Need advice on how to break up the grey!
July 30, 2013
Was hoping I could get get some suggestions on preventing from turning my house into a wall of depressing grey! I am in the midst of a fairly large makeover of the house and backyard. I've chosen to colour the house and garage grey (although I think the colour initially selected may have a touch too much blue in it), the deck is grey and the new concrete patio is also grey.

Question is, how do you think I could make the house look more contemporary and break up the grey a bit. I am planning on building a cedar privacy screen on one side of the deck (indicated by the three posts). I thought adding some clear tongue and groove clear cedar siding to the back or the garage, but I'm not sure to what extent. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated!!

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Rockin' Fine Finish
Why not stain the deck a cedar tone instead of gray this will help break up all the gray Sikkens makes a great deck stain you could also paint the doors Vienna green to give it a pop of color
    Bookmark   July 30, 2013 at 8:41PM
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Rockin' Fine Finish
This door is Vienna green with a bluish gray siding
3 Likes    Bookmark   July 30, 2013 at 8:42PM
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Thanks for the suggestion! I was considering changing the colour of the deck. I'm using composite decking so I guess I could just choose a cedar colour.
    Bookmark   July 30, 2013 at 8:43PM
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I think painting the window and door trims a dark blue could be sleek. The clear cedar you chose would also look good against the blue. You also can add to the look of the house with the furniture you choose for the deck.
1 Like    Bookmark   July 30, 2013 at 8:47PM
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Have you thought about putting a trellis over the deck and pain or stain in a light color that could draw your eye away from the grays. I personally like that color gray, I'm not sure about the trim color, I realize that you have already finished trim, so maybe paint the doors a less bland color. Give it some "pop"
2 Likes    Bookmark   July 30, 2013 at 8:51PM
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One approach to get something more modern is to use the cedar siding to define a geometric element / break it up into rectangles and squares. Since you will have the cedar screen on the right, I believe I'd suggest the cedar making a tall rectangle portrait shape from top to bottom around the left most windows, ending at the edge of the deck and going up to the eave. This takes the big box and breaks it into a left tall element, and then we can break down the right side further with one more touch.

Finally - you could add a cedar trellis in a modern style - check out the top support steel on this ideabook, and the spacing structure that makes this modern [houzz=
I've seen some modern angle brackets made with simple wood underneath too - but details need to be discussed before they cut the rafter tails all cottagey. Here, this should go over the deck. It would start where the siding stopped on the left and connect across the top of the screen on the right visually ending over those posts. It might even "land" on the right side - but hang it on the line where your light fixture j boxes are - some terrific modern nautical chrome fixtures out there right now. Look at for modern horizontal spacing / shifts in size options to use for the screen.

Now you have three boxes - one tall rectangle, one open oblong and one surrounded by cedar deck, trellis screen wall - lots of doors here too.

You might paint the french door and single door in a charcoal that is from the same undertone but two shades deeper. Can you tell us the color you selected? Looks like you still have time to go more gray instead of blue-gray but I wouldn't advise it for this style home - this is an amazing classic color and looks terrific against the cedar.

The trim should be the second to the lightest color on the same card as the blue gray siding color. What you have now is too pinky beige, but I think that is unpainted. The trim needs to work in hue with the blue-gray but provide a bridge to the white vinyl window frames. Of course, frame the old windows and door on the garage in the same style as the trim on the new house / width and cut.

Since you didn't show us the front of the house, we need a picture so we can draw boxes on that side too. :) Nice to at least put the same modern trellis, in very narrow form, over the front door. The cantilever effect just adds a lot of mod style.
1 Like    Bookmark   Thanked by jsherwin    July 30, 2013 at 8:54PM
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Thanks Mary. The trim actually hasn't been painted yet. We were thinking white trim and colouring the doors black, but not sure if that would work. I like the idea of the trellis as well! Thanks for the feedback!
    Bookmark   July 30, 2013 at 8:56PM
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ooh - love the green door idea!
1 Like    Bookmark   July 30, 2013 at 8:56PM
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Wow Libra you have some awesome ideas! I absolutely love that trellis you uploaded! I also like the idea of the charcoal for the doors. I'm not brave enough to select the green even though I think it would look pretty cool. You were correct about the trim it hasn't been painted yet. I was thinking about painting it white (simply because I thought thats what I had to do) but do you think it would work well if I painted the trim a darker colour of the grey?

The colour on the house right now is from Dulux (Grey Pennant). Would you go with something more grey or leave the colour thats on there now? Do you think I could acheive that modern look with the existing colour?

Its funny you mentioned the Kirsch-Koff design, as this was the inspiration for my fence. Attached is a picture of the front of the house but please don't be too harsh, I haven't done anything to it yet!
1 Like    Bookmark   July 30, 2013 at 9:25PM
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Your place is going to look great. Here's a variety of facades that might give you some ideas.
    Bookmark   July 30, 2013 at 9:39PM
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Wow I love that fence
    Bookmark   July 30, 2013 at 10:01PM
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Your house is really traditional - with the classic bay window and pediment.

You should not go as contemporary / modern as I was suggesting. I like the color you have - though for a classical style like yours, a color that was closer to navy would give you a better final result. A gray is going to be very very traditional, and you did want something fresh. Navy is still classic - particularly with white trim. Sw has needlepoint navy which would be a great look here. Contrast of trim depends on what your final look wants to be - updated is a little different than contemporary and I went all the way to contemporary.

Your front would have to be deconstructed to be contemporary and it is lovely as it is. It actually makes me want to retract most of the cedar siding suggestions that would be modern and suggest you look at details for traditional garden walls with pergola tops. The fence is beautiful, but you are mixing your metaphors with the front of the house so classic to do something more mod there.

You can do something updated and fun with color - let the cedar screen pergola weather out to gray. Use whatever cedar siding you had on the garage where it will replace needed area and go back to the house style you got - which has charm galore that the mod house we thought you were headed to can't compete with.
1 Like    Bookmark   July 31, 2013 at 4:25PM
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