Wednesday, April 11, 2012

exterior color decisions...

I am so excited to FINALLY be embarking on the exterior projects of our home. It is all about to change and all I can say is THANK GOODNESS! I think I have told you about a million times, I really only bought this house because it is right next door to my sister. I don't love the layout, I don't love the style, and I don't love having neighbors. But sometimes a girl gets sentimental and finds the crazy amount of fun she would have living right next door to her sis outweighs floor plan and style. {sigh...}

So back to the ugliness of my house. It is a one story ranch style, painted brick house from 1958. Luckily it is quite large, and has a high enough roofline we are going to finish the upstairs in a couple years. Not exactly the epitome of farmgirl style, that goes without saying. So, I have to inject a little cottage, a little charm and make it my own! (I will show you photos later...once it is done...because I am hoping it is going to be one heck of a change!)

We are getting a new roof, gutters, soffits, garage door, paint color and landscaping. Whew! I just realized how much work that really is once I started typing. What am I getting myself into again?? Today I am struggling with color. My roofer kinda needs an today...but I am almost 100% positive I will make him wait a few more days. I can't decide...

I am crazy in love with this color scheme...the brown roof, the light shade of gray paint and the touches of stone. This is a wood shingled roof, so I would have to try to achieve this feel with asphalt shingles. Possible? I think I can come close...Owen's Corning has a gorgeous architectural shingle called "Driftwood"...totally not a 1970s brown, but a nice shade with many tones to it. (my sis next door just put it on her house, too!)

But then there is the pull of a slightly darker gray with the brown roof.

and of course...the gray/stone/charcoal roof option is calling me, too...

As much as I am loving the gray paint/brown roof combo, I do love the simplicity and clean look of a light tan paint color with a brown roof...

but I have been seeing tan with a charcoal roof quite a bit lately, too..

which would look really nice with a charcoal shutter...

(all photos can be found on my Pinterest board 'exterior design')

Do you see my dilemma here? So many beautiful choices!! Of course, all these houses have a much different style than my own...but I can see elements in each photo  I can incorporate. Hmmm...

Which color combo do you like best??


  1. That is so sweet that you bought next to your sister, I can't wait to see what you do with the outside. It is going to be gorgeous!

  2. Lovely choices, how can you go wrong with those? I love the charcoal gray roofs and shutters,fantastic.

  3. I found that the best way to figure out what color roof we liked was to drive around and look at roofs. And what I learned was that I don't care for brown roofs in almost all cases (the exception was when the siding color worked perfectly with it, which I found to be a rarity). Personally, I think that charcoal/gray with a bit of brown shingles are the most forgiving.

  4. How about tan brick with charcoal roof, charcoal shutters, barn red front door and barn red garage doors.

  5. All beautiful choices...I can see your dilemma. I think the charcoal roof/shutter combo with a lighter siding has more 'presence,' for what my two cents is worth! I may be biased though since I have a taupey/gray siding, charcoal/black roof, black shutters and white trim!!

  6. When we roofed our prior home we went with a grey tone... called driftwood, mostly because we knew we'd have more color options for our home than with a brown tone roof. We did use architectural roofing... more expensive but look so much better than the cheaper flat shingles used so frequently.

    Personally I love the idea of a charcoal roof, tan toned house, white trim and charcoal shutters/doors/accents... similar look to what we did on our rental house last summer.

    Look forward to seeing the decision and the results!

    1. Hi Chris!

      Do you know if your 'driftwood' color was Owens Corning by any chance? My sis (next door) just had that put on and it is a brown color, (not a deep chocolate brown, but it is brown). I am wondering if another brand also has driftwood that is more grey. I would love to seek that one out just to see how it compares. It is an architectural type shingle, and I would not go with anything are so right! Thanks for the info!


    2. Hi Mary! I have GAF Slateline in "Weathered Slate". I chose it because our house is Nantucket Gray/Green but I knew that I'd want to make it either Dark Gray, or Weathered Brown at some point and the roof will last far longer than the paint does. Keep in mind that your roof will look different depending upon what you choose for your "house body" color. Hope that this helps.!

  7. oh, I know exactly how you feel, it is soooooo hard, I have been picking out flooring, and keep bringing samples home and it is sooooo hard....good luck!!!!!

  8. We just went through the same thing...we HAD to re-side our house and we were wanting a different look. After 3 months of much debate and many trips to the home-improvement stores for samples.....we painted it the exact same color it was before. Evidently I have a problem with change! :)

  9. My fav is grey/stone/charcoal roof. I don't think you can go wrong with a charcoal roof for any colour combo. It looks great with the tan too.

  10. My husband is a general contractor and we usually use Timberline shingles. My favorite color is weathered's kind of a mix of gray and brown. We use that color quite a bit since it's pretty neutral :)

  11. I cannot chose ...all are great. But my fave is gray/stone/charcoal option.
    I think a couple of us may c0ne to Nada farm. Where should we stay?? Dekalb?? We are doing 3rd Sunday that weekend. so we will come for Friday. I am excited to hug your neck!!

