Obsessing over exterior colors! Help!!
Renae Hardt
October 9, 2013
Building my "forever home" ... 6 months ago had no clue I'd even be building a home, let a home I'd most likely be living in the rest of my life. The pressure is a bit much somedays. We are building a similar rendition of Kensington Park by Frank Betz. It has a Craftman feel to it and I'd like to throw a little "beach cottage" in there as well. We will be using man made stone on parts of the front (I'm guessing ledgestone at this point but I'm not married to it and can still change if I want), and vinyl siding. I know, I know...I've discovered there is a very real hate out there for vinyl siding (had no clue) but its what we can afford at this point.

I am OBSESSING about the vinyl siding. I have no clue what to go with. Do I go with the safe suburbia beige-y color or something bolder? I live in Illinois.Our home will sit on a beautiful piece of land, kind of on a bluff, with lots of timber on 2 sides and bean/corn/wheat fields on the other 2 sides. So no neighbors or anything. I can do what I want.

Been debating for sometime on Sable Brown (combination of the vinyl shakes and 4" lapboard) and lots of bright white (or maybe creamy white) trim. We will have a Craftsman front door I will also stain some color (not sure yet but I won't paint it I don't think). There are also a few eyebrows on the house that we will use steel roofing on (totally at a loss as to what color that should be). Considering Certainteed driftwood or weatherwood for the shingles.

I'm worried! Is it too dark? Will I get tired of this color? Will it fade into a horrible splotchy mess with the sun?

I plan to do my interior with lots of light earthy colors. We have a ton of windows and I love brightness. Thought that might be a striking contrast with the dark exterior?

I've also considered granite gray, sterling gray, seagrass, and natural clay as alternative siding colors. Also thought of doing combination and making the lapboard one color and then the shakes a different color. My husband really likes the grays. I just don't know! Any guidance is much appreciated as I am about to go crazy trying to figure it all out. :)

Here is a link to the original house & picture below: http://www.frankbetz.com/homeplans/plan_info.html?pn=3910
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Renae Hardt
Here is a picture of someone else's rendition of the Kensington. Ours will be built just like this but I don't *think* I want to go with a green exterior.
1 Like    Bookmark   October 9, 2013 at 7:36PM
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PRO
Lampert Dias Architects, Inc.
What a beautiful house. Look up "Craftsman Style Architecture" Brown was the color used for the original famous "Gamble House" in Pasadena, California by Green and Green Architects. In my opinion, brown is the color to use.
2 Likes    Bookmark   Thanked by Renae Hardt    October 10, 2013 at 6:13AM
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Renae Hardt
Thanks so much for adding your thoughts. My thoughts are go with something a little traditional but then I would love to brighten things up with white trim. Do you think I can achieve this look with my new home?
1 Like    Bookmark   October 10, 2013 at 8:29AM
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PRO
Scottish Home Improvements
Traditional color choices are a great idea; they are often timeless and therefore make the home more appealing if you ever are in the position that you're selling. That being said, adding a pop of bright color or white trim adds character to what could otherwise become just another home on the street.
1 Like    Bookmark   December 31, 2013 at 4:05PM
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PRO
Linda
Bright white trim doesn't fit my idea of a Craftsman style house done in beige/tan/brown tones. I would stick to a ivory trim against brown tones. White looks nice against grays and blues.

I had two roofs done this summer in weathered wood. There are hints of blues, grays, and greens so it can fit into many different color schemes.
2 Likes    Bookmark   December 31, 2013 at 4:35PM
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Anne
My idea of craftman style would be brownish siding and beige or blue (robin's egg) trim. I love brown and blue together and with a backdrop of green trees a brown house looks very right to me.
With white trim I'd go a mid range grey.
2 Likes    Bookmark   December 31, 2013 at 5:00PM
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pbmack
I too am planning a house is a woodsy setting and want to go with brown hardie board. But I also fear the roof color. I have always thought that the roof should be darker than the main body of the house. Could go with weathered but not thrilled with that. We intend to use a lot of stone to lighten it. Any help on the roof?
    Bookmark   January 5, 2014 at 8:08PM
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pbmack
Shooting for this type of look with the dark/gun metal windows and trim. Hardie board does not have this lighter brown color, but I do not want to do Dryvit. Frustrated. Any help?
    Bookmark   January 5, 2014 at 8:14PM
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Anne
Gun metal grey roofing then
    Bookmark   January 5, 2014 at 11:30PM
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Katy Richard
Traditional craftsman homes came in various color schemes, usually with more than one color and often rich and saturated. Do not be afraid of color! :-)
    Bookmark   January 6, 2014 at 12:11AM
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christineshipley
I too live in Illinois and am currently faced with the EXACT SAME dilemma you were faced with last year. Ironically every image you loaded on October 10 is every house I have been eyeing for siding color. Could you PLEASE let me know what you went with and if you are happy with your choice! I would greatly appreciate any and all feedback!
Sincerely,
Another woman losing sleep over siding!!!
1 Like    Bookmark   April 25, 2014 at 7:51AM
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Renae Hardt
Hi Christine! Well, we have made the big decisions but I can't tell you quite yet if I like all my choices. As you know our winter here was pretty arctic and although we ordered the materials late Fall, we have not gotten to do much with exterior yet. Now that the weather has improved greatly we are getting close; however, at this point we are choosing to focus on completing the inside so we can move in before we finish the outside. We are hoping to begin really working on the exterior by mid-May.

