The small Takoma Park, MD Craftsman bungalow, on a hill above the street, faces north, and is surrounded by mature trees. In the shade and low sunlight, the house can easily melt into the background. Previously the owner addressed that problem with a warm yellow gold main color accented with a brick orange and sage green (see before pictures, at end). The roof is a deep brick-red.
My client, a friend and neighbor, was ready for a change. I had previously consulted on her interior palette – replacing her off-whites with cool, sophisticated tones of greyed green (see interior colors). Delighted with the varied, soft transitions of her new interior, she found that the exterior colors didn’t really mesh with them. So she came to me again for an exterior color consultation. While still wanting a bright, welcoming feel to the exterior, she wanted the palette to extend seamlessly from the outside to inside.
If you’ve followed some of my other color conversions, you know that I usually prominently incorporate a “near-complement” accent color. Instead her interior is composed exclusively of tints and tones of a single complex greyed-green. The exception is a warm off-white color on all the wood trim. I used this subdued, sophisticated palette in her interior because she has a lot of reddish/orange artwork and antique furniture with a reddish patina. Thus, the artwork and furniture became the “near-complement” accent.
The exterior palette gave me the opportunity to highlight a near-compliment accent — a fiery red/orange (Benjamin Moore 077) — alongside colors analogous with the interior shades (blue/green) but much more saturated than her interior. The main color is a saturated blue/grey (Benjamin Moore 2129-40) – analogous to the interior greens but more saturated. The secondary color is a greyed green that I used as the deep accent color in the interior. It’s more saturated that the other interior colors and is sufficiently saturated to coordinate well with the exterior shades.
Note that I also had the pleasure of doing this with a Takoma Park bungalow – a community and a house style that welcomes bright colors. This exterior color combination would not be welcome in many communities and house-styles.
The blue and green fit well into the shady environment while the fiery red/orange makes these colors more vibrant and sets the home apart from the shade. The blue and green exterior provides a vibrant echo of the interior tones. Blue and white pottery visible as you enter bring the exterior blue indoors. The red-orange is picked up in flashes of the vivid, warm colors of the owner’s folk art collection.
My client says: “My humble little house is as beautiful as any palace. Marvelous, harmonious colors turn the inside and outside into one glorious whole. The outside is more vibrant and welcoming, and the inside more calm and relaxing, just as I would want them to be. I wouldn’t trade it for all the granite countertops and stainless steel appliances in the world.”