Hi, Rodd Cohen here. I'm a frequent visitor to Yahoo Answers , a lively Q.and A. arena where you can ask just about anything and there will be someone who has a great solution. Topics are broad and varied but I like to hang out in the Home and Garden section where I answer readers problems about choosing house colors; it's what I do!
Below is a sampling of some of the questions I've been able to help people with and their comments back to me...enjoy the reading.
Q. We got a new front door and I just can't imagine what it would look like a color. The house is all white with a short green hedge across from it.
My favorite colors are pink and lilac but don't think they're appropriate for a front door.
Any suggestions? The roof is a dark gray, has no shutters, the house is all white except for a little gray around some windows.
A. You're right when you say that pink and lilac wouldn't be appropriate unless you lived in a candy cottage. Actually lilacs and purples are the most mis-used colors for front doors. That said, if you love purple, there are some fantastic ones which are toned down and can work well.
What I don't know about your house is it's setting, rural, suburban or city. I also don't know if your door is behind a screen or storm door or if it is recessed underneath a portico or porch. Your door is a bulls-eye beacon of welcome on your facade. It also needs to be seen well from the street and even more so if it is behind glass/screen or in the shadow of an overhang. Neighborhood standards are important too. Generally I am going to say to stay clear of the cliche red door. It's been done and overdone ad nauseum. Many people like to put decorations on their front doors. If you change decorations for the seasons, you'll want a color that gets along with all of those...greenery at Christmas, bittersweet berries in the fall, flag bunting for the 4th...you get my drift. Colors will "read" differently from the street and also as they are combined with other colors. The front door is only about 15-20 square feet on a house which is much larger. So, if you go too dark, as you view the door from the street, your eye will read the contrast between the two rather than the color. You have to punch up the color a bit so you can see it from the street. : Don't rely on your computer monitor for colors, go to the store and get the paint chip to be sure. Also, the colors on the chips can look different than the applied paint because they are next to other colors on the chip, the juxtaposition of the colors will alter your perception. Cut the color you like off the chip and also cut the white bits off too. In fact, get 4 chips and tape them together in the back to make a larger square.Here are some excellent suggestions for front doors, all Benjamin Moore colors #1448 Frozen in Time #1455 Vintage Charm #2116-30 Cabernet I've put together a web page which talks about picking front door colors. Good Luck! Rodd
reader's comment A lot of things to consider I hadn't thought of. Appreciate all the answers.
Q. I have a red brick house with wood soffits and eaves. Instead of painting, I am wanting to replace the wood with vinyl siding. What color siding would go better with a brick house? I also need to know what color to paint the front door, shutters, and small concrete front porch. The windows frames are bronze colored. Any suggestions?
A. OK, since most of what is on the facade of your house is red or red based in nature (brick, bronze window frames), let's move with a complimentary color also on your house but one I'll bet you didn't even notice. I believe that the brick is the primary visual element of your house, with accents such as doors and shutters being secondary. Holding all those bricks together is mortar...up close, you can see it is a greenish gray. The size of the mortar joints is small however in relation to the size of the house. Knowing this gives us some latitude when picking a siding color to compliment the bricks. Your eye will want very badly to believe that a "putty" type of color matches the mortar. A very nice neutral, not too light and not too dark to go with the brick would be Benjamin Moore's HC-95, Sag Harbor Gray, another would be HC-111, Nantucket Gray. Both will be complimentary to the brick and will show it off. See if you can find a siding that comes close to one of those colors. Then I would steal a note from the brick and paint the door a lucious dark reddish brown as an accent, HC-64, Townsend Harbor Brown. Ordinarily I would pick another color for shutters but in this instance you have enough going on, paint the shutters the same as the siding. Voila! a tasteful and long wearing color scheme with sophistication. You didn't mention your roof color but unless you have a green roof, this will work marvelously with just about any other color.
reader's comment I appreciate you taking the time to help solve my color problem. I like the fact that you gave more than one color choice. I forgot to mention, but I do have a grayish brown roof. The Nantucket Gray is a great color choice. Thanks again.
Q. Hubby and I are debating on what color roof to be put on our house forever. We have a single story 1700 sq. foot house with horizontal wood on the front. We know we want to paint it sage green with white trim, and river rock along the bottom of the front of the house. He insists a stark black, asphalt looking roof would match. I want a brown/gray-er more shingle looking roof. Which do you all think would look better? I think black looks too bold and not earthy looking like the colors we picked and it just looks like someone paved yoru roof with asphalt. He works on multi-million dollar mansions and says this is the trend there now which is why he likes it. We live in a neighborhood built in '86 with mostly ceramic tile roofs. What do you all think???
A. Your house sounds very different from the ones that hubby works on. What is good for those mega houses will most likely not be good for your home. I would opt for a warm charcoal, grays all have undertones and you certainly have less choices for roofing than for paint. Paint comes in a bazillion colors, your roof will not, so rule of thumb is; design around your most expensive and/or most permanent fixture. I believe you should choose your roof materials first. Since grays can be cool or warm, try to find one that may have a warm greenish undertone. It will become apparent once you compare different grays together. Then pick your house color. Remember, colors look 1-2 steps lighter outside because of the nature of outdoor lighting, it is the most intensive light you will encounter. Black would be too harsh and definitive for your modest home. Best of luck. Rodd
Q. I am moving to a old home that is all white with lots of windows, I want to add a sweet color like a light celery green, or maybe even pink. Is pink too tacky?
The house also has a small cottage in the back, w/ a ugly dark green metal awning. Would it be ok to paint that pink? The roof is a light grey
A. Many factors will influence your choice of colors. If the house is in a seaside or resort area setting, you can probably get away with a brighter pink. If you have a 1950's style ranch, ditto. There are pinks and there are pinks. You certainly don't want a Pepto Bismol pink for your house...but if you are going for a dainty cottage look, the appropriate pink can be great. Just remember that less is more and what looks appealing on a 2" paint swatch will look totally different 1) in outdoor light and, 2) on a large object like a house. A muted rose or rosy beige will give you the look of a pink house without the objectionable problems of a bubble gum type of pink. A house is too big an object to make a mistake with, both in cost of paint and in labor. I have some great pointers on my website. Rodd
reader's comment Very informative answer. I live in a small town in Ohio, and the houses are pink, yellow etc... I think I will go with the celery green for trim and shutters, and then add the pink only to the small cottage in the back. That link was helpful too, thanks.
Q.I'm Looking for a great "sky blue" paint color for an enclosed porch ceiling. Any ideas or favorites?
A.Ahhh, this is a great thing to do on a porch ceiling and very traditional in certain parts of the country. In an enclosed space there is a hierarchy in the way that the space receives light. Floors get the most light, walls the second most and ceilings receive the least...so when picking ceiling colors, always remember that you need to go a bit lighter because of this. Look at the ceiling in your living room, your brain knows it's white but your eye sees it as a gray. A fantastic blue for your porch ceiling and one which I have used many times with success is Ben Moore's #1655, Blue Bay Marina. It's light enough to do the job and muted enough not to look like a little boy blue...be careful of that! Best, Rodd
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