Exterior Colour: What is bossing the road we take?

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If you have been following my blog, you will know that I’m truly passionate about colour.  Whether we are talking exterior or interior colours, cabinet colour, floor colour, wall colour, etc, I love helping my clients make the best decision for their home.  In a current project that I am working on, the entire home is getting worked on including the exterior.  We have solidified the James Hardie Siding and trim colours but the roof, soffits and fascia colours were needing to be decided on.  When I was talking with Mr. Client on the phone, he mentioned that he told the roofing company to just use white for the soffits and fascia for the exterior colour.  Mrs. Client also wanted to use black shingles for the roof.  I’m pretty sure I almost jumped through the phone as it was a clear and definite, “NO” that came from my mouth.  While we did laugh (and Mr. Client joked around that I had slapped his hand), I re-arranged my day to meet the roofing company on site to pick the best colours – which were not white.

Exterior Colour: The Boss

In almost every renovation, there typically is something that stays and is not touched or removed.  This is the case with this current project as the exterior brick is staying.  Since the entire front of the home is brick, as well as the chimney in the back, the colour in the brick is the boss.  What I mean by that is, the brick dictates how we move forward with exterior colour choices.

Here is a shot of the brick in the back (the dumpster is located in the front which blocks my view of getting a good photo).  This brick covers the entire front of the home as well.

exterior colour

Since this brick has such a red/orange undertone AND it covers a lot of the home, it truly is the boss for choosing anything that is going to be added to the exterior.  The reason it is the boss is that we can not ignore it.  When you can’t ignore a fixed element, like this brick, what do you do?  Embrace it!

Exterior Colour: Siding

When the decision to move forward with keeping the brick was made, the first thing we looked at was siding and trim.  My clients knew they wished to use James Hardie siding so I took all my samples and we tested each preferred colour against the brick (in the front of the house and the back of the house).  We ended up with the following colour choice:

exterior colour

Exterior Colour: Soffits, Fascia and Downspouts

When I heard Mr. Client tell me he had told the roofing company to use white for the soffits, fascia and downspouts, I mentioned above that I almost jumped through the phone.  Any guesses as to why – now that you see how the exterior colour palette is shaping?  This house clearly falls in the cream foundation palette.  Adding white soffits, fascia and downspouts would stick out like an ugly, sore thumb.  Other than the vinyl on the windows being white, there is nothing else on the exterior of this home that is white.  It is all cream (and warm).  This actually is a common error that home owners will make if they don’t realize the big picture.  After explaining this to Mr. Client, I made time to meet the roofer on site and look at the options.

There were really 2 choices that could have been used for the soffits, fascia and downspouts that would work with the exterior colour palette.  One was a close match the the dark siding and the other was a close match to the trim.  I chose the close match to the trim as the trim colour is going to be on the edges of the home.  The downspouts will blend in and not really be seen.  Nothing like dark downspouts coming down from the roof (looking like limbs) to take away from the home.

Exterior Colour: Roof

Now that the soffits, fascia and downspouts were decided, the roof colour was the final decision to be made.  While Mrs Client wished for a black roof, I was not convinced that black was the best choice.  Any reason why Mrs. Client was drawn to black?  Here is a close up shot of the brick:

exterior colour

Do you see the little smattering of black in the brick?  The reasoning behind the wish for a black roof was to play off the little bits of black that are found in the brick.  My advice was as follows:

There is not enough black in this brick to pull off an entire roof with black shingles.

Remember, the entire exterior colour palette is cream – which is warm.  Having a black roof would not be in line with everything else that was chosen.  Instead, I suggested a roof colour that played nicely with all the brick, that wasn’t too orange or red, but was also warm.  The roof that I suggested was this colour:

exterior colour

Exterior Colour: Pulling it All Together

Here is how the exterior colour palette has come together: exterior colour

Remember when Mrs. Client wished to have a black roof?  Well, I have plans to use black on the exterior!  The plan for the front door is to be a rich, deep black – that will play off the little bit of black found in brick.

When it comes time to choosing exterior colours (or interior colours for that  matter), I encourage you to identify any fixed element that is staying and work around the undertones that the fixed element possesses.

Not sure what undertone your fixed element(s) have?  Having a difficult decision making the right choice?  Contact Sheri today to discuss your next project. 



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