exterior help
September 17, 2012 in Design Dilemma
Ok - here's the scoop. 1948 Seattle house, we've spent the last 4 years remodeling most of the interior and back yard. Last year we started trying to address the exterior. The house had previously had white aluminum siding with dark chocolate brown trim, an all white garage door, dark chocloate brown shutters and metal railings on the porch. We removed the siding and replaced it with the shingles you see in the photo, went from choclate brown to red trim, put in a new garage door, abd replaced the unattractive metal railings with cedar. Oh - also a new front door. Still - it doesn't feel quite "right." A recent conversation with the designer at our local paint store led to a suggestion to paint the roman brick - which is stained and impervious to pressure washing, and also my least favorite type of brick (we fell in love with the interior and view) a dark green color to make the house "decide" on one look (instead of a mix of mid-century and craftsman). Any thoughts (even criticism of the choices we've made) would be very helpful.
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First of all, youve got to either lose or really give ALL of those tree shrubs. They are just out of control :)
I think any color over the red would be an improvement and usually i would not paint brick, but i really think with this type of house you could get away with painting it a good color. its hard to see what else is going on behind the bushes but once those are gone it can really only get better from there!
September 17, 2012 at 11:16AM   
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lol - yes, I should have commented that a good pruning is also needed, it's sort of chaotic right now. The red was an attempt to tie in with the brick, with mixed results. The dark chocloate brown was much, much worse. Did I mention the aqua/turquoise sidewalks (that matched the interior carpet)?
September 17, 2012 at 11:20AM   
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HI -- I must say I don't care for red trim on a red brick house . Try " Ranchwood " by Benjamin Moore paint. Or a dark almost charcoal grey . I would not do two colors on the garage doors and shutters , they look too busy the way they are now. Just all one color , that's more modern looking. And for sure you have some pruning to do but not now , - wait until spring.
September 17, 2012 at 11:28AM     
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Paint EVERYTHING that is red, including the brick, grey. Chimney looks interesting. Let that be your focal point.
September 17, 2012 at 11:39AM   
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Elyn's Library
Too many colors, or at least to my eye the colors just don't work well together.

Also, your landscaping is seriously overwhelming that front/street view of your house.

And i wouldn't try to paint your exterior bricks - way too many potential future problems in the Seattle climate.

Colors - rather than two such opposite colors, I think it would be more pleasing to the eye to go with darker and lighter tones of the same color such as a light sage-y green for your shingles and door panels and a several-shades-darker of the same green on the trim. Or you could do the same thing with blues. And I know assorted greys are the new favorite design color, but Seattle has plenty of grey "naturally" with all that lovely rain, so personally, I would not recommend it for the exterior.

I'm not wild about the dividers in the shutters. Can they be removed so you have simple rectangular panels like on the garage doors? If you can it is a cleaner, more cohesive "look".

Landscaping - I'd recommend that you contact a landscape professional, maybe talk to a local Nursery, and get some recommendations on pruning / thinning / removing / replacing some of the front plantings.

As long as the brick is sound, I wouldn't try to paint it - it ties in nicely with the earthy Craftsman-ish vibes that I see.

Nice "bones" on the house.
September 17, 2012 at 11:40AM   
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I never have any luck posting photos from Houzz that I'd like to share, but I put one in my ideabook for you if you'd like to see it. Ideabook is titled "Craftsman Brick." and let me know if you can't see it. I think it is a direction you may be headed in with your exterior.
September 17, 2012 at 11:48AM   
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Elyn's Library
"Did I mention the aqua/turquoise sidewalks (that matched the interior carpet)?"

Are you anywhere near Green Lake? Once upon a time - in the 50's and 60's, Seattle had an "Aqua Theater" on Green Lake where they staged "swimusicals" and hosted assorted live music productions, especially around SeaFair. They were a very popular local entertainment and most of us attended at least one production every summer. They ended in the late 60's and the whole thing fell into disrepair. But for many homes that were "decorated" during that time aqua/turquoise accents, walkways and furnishings were very popular.

More information about the Aqua Theater - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Green_Lake_Aqua_Theater
September 17, 2012 at 12:10PM   
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Thanks for all the comments, they're all very helpful. I think, as a first step, I may lose the red altogether and go with a green complimentary to the sage green on the body. If that doesn't fix things, I'll explore painting the brick. Oh, and yes, there will be pruning done!
September 17, 2012 at 12:10PM   
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Hey Elyns - I'm in Ballard (Sunset Hill) but have been to the Aqua Theater to watch rowing events on Green Lake. Yeah - pretty cool story. The only completely original/only slightly modified (removed the 70's oak additions) room in our house is one of the baths - glorious turquoise tile on the floor, walls, in great shape. I just couldn't bear to remove it.
September 17, 2012 at 12:16PM     
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Elyn's Library
Ah, glad to hear you've left an homage to Seattle history as part of your new home. I'll bet your view includes twinkling city lights, green hills, sparkling water and The Mountain, when She decides to show herself without her usual veil of clouds.

I love living in the San Francisco Bay area - but I still miss my Mountain.

Would love to see "after" pictures when you are ready to share. Congratulations on your home, it sounds lovely - enjoy.
September 17, 2012 at 12:47PM   
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one last question for anyone listening - if we lose the red, and went with two complimentary colors, would you go light body dark trim, or dark body light trim? I'm torn...
September 17, 2012 at 1:21PM   
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Elyn's Library
I'd go with the lighter body and the darker trim. IMO - lighter colors usually feel airier, brighter, more open and darker colors tend to feel earthier, sturdier, more grounded. Since you already have plenty of dark red in the brick, I'd think a lighter color on the body and the shingles shown in your picture, and then the darker color as the trim would be my preference.

But it's your house and you should have what pleases your eye. Good luck!
September 17, 2012 at 5:04PM   
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