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Monday
Jan232017

Karen's Exterior

Hi,

I came upon your blog when I typed in “painted brick houses” and I’m so happy!  This is a picture of a house I just purchased as a newly divorced gal.  I’ve always dreamed of  living in a cute painted brick house and after 28 years of marriage ending, I may just have it!  Right now, this house is just sort of….sad.   It has potential to be eye-catching, I believe, with the right colors.  I plan to add shutters  and a flower box under the windows.  I’m also thinking of having posts on the front porch rather than the wrought iron because it looks dated to me.

I’ve looked at suggestions that you’ve given from the Sherwin Williams colors (Relaxed Khaki, Universal Khaki, Stone Lion, etc…), which has been helpful.  I also saw a comment that three colors are better than just two.  I guess I’m wondering if I should have the brick painted one color and the bottom stone part different?  If you could make suggestions of colors for this little charmer, I’d appreciate it greatly.  The neighborhood is pretty traditional…nobody has gone out on any limbs, so I guess anything “risky” is out (even though I would love it).  I’m also not a fan of grey/black combinations.  

Thanks for your time and no real hurry!

- karen

Hi Karen,

Let me start by telling you that you have a charming home.  Now let me tell you how to make it more charming.  

1.  Improve the roofline

2.  Strengthen the entry

3.  UPdate the dated

4.  Improve proportions visually

OK- starting with #1.  Your house it so cute, but the roofline leaves something to be desired.  it reminds me of a little triangular hat.  

Ok- maybe not exactly like that one- but what post isn't improved with a picture of Poldark?  Karen- if you haven't watched this show- I will just say- "You're welcome" for telling you about it.

I would do this by adding a triangular pediment to the front.  This improves your roofline without touching your roof- just adding the entrance.  I'd be generous with it as well
This also leads us to #2- strengthen the entry.  Look at your house straight on. Instead of the entry being charming and inviting, you can only see half of the door, the bottom is covered by a bush and dated metal railing.  Like the robot bartender in Passengers- it's missing something.  A charming front door does SO MUCH for an exterior.  This is supposed to be the focal point on a house like yours.  I know that storm doors are practical.  I used to live in freezing windy Iowa.  But the designer in me would want to ditch it.  ;-)  
#3- Update the dated.  You mentioned this already- and I agree with you- but would do it a little different.  What I consider dated is basically the door and the metal railing.  Don't get rid of the railing idea altogether. I'd switch the metal to wood; after you open up the door, there is still a little porch space.  A wooden porch railing will add to the charm of your little charmer.

#4- I'd improve proportions.  You were already on track with this in your letter. Where I see this to be an issue is mostly in two places.  The window on the right is small.  If your budget is generous- add a larger window.
 

I know this gets complicated on a brick home, which translates to expensive.  And so- of course- there are ways to increase the size visually without increasing it physically.  I'd do this with shutters and a window box.  All of the sudden it will look wider and lower, and more super cute.  The frieze board is also small. Increasing its size will ramp up the charm factor.

Oh yeah- you asked about paint colors huh?  Here's a little warning to all of you gray lovers out there.  Colors don't tend to be super popular for more than 7-10 years, and gray has already been enjoying popularity for about 5.  So- if you want to love this exterior paint job for more than 3-5 years- don't paint it a trendy color gray.  Closer to the beginning of the trend it might have been worth it- but painting brick is more complicated than painting siding.  It is very absorbent and sucks up a lot of paint.  It's an intense process.  You want it to last for a long time.  I would paint it a shade of white.  You can add lots of personality with your paint selection on the door and shutters.  You can have the field color be creamier, like simple white, 7021, and the railing, pediment, and other architectural trim in 7004 snowbound.  Your shutters and front door can be in black, a robin's egg blue, or a subtle Magnetic gray.  Is that a trendy color? Sure it is, but repainting a small area like that is not the expense and project that the entire home is.  



Thanks for writing in!

- Christine

 

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