Little known fact, one of our most popular posts, 11 Palettes For Your Stucco Style House, features our own Color Studio Manager April Haffer's house.
For that article we created 16 color schemes to demonstrate the many options homeowners have. They all worked well for the home's style, architecture and landscape features. But the final palette April chose updated her house beautifully AND resonated with her own personal style too!
Here's her color story along with tips for working with paint contractors to get everything just right. Take it away, April!
April's Makeover Story
Step 1: To choose great paint colors start by working with the fixed elements, like roofing, walkway materials, and landscaping. Also, take a quick look at neighboring houses.
Look for colors that look great with those elements and stand out (in a good way!) from your neighbors.
Step 2: There are warm reddish undertones to my fixed features, so I looked at earthy neutrals that are also warm- think creamy whites, reddish browns, beige-y grays.
A great place to add a personal touch is with the front door, so I jumped out of my comfort zone a bit and chose a brighter color there to create a welcoming feel. I looked at all kinds of fun colors that still focused on warm hues like red, corral, and orange.
Step 3: I also made sure my colors had a nice range of contrast including light, medium and dark colors. And they all had to look great with my front door options. It takes a bit of fussing but when you start with colors in the right family, it's all about combining them in different combinations until the right set of colors show up for you.
Step 4: For exteriors choosing sheens is important for durability. I like our AcryShield paints for the excellent weathering, color, and gloss protection. I chose low sheen for the body and trim and semi-gloss for the front door. Higher gloss is very durable and really makes the color pop!
Step 5: Like Color Consultants, I found that making a chart really helped my painter get the right colors and the right sheens in the right places. Here's my chart. It seemed a little busy, so I also labeled each area with a bit of painters tape. May seem a bit picky, but some of my color placement ideas were a bit untraditional, so I made sure I was communicating well.
Step 6: Even though I was confident about my color choices, I had my painter roll out samples of the colors before painting- just to be sure. I had him roll out large samples in the areas where each color would go to make sure I liked the colors in those areas with with each other.
You can do this step yourself with our sample quarts or ask you painter to do it. They may charge a bit extra but it's worth it. But make sure you've already narrowed down your choices before you apply samples on your house. Too many little swatches of different colors can make the process even more confusing. Keep it simple!
And our painter was great about taping off windows, removing fixtures, and covering landscaping near the house. The prep time can be pretty involved but it always makes for a better finish.
And voila! I absolutely love my new colors! My house looks bigger, newer and the fixed elements (roof, stone wall, landscaping, etc.) look SO much better.
I'm also completely in love with my front door! I'll admit, it kind of scared me when I first saw this bold coral color on the door. But it was dark brown before so I just let it sit for awhile and realized it was just the perfect hue to make my shady front porch feel more welcoming. And I love coming home to these gorgeous colors now.
Remember, here's what my house looked like before...
And here it is now... overall I spent a few weeks choosing colors, a few more finding paint contractors and gathering quotes, and several days hoping I'd done everything right while they painted.
There were definitely times I felt nervous about my choices but every time I went back through the steps, I knew these colors were best for my house and perfect for me.
And the best compliment is that many of my neighbors are now painting their houses! My neighborhood is getting a makeover one great paint palette at a time.
(explore more exterior painting tips from our top female sales reps! READ here)