Flowers are ephemeral, so not so great to depend on even in the warm seasons and gone entirely in winter. How about establishing more permanent energy with a pair of large, decorative, winter-hardy pots? They could hold flowers in summer, seasonal decor in winter. Yellows-oranges-reds are across the color wheel from blue, and the complement would really make the door area pop. If that's too colorful for your tastes, you could add contrast in a quieter manner by going dark against the relatively pale colors, black, very deep green, eggplant, or...?


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RE: So bummed - Hate the exterior color I chose. Please help.

I understand that Olychick, but the roof is clearly not brand new and shows no signs of turning silver. If it is even a year old, as the mildew patterns would suggest, it should be turning already. If the roof is brown, blue is not the best color choice for the house. If the above is not a picture of the current roof, that would make a different, obviously, but my understanding is that this is a current photo.


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RE: So bummed - Hate the exterior color I chose. Please help.

Colorful flowers would help tremendously. I dont know which USDA zone you're in, but pink azaleas, wax leaf begonias, and orange New Guinea impatiens immediately come to mind. Wax leaf begonias have pink, white or red flowers And leaves that turn copper in full sun. A pot of flowers by the door and some sprinklings of color throughout the yard would really stand out. Oranges, pinks or purples would look good. FWIW i think the color is lovely. Its just needs a little umphhhh!


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RE: So bummed - Hate the exterior color I chose. Please help.

Colorful flowers would help tremendously. I dont know which USDA zone you're in, but pink azaleas, wax leaf begonias, and orange New Guinea impatiens immediately come to mind. Wax leaf begonias have pink, white or red flowers And leaves that turn copper in full sun. A pot of flowers by the door and some sprinklings of color throughout the yard would really stand out. Oranges, pinks or purples would look good. FWIW i think the color is lovely. Its just needs a little umphhhh!


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RE: So bummed - Hate the exterior color I chose. Please help.

It looks very lovely to me. If it was dreadful, I'd think about repainting, but it looks great in my opinion! Flower boxes should brighten it up as well, like you're planning.


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