gray and white house

Pick a Lane

Had occasion recently to help a lady choose colors for a new build. Also had another person involved in the process who wasn’t color savvy at all and who had too much input. Didn’t go well. Here’s why: The client would not pick a lane, and the second person told her she didn’t have to.

You know that the trim on your windows almost sets the color way for the room. Blue or true white works with the new fresh colors, off white or cream works with the earth tones. Of which pink-beige is one, as is wood trim except when it’s stained so dark it appears charcoal or black. 

If you want a gray, fresh feel to your home, don’t choose earth or pink-beige colors for the exterior. That’s like wearing a builders beige jacket over a snazzy gray and white dress. Pick a lane.Here is a link to a column — with examples — that I wrote about gray.

bad house from renovate
source: Maria Killam

This poor baby. Oh my. Gray roof, pink-beige stucco and those glaring white windows with gold and gray-brown stone, nonetheless. This house will never look right.

So, if you want wood trim on the windows you have picked the earth-toned lane and if you want your house or room to have any cohesion at all, you need to stay in that lane. Which means almost all grays are out. Except green-gray. But with the new-build lady, she has chosen blue-gray and mixed it with green-gray accents in some interior rooms, and is having issues with the exterior lane. I fear it is going to look off. So much so that there will be repainting involved.

wood trimAnd the non-color person input with; “Well, it’s her home, she can have whatever she wants.” Which is true. We have all seen rooms and homes painted colors that the home owner thought would be brilliant together but ended up being just bad when in place. If you want colors that work together on paper and in practice, and unless you have serious color training, you better call a pro. Can you imagine this room with white or gray walls or bedding?

I’m not saying the untrained can’t pick good combinations. Of course it can happen. But wouldn’t you rather be a bit more sure than  ‘Well let’s see what it’s like when it’s up.’

Good brick house
source: Maria Killam

We don’t see many homes like this around here, but it’s a perfect example of how the off-white or cream with earth colors rule works. I have seen houses with this color of brick and glaring white trim. So have you.  This is how it should look.

I wasn’t this adamant about color until I took the Maria Kiliam True Color Expert training. I learned to see the nuances of color, and can spot a bad marriage a mile away. Literally.  And I can explain it, and show you samples of why it is wrong. And I can show you how to make it right.

I hope the client is happy with her color choices. I really do.  But I’ve got money on at least two room re-paints.

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