First of all, I just want to clarify...when I started this post I wasn't exactly sure about the overall "feel" I wanted for my home. Love the Craftsman look but I wanted a coastal and/or cottage feel as well and as we are winding things down & things are finally coming together, I'm really pleased with the overall result of our choices so far; however, as I mentioned, we have not quite gotten to the exterior yet. While I believe there are definetly some craftsman elements to our home, I think we ended up leaning more heavily toward coastal / cottage.

After much debate I did choose to go with sable brown and lots of bright white trim. I wanted a coastal look and while the sable brown color may not be as popular a choice on the coast, I did observe it there and many times with lots of bright white trim. The more popular coastal colors like the yellows and blues and greens are beautiful but for where my house will be located, I really felt like something like that would be out of place. We are going to use a Aspen country Ledgestone by Boral on the exterior as well. For our roof we chose Certainteed weathered wood shingle with pinewood sheet metal accents on the eyebrows. To say I'm anxious to see the end result is a bit of an understatement but I'm pretty confident it'll look amazing if it turns out anything like the interior.

The picture below has been a bit of an inspiration to me through this entire process. The siding is listed on Houzz as Certainteed Sable Brown and it's kind of what sparked my decision to go the direction I did. Believe me, I know it sounds a little crazy, especially considering I've based a lot of my inspiration for the exterior of my home on this one picture and I've never been able to find any other shots of this particular home or see anything like it in person. But I've done a lot of other research as well along the way and I'm hopeful it's all going to come together perfectly.

Again, going back to my original post, this entire process has all been a bit surreal. To suddenly be planning (& doing much of the building) of your custom dream home when you've never really thought about it...and then to pull it all together in just a little over a year has been quite the task. However, it has been a lot of fun too! I feel very fortunate to have had this opportunity and I am super excited to see the final product.

You are welcome to friend me on FB. I post a lot of pics of our progress on there: www.facebook.com/sell31
    Bookmark   April 30, 2014 at 4:29AM
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christineshipley
Hi Renae! Thanks so much for getting back to me! It is insane reading your response, because we were clearly separated at birth! I too, have used the above image as my inspiration! I too have chosen Sable Brown with stone and a lot of white trim/craftsman columns. Every image (prior to the one above) that has inspired me has been from the East Coast, but trying to find the siding and stone options locally have been either impossible or outrageously expensive. I will definitely look you up on Facebook! Excited to see your progress!
    Bookmark   Thanked by Renae Hardt    May 14, 2014 at 7:24AM
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Renae Hardt
Funny!! Yes, look me up! We will be finishing up with siding/stone/trim in the next 30 days. I would love to see your progress too. :)
    Bookmark   May 14, 2014 at 8:19AM
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christineshipley
Hey Renae! Did u get your siding up yet? Do u love it??
1 Like    Bookmark   June 21, 2014 at 10:05AM
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Renae Hardt
Yep!! Lots of compliments so far and I really like it! Just need to finish the porch pillars & stone! Here's a few pics!
    Bookmark   June 21, 2014 at 11:27AM
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christineshipley
So glad u like it!! Once everything gets finished (stone/pillars) would u mind posting a pic? I would love to see!!
    Bookmark   June 21, 2014 at 11:34AM
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Renae Hardt
Sure! What about you? Have you made any decisions yet?
    Bookmark   June 21, 2014 at 11:36AM
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carlsmic
We are building the same house in PA and I am also trying to figure out exterior colors! I was so excited to see that someone else had built the same house and was struggling as well! Do you have pictures of the final product that you could share?
1 Like    Bookmark   July 12, 2014 at 5:35AM
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njschaefer78
Hi Renae!

