Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Coloured Houses and Landscapes

It's official.  I'm obsessed.  I've had a few days away from work this week and decided with that extra time I would finally download the Personal Colour Viewer from Benjamin Moore.  I've been playing with it non-stop ever since.  What's the Personal Colour Viewer?  It's a program where you can take a photo like this

And then you can turn it into this


or this


Computers are truly amazing.

As you can see, we are discussing painting the house.  We knew when we purchased the old girl there would be some work to do and that includes plenty of exterior maintenance.  The first step will take place this coming summer.  The roof needs replacement.  We looked into this work last summer and discovered there were a lot of factors to consider.  What style of roof was the first issue.  Metal, cedar shake and asphalt shingles are all options.  Then there was colour.  We realized we couldn't really decide on the colour of the roof if we didn't know what colour the house would be.  The paint is peeling off the shingles so painting the house cannot be avoided.  But that's not such a bad thing.  It gives us a chance to really make this house our own and it's really quite exciting.

So what has this got to do with landscaping?  I intend to add foundation plantings around the house once the work is complete.  Well, I'm going to try and wait until ALL the work is complete.  It'll be pretty tempting to get in there and dig though so someone may need to hold me down.  I know that if I plant too soon everything is likely to get trampled by men with sanders and paintbrushes so I must resist.  But I am already considering what sorts of plants would go around the house and I think the colour of the house takes on a whole new dimension when you consider plants.  

For instance the red paint is very dark and I think it would need to be balanced with something bright.  Too many dark evergreens could really make the house seem oppressive.  On the other hand the cream colours are just asking for lots of greenery in my opinion.

All this playing around with colour has me wondering what sort of house are we.  What's our personality?  Are we bright and cheery?  Strong colours with lots of personality?  And coming at it from another perspective - what kinds of plants do I want to see around the house?  Grasses and ferns, or bright daylilies and roses?

No answer to those questions yet.  We've got some time to decide and I'm busy just having lots of fun trying on new 'personalities'.  


If you could paint your house what colour would it be?


Have you painted your house?  Did you go light or dark?




22 comments:

  1. The color viewer tool is so cool! What fun. It's interesting that you call your house a "girl", I was thinking too that it's a feminine architectural look and needs a small pink flowering tree off to the side in front. That would look great in front of the dark red or the teal or the cream... a dogwood or crabapple. So many decisions.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Oh your house is amazing!! What fun to be planning on painting it and doing the roof as well.

    We have painted a few houses in our time, the latest being this one which is not BM. However, I love their paint.

    Notice how the red house you posted, "appears" to be smaller than the white. I found when you go dark, it shrinks the building.

    It really is all about site as well. Ours was in a woodland setting, with a gravel road, birches and evergreens around it. We didn't want it to stand out but blend in. So, we went with a browney grey (like a bark color) in a mid tone and a linen cream trim to make it look a bit smart..the main color is Pratt and Lambert's woodwitch. I do find, with the house not blue or red or yellow...the flowers and shrubs shine by themselves.

    One must also think of style when choosing color and our house is a very simple style whereas yours is not and could carry some punch. Love your roof line.

    Hope that helps and good luck!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I'm a big softy for white clapboard houses so I would probably stick with that or some other neutral like the bark colour.

    Whatever you choose will look great great though as the house has lovely bones.

    What fun!

    ReplyDelete
  4. I like white, my house is stone with a render facing which had been painted white which is traditional and I just gave it a fresh coat of white when I came here, it could do with another soon, BUT since I have really got into this gardening I hear/read that white is good for dark places but dark colours hold the warmth of the sun and release it during the night, I have been thinking about this for a couple of years and still feel my house will stay white, just my choice,
    enjoy making your choices, it's fun and exciting and you will live with it a long time, Frances

    ReplyDelete
  5. Ah, yes, I have spent many hours with the online version of that Benjamin Moore personal color software. I love both the yellow and green colors. (You should know, however, that I'm a person who owns a four room house and has 11 different partially used cans of paint in different shades and finishes of yellow in the basement! LOL I really do like yellow.) A friend of mine painted her house, which had been dark brown for decades, a pale grey, and the transformation was amazing. Have fun choosing your paint color. -Jean

    ReplyDelete
  6. What a fabulous tool! And what an enviable opportunity, to paint your house a colour that will set off the plants you want to have surrounding it - and you. Can't wait to see what you come up with...

