Summer is never complete without a trip - or several trips - to my favorite nursery, Rogers Gardens in Corona Del Mar.

they are famous for their amazing hanging baskets
this one is about 3 feet across

 This is begonia season

They were so gorgeous...

but they required shade I didn't have at the moment...

 Inside there was new home decor
(now you know why its my favorite nursery - garden and home all in one stop)
 and indoor plants - orchids dominated

there are always pretty wreaths...

 The gift shop - furniture and home decor

 Lamps just always look amazing in front of mirrors
 A little plant shopping - succulents were considered.... but
 these won out in the end - because...
I need more hydrangeas in my life...

At home, my own garden has flourished under the care of Mr. B.
I've barely had time to do a little dead heading,
still the roses seem to thrive on neglect...

Hope you are having a wonderful Summer!


Hi Claudine (you have same name as my mom who is 1/2 French :)...
Question: I just stumbled on your blog and can see you have great knowledge of paint. I'm having the hardest time choosing an exterior color for my shaker siding and panels... My brick is a deep red and rock has light gray and tan/brown. Can you please recommend a few choices that would work?  Thanks for any help! Sara 

Hi Sara,
I'm always excited to hear there are other Claudines out there!  I grew up repeating and often spelling my name for people and thought I was the only one with that name for so long!  Ha!
Your home already has a great abundance of warm tones.  The red brick and the warm tones in the stone -  so I think we need to contrast that with cool tones to make it pleasing to the eye and more elegant.
My recommendation would be to paint the siding in gray or gray/beige tones and add a contrasting trim.  Here's some examples of what that might look like... you'll have to use your imagination to apply it to your own home..

A cool gray compliments red brick, and the white trim and black accents bring out the architectural details.  You will need to take swatches to hold next to your stone to see what goes best.  I'm thinking this is a little dark, but a lighter gray like the example below may be perfect.

the same goes for a grayed beige like this above.  Looks good with the red brick.
A cool gray/green may work, but you'd have to check it next to the stone.

Unfortunately, your color palette is complicated by a large abundance of siding and the added combination of brick and stone, which are in completely different tones.  In a large house like the one below, the stone shows off an architectural element and the siding echoes the stone color to balance it.  Even then, it is difficult to marry brick and stone without it looking too busy.

If it were my home, I would try to unify the colors as much as possible.   This home below has a unity of color - the siding picking up the brick colors and making the house feel larger and connected. 
Your brick and stone have very different colors to them, so finding a paint color for the siding to unify the home instead of breaking it up, becomes more difficult.
In fact, if I were doing this project, I would paint the brick the same color as the siding and in a color to blend with the stone.  But this is your home, and you need to love it..
Below is an example of how painting or in this case disguising the brick with white wash
helps make this home more updated and unified.
the house is seen as a whole instead of being broken up by too many elements.

whatever you decide to do, try to diminish one of the elements so that there aren't so many elements to contend with.  Paint the house siding a color that is one of the primary colors in the stone, in a cool tone to compliment the red brick
add white trim, an accent color - usually a darker color - and paint your door so that it stands out and says 'welcome'

Your home looks lovely, and when the porch is finished and your posts are in place, you will have some great areas to enhance with trim color.

I can't give you a color - you will need to hold the swatches next to your stone - look in the gray/beige neutral tones - but if you get stuck, send me a picture or two so I can help.

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