The house sounds beautiful! We also have a house with a little craftsman flair - dark brown painted siding (Hardieplank), cultured ledgestone, stained cedar shakes and painted cedar trim. Thought a visual of dark brown with creamy trim and cultured stone might be helpful. Good luck with your decision!!
    Bookmark   July 12, 2014 at 5:50AM
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Renae Hardt
Gorgeous njschaefer78!!! Thanks for sharing!
    Bookmark   July 12, 2014 at 6:13AM
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Renae Hardt
carlsmic -- I posted a few pics above but we are still stalled on the stone. Looking to contract someone to finish that part now (most bricklayers and masons are backed up right now). Are you wanting to just see the outside or inside? Anything in particular? You can find quite a few Frank Betz Kensington Park homes by googling. I'll try to post a few with different color options I've seen. I always get excited when I come across another one too!!
1 Like    Bookmark   July 12, 2014 at 10:48AM
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christineshipley
I would love to see too - ANYTHING u would be willing to share!!
1 Like    Bookmark   July 12, 2014 at 10:52AM
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carlsmic
Thanks! I will take any pictures you are willing to share. We are just finishing framing. I have added a few photos as well.
1 Like    Bookmark   July 12, 2014 at 11:26AM
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Renae Hardt
Ohhh you did the 3 car! Nice!! Hubs wanted that. We ended up just making the garage a bit larger and did two door garage with entryway door into the garage as well (as you can see on the pics I posted). Lots of people building the KP are very curious about how the vault in the living room looks. I'll post a few pics of that...i also have an ideabook entitled "Kensington" with pics of my master suite and bathroom in there.
    Bookmark   July 12, 2014 at 11:36AM
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Renae Hardt
This is from the front door looking in to the great room during construction. The last one is from the back wall of the great room looking toward the front door. The door to the right by the front door is the guest bathroom. We changed things up and took it out of the mudroom and then pushed the master closet over to the corner of the home to make room for a guest bathroom (1/2 bath).
1 Like    Bookmark   July 12, 2014 at 11:42AM
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Renae Hardt
I need to take some updated pics but this was when we were putting the siding on the back. We did a walk out basement from the side of the house. We wanted a ground level patio off of the kitchen, rather than mess with a deck, etc.
    Bookmark   July 12, 2014 at 11:50AM
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Renae Hardt
carlsmic...looks like you are putting some extra windows in your kitchen not on the original plan? We did the same and love the outcome. Here's another rough picture from during construction phase....
2 Likes    Bookmark   July 12, 2014 at 11:55AM
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christineshipley
Everything looks beautiful!!!
    Bookmark   Thanked by Renae Hardt    July 12, 2014 at 11:58AM
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carlsmic
Hi Renae ,my hanks for your response!
Yes, we worked with an architect and made some changes to the interior layout. We added 4' to the back of the kitchen and upstairs bedroom to allow for an exterior door to be added to the kitchen, as well as modifying the plan of the family room to have the fireplace on the back wall and added an addition to the side of the master bedroom in the first floor to allow for the front room to be used as a study rather than a closet.

I also attached some additional photos. It is so exciting to see the same house being built by others! Thanks for sharing!
1 Like    Bookmark   July 12, 2014 at 5:08PM
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Renae Hardt
Ok yeah, that's really interesting, adding the study!! My study is actually where the dining room is on the plan. We have the island we eat around and then a dining table where we can sit as well in between the island and the great room. Plenty of space for us since we also added about 4 ft to the kitchen as well. :) Definetly keep me posted on your progress. I'd love to see more pics!
    Bookmark   July 12, 2014 at 5:23PM
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carlsmic
Your kitchen is beautiful! When we get further along I will share more pictures as well! Here is the framed kitchen photos. At this point, we chose certainteed landmark weathered wood roofing. Still have a few days for siding and stone selections!
    Bookmark   July 12, 2014 at 6:13PM
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wearebuilding
Hello, I am another one from Illinois obsessing over siding color for a house with craftsman touches! We are in the process of building and have selected white windows and will have white trim. The catch is that we are building In a neighborhood that has masonry requirements so I need to coordinate not only siding color with stone but also brick (and roof and trim).

As of now we are leaning towards SW Pewter Cast for the siding. I look forward to seeing updates to help me along!!!!
    Bookmark   July 12, 2014 at 7:22PM
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teelee4
We are building the Kensington Park plan in GA. We have just poured our walls. LOVE seeing all the pictures. I like the idea of extra windows in the kitchen. I am struggling over the exterior colors and what type of columns to use on the front.
    Bookmark   July 14, 2014 at 6:14PM
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Renae Hardt
I've been out of town and just had a chance to look at the posts since I've been gone. It is SO interesting to me how many people have built the Kensington Park and/or are building this home. Every time I come across pictures or posts regarding the building of this home, I am so super excited to see pictures and learn how the owners have customized it to fit their lifestyle. I, myself, have come across many people who have had questions for me since finding me. I have created a Facebook group specifically for individuals who are thinking of building this home, in the process of building this home, or have built the home. I think it might be easier to share pictures and thoughts/ideas that way. If you would like to join, please go here to request access: https://www.facebook.com/groups/KensingtonPark/
I have quite a collection of pictures of various Kensington Park homes that I will post there.
1 Like    Bookmark   July 15, 2014 at 12:56PM
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Kim Rechkemmer
Could you post a picture of the outside of your house now that it's finished? I am contemplating the exact same colors on a ranch Craftsman style home being built in Indiana. Thank you!
    Bookmark   September 23, 2014 at 12:33PM
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christineshipley
Here are some
1 Like    Bookmark   September 23, 2014 at 12:44PM
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Kim Rechkemmer
Love, love, love the sable brown!! Thank you for sharing!
    Bookmark   September 24, 2014 at 6:36AM
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