    ReplyDelete
  7. That is a very nice tool! Very helpful for planing how to paint your house.
    I have to vote for the first two photos, they look great!

    Hope you had a very merry Christmas and that you have the best happy New Year!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Awesome fun! That's something I'm gonna have to play around with as soon as I get time. Imagine being able to see what is so hard to envision in the head! It would be easy to get addicted. Can't wait to see your transformation next year. I dread the someday-repainting of our house as it is such a tall house, so we will have to contract it out and the thought of spending that kind of money scares me to death.

    ReplyDelete
  9. So cool and fun! The opportunity to make something truly your own is so amazing...My house is brick so I can't really offer any paint color advice but I do really look forward to seeing what you come up with and watching your garden develop! Good luck!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Ok, now you've got me doing it - I've uploaded a photo of my pei house too and will be playing around with colours. Right now it's a buttery yellow colour which I really like but don't really like the olivey-green colour of the trim so thinking about a nice wedgewood blue.
    For your gorgeous home I really liked the reddish/brown colours!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Laurrie - or perhaps an eastern rosebud? You're right, so many decisions!

    Gardeningbren - You're so right about the darker colour appearing smaller! I hadn't noticed it before and now it's all I can see. That's a really interesting factor as I had thought a darker colour would make the house appear larger and more imposing than it already is.

    Ms.S. - I think we're partial to white here as well but I'm not sure if it's because it's what we already have and are used to or if we really aren't colour people.

    Island Threads - the heat difference is an interesting idea. Heat loving plants would probably do well with a dark house. there's all sorts of considerations with the choice we make.

    Jean - I love yellow! In fact, we had previously decided we wanted the house yellow but now after seeing other options I'm not so sure. Sometimes options are just confusing! but I'm having fun discovering other colours I never would have chosen otherwise.

    Plantaliscious - I'm really tickled how well this tool works. I didn't anticipate how realistic it would be. amazing to see our house as red, blue, green...

    fer - the first two are my favourites at this point as well! but there's a variety of other colours and trims to explore yet.

    Floridagirl - You've hit on the thing that I love so much about this program. For those of us who have a hard time picturing things this does it for you. and then you can compare the pictures! It's like a gaming toy for adults. (ps. we're avoiding the money discussion at this point, too scary.)

    Whimsical Gardener - painting can be fun but I do envy your bricks. There's nothing like brick or stone for texture and colour.

    Jane - you got sucked into the benjamin moore vortex too!! LOL. I'm surprised at how much I like the red on our house too as red is not a colour I've ever considered. We actually wanted yellow but now with so many options we're reconsidering.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Laurrie - or perhaps an eastern rosebud? You're right, so many decisions!

    Gardeningbren - You're so right about the darker colour appearing smaller! I hadn't noticed it before and now it's all I can see. That's a really interesting factor as I had thought a darker colour would make the house appear larger and more imposing than it already is.

    Ms.S. - I think we're partial to white here as well but I'm not sure if it's because it's what we already have and are used to or if we really aren't colour people.

    Island Threads - the heat difference is an interesting idea. Heat loving plants would probably do well with a dark house. there's all sorts of considerations with the choice we make.

    Jean - I love yellow! In fact, we had previously decided we wanted the house yellow but now after seeing other options I'm not so sure. Sometimes options are just confusing! but I'm having fun discovering other colours I never would have chosen otherwise.

    Plantaliscious - I'm really tickled how well this tool works. I didn't anticipate how realistic it would be. amazing to see our house as red, blue, green...

    fer - the first two are my favourites at this point as well! but there's a variety of other colours and trims to explore yet.

    Floridagirl - You've hit on the thing that I love so much about this program. For those of us who have a hard time picturing things this does it for you. and then you can compare the pictures! It's like a gaming toy for adults. (ps. we're avoiding the money discussion at this point, too scary.)

