5/8/12

CURB APPEAL

WHAT IS YOUR FIRST IMPRESSION?


ROAD TRIP...
to see my 95 year old amazing mother
who has been ill with pneumonia...

Skies were threatening thunderstorms as we left California
 but we soon left it behind and headed for the wide open skies of Utah



there is something about the way the sky goes on forever

 in the high mountain valleys of Utah
they seem bigger than in California
why is that?
but I'm back to answering readers questions -
I have a lot of catching up to do...
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Hi there Claudine.
I have been reading your blog and am inspired to email you. I am about to have my 2 bedroom ranch style home re-roofed in a light grey color and have decided that I would like to repaint the house to improve the curb appeal. My whole family has suggested every color under the sun and I can't seem to commit to any of their suggestions. So I would like to ask your opinion on what color(s) I should use. Here's a bit of back ground to help you with your suggestion. I live in a lower income part of town and my house has the highest appraised value on the street. My house was built in 1951 and is an eggshell color with white vinyl windows and asbestos siding. (I can send you pictures if you would like). I have plans to live here until I am debt free (approximately 21 months from now). The homes to my right and left are painted a light blue color and the rest of the street has neutrally colored homes (tan, white, eggshell). I would like to use a color that really stands out but I'm not sure if that will help or hinder my selling it in the future. So, do I just paint it like all the rest of the homes on the street and not like it or go with a more interesting color and stand out from all the other homes and love it? I do plan on doing the repainting myself so I would love to work with color(s) that I at least like.....I'm so confused. Any advise you can give will be greatly appreciated and careful considered.
Thank you in advance,
Melissa from South Texas

Melissa,
Preparing a home for sale is very different than preparing it for yourself to live in.  When you sell a home, it has to appeal to the masses.  It needs to be more neutral so that they can picture it as their home.  If you are planning on selling in the next 21 months - definitely restrain yourself.  A neutral will be the best way to go.  That doesn't necessarily mean it can't catch your eye.  Here are some examples of neutral paint palettes that may work for you.
This home is anything but boring.  A light cream with white trim, black shutters, a red door and
welcoming landscaping - it looks classic and charming 
A national survey conducted by a major paint company found that white houses were the nations best seller. Apparently most people prefer white painted houses - and it has the added bonus of making your house look larger.  If you choose white, make sure you have a contrasting trim color and that your door stands out

like this home, in an off white or ecru with white and black trim and a bright red door.  It looks fresh and well kept and would definitely have a wide appeal and attract buyers.

I so love the way the faux shutters look on these white houses that I would strongly suggest that if you don't already have them on your home, add them as a design and ultimately a selling feature.  They bump up the charm and the curb appeal.

the next best color is a neutral - like a beige, tan or gray.
  Notice how there is more than one color going on here. 
Architectural details are enhanced with a darker trim and with white. 
I would have painted the door either a glossy black or a bright red to make it stand out. 
And don't underestimate the power of a well placed flower bed and a well tended lawn. 
These red flowers lining the walkway carry your eye right to the door and just scream welcome. 

So, if your goal is to sell in the near future, you will have to stay in the neutral family - but add color where you can with door color, faux shutters and flowering plants so that you can love it now, too.

Fabulous beiges from Benjamin Moore

These neutral gray/green tones would be a great choice
L to R:  Guilford Green Benjamin Moore, Hancock Green Benjamin Moore, Vert de Terre Farrow & Ball


 And if you LOVE color and can't bear to think about everything neutral - go a little wild with the door color - it needs to stand out, anyway!

Wythe Blue - Benjamin Moore
Aol.com's real estate site has some good advice to offer on house color

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I need your help!!!
Please Ignore the decor as this is what the house looked like with previous owners.
Any suggestions on paint colors w these cabinets and granite ( smokey blue/gray). Please please please help!!!  Katie.

Dear Katie,
The golden oak cabinets will define what colors you can use in your kitchen.  The granite is perfectly neutral and will go with many colors, but the golden oak is hard to find a color for that won't time warp you back into the late 80's - early 90's.  Now, if it were my choice, they would be stained dark or painted in a heartbeat - but if that isn't plausible right now, here are a few choices (can we at least paint the framed windows white?)
 This neutral buff color works well by minimizing the gold and making it look fresh.  The neutral dark granite should play well with this color.


an example of what not-to-do?  a strong green -
it will make those cabinets jump right into your face the minute you walk into the room


I realize this isn't paint, but I do like the way the soft green/blue of this tile calms the warmth of the cabinets down  and makes you think of 'spas' and serene places...  The dark granite would look good with a blue as well, as long as it stays light, fresh and green/blue in tone.  

Try Benjamin Moore Whispering spring or Hancock Green.
Hancock Green


Camouflage by Benjamin Moore is another great choice for the Golden Oak.



Best idea on color in your kitchen is to keep it neutral, light and airy and to minimize the effect of the golden wood tones by choosing cooler colors that have a gray base.  Finish the remodel by changing out the hardware for fresh clean satin nickel pulls.  And - good luck!

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Lovely visuals!  Have no idea how to ask for your help, but here goes....  I'm stuck with an exterior paint choice conundrum.   I have an 1840's cape house with cedar shingles (newly replaced) on the south facade, which are weathering down to a lovely, soft, silver gray tone. The other facades have clapboards which are to be painted. I'm having great difficulty finding a grey paint which will not be jarring with the weathered shingles. Unfortunately one "viewplane" from the well traveled street allows passersby to see both the clapboards and a shingled rear wing. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you for considering my request!

First of all, you are very lucky indeed to own a period home and I love how the cedar shingles weather so beautifully down to that soft gray.  Personally, I love to see that soft weathered gray contrasted with fresh white trim - and rather than add a new element to the mix, would probably paint the clapboards and trim both a white - pulling in the same color throughout to unify the look. In other words, embrace the clapboards, don't try to disguise them.  Here are some examples and while they may not all be period, they have successfully combined the clapboards and the shingles for a very charming look:



 Don't forget your accent colors for doors and shutters.  I personally like the charcoal and black. 


  Trying to match a gray paint color to an ever changing graying shingle would put me in line for the next opening at the assylum, but if you feel you really want to try a gray I would go with a contrast rather than a match and use a charcoal, like the shutters and chimney cap in the photo below it may provide interest, provided you don't forget the white trim! [Benjamin Moore - Kendall Charcoal]

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