Choosing Exterior Colours - The Dreamhouse Project

Design Week: The Exterior – Colour choice craziness!

The amount of colour choices that go into the exterior of a house is ASTONISHING! I always anticipated that the interior design decisions would be hard but it never crossed my mind that choosing colours for the exterior materials would make me want to tear my hair out. We were going through so many options and contacting companies like Spark Garage Doors Aurora CO to see if they could do garage doors in the color we wanted, it took much longer that we though! Grab a cup of coffee cause this might take a while…

When it came to the overall exterior colour scheme for the house we had a general idea of what we wanted. We have a slight obsession love affair with the colour grey so we knew that no matter the material, a good portion of the house would be grey. And since we were initially entertaining the idea of cedar, we had a warm golden brown in mind as well. We figured for the stone we could find something that picked up bits of the other two to bring it all together. I do have to point out though, that for anyone who is thinking of redesigning the outside of their house it might be worthwhile using a company like this Marietta Siding Company who can make this whole thing go smoothly. Plus, make sure you’ve contacted Solid Start Property Inspections first so that you can tackle any structural issues before you start; imagine having to do it all twice!
It also helps if you know exactly what you want from the beginning. If you remember our initial conceptual rendering, here’s where we started:

Our original conceptualized elevation rendering & colour scheme
Our original conceptualized elevation rendering & colour scheme

The Dreamhouse colour evolution:

When it came time to pick the actual exterior colours we thought being so prepared would make things easy…we were wrong! The first colour decision actually proved to be the most stressful – the windows. Because of the manufacturer lead time, the windows needed to be ordered first. In the overall colour scheme however, the window frame colour doesn’t make as much of an impact as say, the siding. So choosing that first, is essentially like picking your accent colour before finalizing the main one.

When you order vinyl framed windows they come in white. If you want them painted using one of the manufacturer’s standard paint colours, it’s an additional charge. If you want them painted using a custom colour, it’s another additional charge. If you want both the interior AND exterior frames painted, it’s yet another charge. You can probably see where this is going…

We knew we wanted dark frames, but how dark? Do we go for black? Brown? The standard grey? Do we spring for custom & get a dark grey? How dark? And how dark is too dark? Believe it or not these are all questions that came up in actual multi-hour debates conversations.

Kes’ first choose was black. For starters it was offered as one of the standard colour options and we knew we wanted black frames on the interior which would mean saving a bit of cash. Because GOD FORBID we should want 2 different colours inside & out. That of course would be – that’s right – another charge.

Conceptualized black window frames
Conceptualized black window frames

Kes really liked the contrast & thought the way the frames stood out was striking & sexy. I on the other hand was NOT a fan of this look. For me, it was just too harsh. Kinda like a really pretty girl with WAY too much eye liner on. We tried a few of the other standard colours but couldn’t agree on any. The brown was too chocolatey, the grey had too much taupe in it, and none of the others really worked. Finally after finding out that there was only a minor cost difference between having 2 different standard paint colours and having 1 standard & 1 custom, we opted for the latter & chose a custom colour for the exterior frames called ‘Peppercorn.’

Conceptualized window frames in Peppercorn
Conceptualized window frames in Peppercorn

With the window colours finally sorted, we moved on to the exterior cladding. For the panels, the closest Hardie colour to the grey we originally had in mind was one they call ‘Boothbay Blue.’ For the siding, even though cedar was now off the table, we opted to keep with our original golden brown, with a colour they call ‘Tuscan Gold.’

Conceptualized rendering of HardiePanel system in Boothbay Blue with aluminum expressed joints. HardiePlank siding in Tuscan Gold
Conceptualized rendering of HardiePanel system in Boothbay Blue with aluminum expressed joints. HardiePlank siding in Tuscan Gold

The JamesHardie products are actually engineered specifically for various climates – which means that not all of their colours are available in all locales. Thankfully this didn’t pose a problem for the colours we wanted for either the HardiePanel system or HardiePlank siding. The HardieTrim, however was another story. Surprisingly not one of the available trim colours was even remotely close to the grey we had pictured all along. Of the 10 available trim colours (all various shades of TAUPE), there were only 2 that seemed to have any potential with our colour scheme…Sigh….

Conceptualized rendering of HardieTrim in Monterey Taupe
Conceptualized rendering of HardieTrim in Monterey Taupe
Conceptualized rendering of HardieTrim in Cobble Stone
Conceptualized rendering of HardieTrim in Cobble Stone

After a lot of back and forth, we settled on ‘Cobble Stone.’ It’s a much lighter colour than we wanted, but we’re hoping that we’ll be able to choose a stone that will tie it all together. From there all that was left was the soffit & fascia, which was the only decision we didn’t even have to think about. THANKFULLY, we were able to order them in a colour called ‘Charcoal’ that matches the ‘Peppercorn’ almost identically! PHEW…colours chosen. Case closed. Exterior in the books. Right??

Wait for it…

Just our luck – the day we went to put our order in, our supplier told us that the ‘Boothbay Blue’ we’d chosen for our HardiePanels was on backorder. Crap! But not all was lost, they offered to give us a discount on the ‘Evening Blue’ that was in stock – and as it turns out – we actually liked it better when we saw the actual product sample! Score one for us!!

So with the exception of the stone, which is still TBD, here is where we ended up after everything was ordered…

Conceptualized rendering of HardiePanels in Evening Blue
Conceptualized rendering of HardiePanels in Evening Blue

So what do you think?? Did we make the right choices? Come back tomorrow as we wrap up Design Week and reveal the progress pics of the install to give you a first look at how all the colour choices came together!


6 thoughts on “Design Week: The Exterior – Colour choice craziness!

  1. NAILED IT!!!!! Orange and blue are complimentary colours. You guys… you have totally complimentary colour scheme! Not that I am calling your BEAUTIFULLY chosen “Evening Blue” and “Tuscan Gold” blue and orange… just saying they look incredible together for good reason. Also, the windows… I’m still so in love with the dark frames… Oh my!

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