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OUR HOUSE | Exterior Paint Color Selection :: Decisions! Decisions!

Thursday, April 2

Our house last Spring
Quite a bit on the orange side...right?

Say hello to the "Pumpkin House".
That's what the neighborhood has nicknamed our house...and rightly so.
Of course this name was bestowed on the original owners and then kindly passed along to us when we purchased it some years back.

Anyway, back in 2014 we experienced a rainstorm that produced hail which resulted in roof damage to a lot of homes in our neighborhood - including ours.

Now, when I say roof damage...
it was not something the average person could see, nor was it even enough damage to experience leaks right away - but the potential was there.  So, following a professional roof inspection, an insurance claim was filed and we were put on the waiting list with a local roofing a SUPER LONG waiting list but the company has a great reputation so we felt it was worth the wait.

While we waited, the roofing company presented us with a variety of shingle options. That's when I had the brilliant idea to use this whole process as an opportunity

We had been talking about repainting the exterior of the home when we first bought it. 4 years later, aside from the natural fading from the sun exposure, we were nowhere closer to changing the exterior color so this was our chance!!

For those who've been following along for quite some time...remember not only was/is the outside of the house orange, the entire interior of the house was painted orange too! (Check out the before and after interior paint photos here).

So anyway...long story short, it was decided I would pick out a new shingle color to compliment an exterior paint color we would eventually select so that we could move finally move forward with painting the outside of our home and step completely away from the orangey-ness of it all. (and finally rid ourselves of the neighborhood nickname). 

So the obsession over hunt for the perfect exterior paint color began...

Actually, the search began after I thought I wouldn't even have to begin to search.

Let me explain...
There's a house at the very front of our neighborhood that I adore. It's my absolute favorite and I can tell the owner has similar taste to my own because it has a very french farmhouse appeal to it. The stone on the front is much different than ours but the COLOR of the stone is very similar to our stone.
I was convinced the exterior paint they had on their home would completely compliment my house too. I schemed for weeks last May about how to approach the neighbors I hadn't ever met yet to ask them for their exterior paint color.

One day, while having a conversation with a mom of one of Ella's friends at school she mentioned she grew up with the daughter of the people who own the home. What? Small world. I told her my idea about wanting to knock on their front door. She encouraged me to do so and then also shared with me the wife had been diagnosed with cancer and had already been going through chemotherapy.

I could not convince myself to do it. My desire to know their paint color seemed so completely petty compared to their circumstances.

I continued to obsess over the color the entire Summer because I pass by the beautiful home several times a day leaving and entering the neighborhood. Still couldn't bring myself to stop in.

The school year started and the mom-friend I mentioned earlier asked if I'd ever approached my neighbors...which I hadn't.  I convinced her, she sweetly volunteered to stop by their house and ask for me. The verdict? Barcelona Beige by Sherwin Williams. YES!!! I was elated to finally know. I was relieved. No paint swatch hunting for me. That was easy!!

I had a sample mixed up, painted it on the side of the house and was NOT in love with it.
I was completely deflated. I had a couple more samples mixed up of the same color, convinced the paint department just didn't get it right the first time. Nope. It just wasn't what I was thinking it would be on my house. Ugh!!!

So that's when the paint hunting officially began...

I slapped on colors all over the exterior of our home - on the front, sides, back...wherever I could get a good look at all of the different lighting aspects of the house. (close to the brick, alongside the trim, next to the front door). I tried to be discreet about it but I'm sure the neighbors are ready for the paint swatches to disappear.

8 months later we were officially booked for the re-roofing process to begin so the pressure was now REALLY on me to pick the right shingle color. If I didn't get it right then it could potentially mess up my whole vision of the exterior transformation. Because let's face it...that's what the roof replacement project had become: the opportunity to completely change the entire look of the outside of our house.

I'm no stranger to paint swatches and paint samples. In fact, I'm pretty notorious for having a variety of paint samples slapped up on my walls or on furniture and then leaving them there for extended periods of time fretting over the final decision. That's the case with my master bedroom which is the very last room in the house that is still the bright orange color. There's also an armoire in my bedroom that has paint on one side of it from almost a year ago. (I think I've made a final decision on what I'm going to do with that one - but that's a different post. Nothing wrong with being intentional and thinking things least that's how I justify the procrastination. *wink*

I even painted swatches on foam board and then leaned everything up against the brick columns to get a good feel of how some of the paint swatches would look with the shingles and the brick. (see the close up below). I may or may not have done this several times...on several different days. Yes, I'm obsessing but these decisions are not only a considerable investment but a major decision that will effect the curb appeal of the home. So it's got to be right and it's got to be right the first time. Right!?

I ended up selecting "Heather Blend" for the shingle color, which is a dark brown...take a peek...

Our house this Spring 
with a brand new roof and a different shingle color.

See how the dark brown roof vs. the orange roof toned down the overall orange vibe going on? 
I like it much better already. That's what I call a solid shift in the right direction!!

Here's the before again for a quick side-by-side without a lot of scrolling... that the roof was completely finished a little over two weeks ago, I have become full focused on the 42 paint selections I've collected over the last 6 months. I'm happy to report I have finally narrowed down the options to THREE! *wink* I'm so proud of myself.

But those three options were made only after MORE obsessing for a few weeks when I decided to do my own VERY amateur mock up of the house. (don't judge the imperfections and pick it apart - it works for a quick visual).

I looked up every single RGB formula for every paint color I was remotely interested in and created my own visuals using Adobe Illustrator. I was using the Sherwin-Williams and Behr websites to do the same thing but then became frustrated because I have shrubbery and trees blocking part of the house so the flow of the colors on the house just wasn't all that great. PLUS I wanted to see what it would look like with black shutters and black front doors - and I had to add all of that myself.

With regards to the shutters, I'm really considering having the shutters made by someone local. If I had the tools I'd make them myself because they seem super easy. I'm totally going for a rustic farmhouse sort of look so I'm thinking something similar to these DIY Shutters.

What do you think of my final 3 color selections...

The three colors are SO very similar - I'm not even sure some of you will be able to even notice the subtleties between the three - especially with the differences in computer monitors and what tech devices produce.

Regardless...I'd love your feedback on THREE specific things...

1. Which paint option/color do you like best? (1, 2 or 3)
2. What do you think of the black shutters and black front doors?
3. Do you prefer the garage doors remain the same color as the trim as shown in the first pictures or should they be re-painted to match the exterior of the home?

I was always conditioned to believe you want the garage doors to fade into the background of the home and not be a focal point, (especially if they are front entry instead of side-entry). 

Can't wait to hear your opinions!! A decision will be made by the end of the week so I'd LOVE your feedback and suggestions. I'll need to submit an official color submission to the Architectural Review Board of the neighborhood and once approved, painting will commence.

The MOST hilarious thing about this whole process is that the Sherwin Williams Barcelona Beige that I had thought was my color and then ruled it out as an option is actually one of the final 3 choices I'm showing you today. I don't want to tell you which one it is...YET. I'll reveal all of the color names after I've made my final decision and get input from you guys!!

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