    Whimsical Gardener - painting can be fun but I do envy your bricks. There's nothing like brick or stone for texture and colour.

    Jane - you got sucked into the benjamin moore vortex too!! LOL. I'm surprised at how much I like the red on our house too as red is not a colour I've ever considered. We actually wanted yellow but now with so many options we're reconsidering.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Another great thing about Benjamin Moore..you can buy a small jar of their product and test the color in sun, in shade. I wonder if you have oil or latex paint on the house or is it a solid stain. We find, solid stains last longer and that seems a popular choice for homes in our area. So many options))). I am liking the red more and more...but which red??? The one we used on the summerhouse (blog) was BM.

    ReplyDelete
  14. When I lived in upstate NY, very close to the Ontario, Canada border, we lived in a white house with red trim built in 1895. I had planned to put in a shrub border around the front and sides, but was warned by the locals that in the case of heavy snow or falling icicles, the shrubs would be destroyed. I ended up putting in a very colorful cottage garden. It was so beautiful. Because everything went dormant, I never had to worry about snow damage. I had a lot of delphiniums, which are virtually impossible to grow here in VA. Good luck making up your mind!! (I like the dark red the best!)

    ReplyDelete
  15. You are so right aren't computers wonderful!
    I'm liking the reddish colour, which is what we have on our house. Unfortunately ours is vinyl siding which I hate and wish we had of done it in cedar shingles with the red tone. This will be changed before we retire and I'm thinking of maybe a green colour if we have gotten tired of the red.
    Your house is going to look lovely whatever colour you choose because it has lots of character as so many older homes do.
    Best of luck choosing and I can't wait to see the results.

    ReplyDelete
  16. what fun you're having with this new project, marguerite .. i really like your house .. very funky .. from this coast, i can almost feel the east coastness of it .. enjoy .. i'm sure whatever you end up doing will be beautifull ..

    ReplyDelete
  17. Most of the paint manufacturers have a tool like this for customers. I can do it on my computer too. I do it for clients if they are considering a makeover. It does give a wealth of choice, which sometimes confuses them because so many color combos look great.

    You have to go with what you can live with over time. There are less choices of roof color and it is often best to pick that first. Decide on material choice first, then pick from the thousands of color choices for the paint.

    ReplyDelete
  18. We recently painted a home that my sister and brother and I inherited from my father. My brother used Photoshop to pick up colors in the trees surrounding the house and then applied those colors to the siding. We wanted the house to blend in with it's surroundings. After finding the right color he went looking for the paint. That was the difficult part but we found it and the result is fantastic! Have fun with this change. It's wonderful to have tools like this!

    ReplyDelete
  19. Gardeningbren - testing the paint is a good suggestion. One thing I worry about is the difference between the colour on the computer and the colour of actual paint on a shake.

    TS - thank you for that advice! I had wondered about snow falling on shrubs when we moved here and I agree perennials would make it much easier to cope with.

    Witch - I'm surprised how much I like the red. I've never considered red before but with this program I wanted to try each and every colour to make sure I knew what I was eliminating. I thought red would be an automatic no but I'm intrigued.

    Jane - this house is so different from what I'm used to in BC. Part of why I love it so much. and partly why I'm having trouble choosing colour. It's a far cry from stained cedar.

    GardenWalk - this program really has broadened our scope! I never would have considered red before but now I'm kinda partial to it. We have looked at different roofing possibilities and are stuck between shades of brown and black. Looking at house colours has helped to get our heads around picking the roof colour. The most important thing, as you say, is finding something we can live with over a long period of time.

    Ginny - what a great idea using plant colours that you want echoed. I was thinking more along the lines of the house dictating the plants. So many angles to consider with this puzzle.

    ReplyDelete
  20. I cannot blame you. I would play with that toy all day long. The possibilities are endless. And you have such a cute house anyway, this obsession would be a delight.

    ReplyDelete
  21. ps. I am a sucker for a yellow house.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Cheri - I'll count that as a vote for yellow!

    ReplyDelete