OK, everyone. I honestly can’t believe we’re about halfway into the first month of the New Year. I did not make any New Year resolutions for the first time in years. I have, however, wanted to make some changes to our home. I know I’m not alone. It’s no secret that stay-at-home orders have made people want to change things up at home.
Designs by Michele Rose may be an interior design blog… but today, I’m changing lanes. I’m going to write about exteriors. After all, exteriors could use a little love and attention, too.
When my husband, Paul Sprunk, and I bought our house, it was a 2007 builder’s special. The original stucco and trim was painted builder beige. Very blah and boring. The builder went the cheapest route and just painted it all the same color to unify it. Our house sets back from the road, and it is surrounded by lots of trees. The front is on a busy boulevard and the rear backs up to the forest. The boring beige did nothing to stand out among the surrounding woods. The landscape around our house is blooming with color ideas. The prevalence of trees may suggest an earthy palette of greens and browns… NOT boring beige!
Here’s how it all went down. Last September I masked up. I started the engine. I drove to a new clients’ home. As soon as I pulled into their driveway, I was in awe. I was in love. It was “love at first sight” with the exterior paint colors. The body of the house was painted in one color, the garage and front door was painted in another, and all the trim was painted in a third color. While I gathered my clip board and measuring tools, I mumbled to myself. I continued to mutter all the way to the beautiful front door.
I rang the doorbell. When the homeowner swung the front door wide open, I was still mumbling. I was in awe. Did I already say that? Well, I was. I was obsessed with this home’s colors.
You see, this house had just been freshly painted. Michael and Jeannie did it all by themselves. They painted green on the stucco of their home. Then they painted the garage and front door with a dark brown hue. The finishing touches on the trim were painted white. In my opinion, this home stood out a little from the others in their neighborhood. This home inspired me to make our home’s outside as stylish as its inside. After leaving their house my head was swimming with imagined before-and-after pictures of our house being freshly painted.
Except? Well, let’s just say that Paul wasn’t immediately onboard. In fact, he liked our house the way it was. It didn’t bother him that the house was painted builder beige, blah and boring. [sounds of crickets chirping]
And? Maybe he was right. Maybe it was a waste of time and money to repaint the entire exterior of our house. But according to the online experts, stucco houses should be repainted every 7–10 years. Our house hasn’t been repainted since it was built 14 years ago!
And? Even though Paul did not fall in love with the idea of painting the house the same way I did, he was willing to take a “field trip” to see our client’s house.
So? While on the drive over there, visions of like-new front porch furniture danced in my head. In my mind I was already painting the front porch hand-me-down rattan chairs in a dark brown hue. I also made a mental note to shop online for chair cushions to match the new house colors.
And so? Paul came onboard after he saw Michael’s and Jeannie’s house! After realizing painting an exterior is part of maintaining a home, Paul agreed that our home did need painting.
Picking house exterior paint colors not only can be difficult… it could be outright terrifying for many! If you choose colors that are boring and blah, your house will seem flat and featureless, much like our original house looked. But if the paint colors are too bold, they can overwhelm the architecture, and might even infuriate your neighbors. The last thing you may want to do is make your neighbors angry. The potential rewards of having an exceptionally painted home are substantial, though.
Getting it just right by choosing the perfect exterior house color and trim combinations can change your life. Exterior paint color selections can be a daunting experience because there are so many options. It can be hard to know where to begin. So, when we finally decided to paint our home, our customer saved me from buying a million tiny cans of paint samples. Michael and Jeannie did me a tremendous favor when they divulged their paint colors.
Was I nervous?
Heck yes! This hasn’t been without a decent dose of nervousness, and I’m a trained professional. If it hadn’t been for our house being so tall and built on a hill, I probably would have painted the exterior all by myself. It is one thing to set aside a weekend to change the color of your walls in your bedroom, but it’s quite another to paint your home’s exterior, especially if the house has formidable challenges like ours. But we were doing this only once, so we decided to do it right. So, we decided to leave this major home improvement job to the pros and hired a professional painter.
As soon as the body of our house was painted with Valspar’s Tuscan Olive 5004-2A, I knew it was the perfect shade of green. Green offers a wide palette of hues that can be very difficult to hone in on. They can range from the vibrant yellow-green of a spring leaf to subtle gray-green, olive, and moss colors. All around the world, the color green makes a statement about where people live. Earthy greens blend well with natural woodsy settings and are often used on bungalows and rustic shingle-style houses. Dark forest or pine green is a traditional color for shutters and trim on many colonial and Victorian-era houses. For a modern or art deco house, bright lime green can add pizazz.
Next, the painter painted the trim with a color that reminds me of French vanilla ice cream. When I first saw the color, an action-siren went off inside my head. It was very loud. And there was this little annoying mini-me that sat on my shoulder, saying are you sure about the vanilla ice cream color? Is that really what an interior designer would do? So, I called the professional painter. I told him I wanted the trim to be BRIGHT WHITE. While the painter was repainting the trim with pure white, he repeatedly told Paul, “Your wife was right. The bright white really makes everything pop!”
The last color to go on was the brown: Valspar’s Cowboy Boots 2010-10. This shade of brown really kicked things up a notch and made the ultimate statement for all of our home’s exterior doors.
Look at the after photo. Is this even the same house? This sage/beachy green perfectly complements the brown shingled roof.
We have a gorgeous, sprawling home surrounded by woods. I wanted excellent paint hues that would work with, and not against, our surroundings. The “Tuscan Olive” green color works in perfect harmony with the lush surrounding trees as well as the “Cowboy Boots” brown doors and accented with crisp white trim. I believe this trio were the perfect color combinations. The house exterior will welcome visitors when they roll up to our house. More importantly, the exterior colors will give us joy every time we return home—for years to come.
Final word: keep your eyes, ears, and arms open for your turn in the vaccination line. I believe immunity is possible if we all get vaccinated. Until next week, stay safe.