rainbow house

One Colour-confused House

(Update  since I wrote this column: The house I write about has been painted. I won’t publish pictures of the house; obviously someone figured out that the colours were really bad and tried to fix it. But the colour lessons are important, I think. I was going to do a rendering of the before house, but I honestly just haven’t had time. And it isn’t really important to the discussion, anyway.)

Ok. I don’t care what your inspiration is; I will not agree that yellow, gray and pink are good colours for a new home exterior. Maybe one at a time but not all three on one house. Think I’m kidding? Saw one the other day and I took a picture of it. I think there may be some brick or stone work going on it too. I am not making this up.

I do believe that most of us have inherent good taste, but some of us also get swayed too easily, or think, “It’s easy to pick colours, why would I hire someone to help me?” Or you listen to a contractor who has no colour training, or to an office manager, or your cousin the DIY ‘expert.’ This poor house is the perfect example of what can happen; you might end up with a house of yellow, gray and pink.

The garage door is pink-beige. It probably didn’t look so pink in the sample form, but it is ghastly against the yellow and gray. This is why colours need to be tested properly, and you don’t learn that skill on HGTV. The window trim, the fascia, the eaves and the gables are yellow. (OK, you can call it ivory if you want, but it’s really yellow). The front door and trim, and the side garage entrance door are white, for heaven’s sake.

Then there is the gray. It’s a blue-gray. And for some unearthly reason, there is a strip of it above the trim over the garage and house window between the trim and the gables, which are yellow.

Over the pink-beige garage door, this trim is pink-beige. Over the window, it’s yellow.

It’s a hot mess, IMHO, and the homeowner will probably be painting it. Unless it’s a spec house, in which case the developer may have a difficult time selling it.

And the saddest part of all, in this instance, is that this new home will never look right without some fairly substantial dollars. The big pink garage door, because of it’s size, it is the boss of the facade and it dictates the colour scheme.

So the house and trim must be colours that work with the pink-beige or the garage door needs to be changed. Sure, you can probably paint it but I’m not sure how well that will work; some of my colleagues have had troubles doing that.

And then there is the roof. It’s great with the gray, but does not work with the pink-beige or yellow at all. The yellow and gray don’t work together, the yellow and pink should only be found on a Victorian ‘Painted Lady’ and the pink and blue-gray are enemies.

Update here: the new house color is a pink-based gray — which is taupe — and the trim has been painted a color really close to the garage door color. Still have the white windows and side and main door, which make the pink-beige trim look dirty, and the two horizontal boards running across the entire facade are pink-beige now, but it’s a whole lot better than it was.  A consult with a trained color specialist would have saved a few thousand dollars.


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