  12. How exciting Mary!! We are in the process of deciding on what to do with the exterior of our home and the roof also. I am leaning towards a grey colored roof so that I have more paint color options (you know, in case I want to repaint the house again in a few years...but dont tell my hubby I just said that!). We have a darker stone that is going on the bottom of the exterior, so i dont want something too dark (like black), but I dont want to be stuck with neutrals if I pick a brown roof. Ugh....So many choices!!
    You have an amazing eye, so I am sure it will look awesome. That first pic of yours seriously has me drooling.....what a gorgeous home!! Good luck sweetie!!

  13. I don't think you can go wrong with any... but that being said. My last house was a new england kinda gray and I had a tough choice picking out the perfect color... I think it was called "Misty" from DUnn Edwards which was a gray with a hint of tan... anyway, I was going to go a bit lighter and then decided that the paint would eventually lighten a bit and so I went a tad darker... Glad I did. Don't go too light... It's kind of the opposite of what you do inside... Inside you can pick a color and go 2 shades lighter... outside you pick a color and deepen it just a bit. At least that's what has always worked for me. Oh, and I like a gray roof if I had the choice. Brown is classic but reminds me of the 70's?

  14. Girl, I came here hoping you'd decide MY exterior colors for ME! Now I'm even more confused. :)
    Whatever you choose will be sheer brilliance, of that I am sure.

  15. Gray and crisp white!!

  16. We just redid our roof in light/med. gray. Our house is barn red with white trim, and a few black accents.

  17. Hi Mary,
    So cool that you live next to your sister, hope my girls will grow up and be so close as you two, great motive to buy a house! As for the colours, I like them all but the gray is my favourite. Combination with a lighter colour would make it more contrasting. Good luck with choosing!

  18. Mary - you are doing a good job of at least defining some choices...I work in the Paint dept at Lowes (have been there for some time) lots of people come in having no idea what they two cents - agree with previous comment about the gray roof -will give you more house color options in the future. The other other thing I would suggest - paint your front door a color - a burnt red or maybe an eggplant - it will pop and give your house a little more personality (just like you!)

  19. I'm zero help cause I like them ALL and love all the little things you pointed out about them too... Haha aren't you glad I commented? I don't think you can go wrong with any of those options. I can't wait to see it.. I see you pinning all these amazing things and it kills me to not see what you're doing yet!! I'm in suspense!! LOL

  20. I also live in a 50s ranch and though it is not my favorite, the house has really been open to change. I know that sounds crazy but I do believe that houses have different energies and some just do not work with you and your wants and are resistant to change! :) As I looked through these photos a second and third time the houses with the darker roof really stood out to me. The darker roof seems to ground the house. The accents (stone, door color, shutters) also seem to stand out more. I am looking forward to seeing your house photos. Could you at least give us before pictures so we know what you are working with? Please :)

  21. We just got a new roof and we went with Hearthstone Gray by Atlas. It has a few different shades of gray and it looks a bit like slate. A more grayish brown shade is Weathered Wood and it looks good with lots of other colors. I think a true brown color looks dated. Good luck!

  22. BIG DILEMMA! i don't even know what to tell you...they are all great. I think i like the first option best...
    i think the greys and browns look great together. did you decide?
    we are doing some landscaping pretty soon and then next year paint the trim outside. do you know if gutters can be painted or do you get new ones if you change the color of the trim? our trim is dark green and so are the gutters. the house is a tannish brick.
    so excited to see all your transformations!
    btw- i'm still waiting to hear about sunday...

  23. morgen du liebe
    ach da würd ich doch sooooo gerne einziehen.
    traumhaft schön das haus.
    wünsche dir ein schönes wochenende.
    herzlichst daniela

  24. I like a warm white painted house with a pale grey roof and gutters......
    Pale grey shutters too!
    I hope I haven't confused you even more......
    Tania @ Scandi Coast Home

  25. Wow, that is a tough decision. We are saving for a new roof, so this is what I have to look forward to!! :) I would love to hear what you decide and can't wait to see your finished home! From the sounds of it, you know what you are doing and it will look fabulous when all done!! :)

  26. Did I miss something or did you reveal your sunroom? I was sooo looking forward to that :(

  27. Hello I have just called in via Maureen at Daydream Living. Your blog is great, I like your style. I prefer the colours in the first house, but I do think that any you chose would be lovely. Good luck! Linda x

  28. I love all of your inspiration. There is nothing quite like a neutral exterior!

  29. If you ask me which of these designs is best for me, I would select the house with tan sidings and charcoal roof. In my opinion, it may be the house that has the most distinct design. The combination of both colors also provides a clean and simple look to the house. I think your house needs a little color to brighten it up a bit. :)

  30. The first one is definitely lovely! However, all these choices have one thing in common: the light shades. I think, either of these choices will still be great choice for your house. It will create a serene effect on your neighborhood. Anyway, I hope by the time you get to fix everything inyour house, you’ll still find time to update us about it! ;)

    Kermit Lukacs

  31. If I were to choose among your choices and consider your dilemma, I would go with the charcoal and gray combination. Actually, one trick to determine the best roof and exterior color is to look around the neighborhood and see how the houses look from afar. Anyway, which one did you choose?

    Hugh Dinatale

  32. Having someone come and paint your house for you can help get the job done faster than you could and ensure you safety. Professionals do this all the time so they have their own system for getting the job done faster.

    interior painting aptos

  33. What did you end up going with?! We are residing our house this summer and I desperately want grey, but our shingles are brown. I can't decide if it would look nice or not!