Ever wonder if shutters are right for your house? I’m answering a reader question and sharing my thoughts about whether her house needs shutters and showing you photos with and without shutters, so you can be the judge too.
I am looking for a new colour to update the 2nd story siding color to present a cohesive fresher look for resale on this house with aged cedar shake roof.
Currently the siding is BM Bleeker Beige (green beige undertone) and the garage door is (unfortunately) pink beige. Other houses in town with Lannon stone use taupe for trim and small sections of siding, but those houses do not have siding running the full 2nd floor. I want to avoid the two stories looking obviously different in color, yet still move the house forward.”
Question 1: Is a yellow beige or a taupe undertone better for the siding and garage?
Question 2: How deep in color should I go for the exterior color to match the stone?
What colour should my house be?
So the answer to question one is that Bleeker Beige, a green beige, is perfect! Just paint your garage door to match.
Sometimes we don’t see the right answer because we are not asking the right question.
Beige isn’t trendy (yet), so you might be craving something that looks more ‘of the moment’. But it is always better to make the best of the bossy element. And the creamy beige does an exceedingly good job of tying the upper and lower stories of your house together to create a coherent look. If you were to go any lighter (say a lighter green beige like Manchester Tan) or with a darker taupe (like Kingsport Gray HC-86 for example), it would look disjointed.
The answer to question two then, is that any colour that is darker or lighter than the stone is not going to give you a coherent look like the existing colour does.
Does my house need shutters?
So what can be done? I would tweak the shutters.
It takes some practice and experience to know what to consider. In this case, the issue is not the paint colour at all.
First, I would definitely remove the shutters on the ground level. They are distracting, heavy and not symmetrical or balanced. And the one window is too wide for shutters.
A good rule of thumb if you are considering adding (or trying to decide whether to keep) shutters: if your windows are wider than they are tall, they won’t look good with shutters.
Because shutters should look like they could actually close over the windows. They are much less successful, and often an eyesore, when they look like skinny parentheses on the sides of a wider window.
And I would tweak the colour of the shutters too. While forest greens are currently trending, in the context of creamy beiges, they will still look dated.
Because every trend that comes back is always used in a new way. Forest green looks new and now in the company of black, white and greige.
So I would paint the shutters a deep taupe like Benjamin Moore Dragon’s Breath 1547. The neutral tone-on-tone look is more sophisticated and connected to your pretty roof.
Here is what that looks like below with taupe shutters and the lower level shutters removed:
Taupe shutters, lower level shutters removed.
Isn’t that so much better? And the porch looks much fresher and more inviting.
I added a bright green door to connect to the landscape.
Here is a hot tip for front door colour: when your entrance is in the shadows under a portico or porch, a dark or muted door colour will die. Use a brighter pop of colour than you think you want for the best effect.
In the end, the fretwork on the new door is too much because of all the french country mullions on the windows, I would go with a simpler square grid to match your windows instead. However, the door itself is pretty so I left it photoshopped on the house.
Back to the shutters that are not perfect yet because they look flat. Like graphic, painted on stripes rather than substantial shutters.
So what if they were removed altogether? Often, removing shutters creates an updated look and is worth considering.
Look at this updated colonial house below. Without shutters it looks fresh and updated and in line with the simplicity of the white farmhouse trend.
However, I also think that if you wanted to change the look of this house (above) in time, you could certainly add shutters back for a more traditional look again. It would still be pretty and timeless like this house below.
In other words, I don’t think that removing the shutters is always an update, if you have the right kind of windows, it’s more of a style option.
Here is how my reader’s house would look with the shutters removed.
My conclusion? I think this house has a more charming traditional look with the creamy palette and stone. Plus, the windows above are perfectly proportioned for shutters. So I prefer it with shutters on the upper level only.
Here’s the before again:
And here it is with photoshopped dark taupe shutters.
I want you to notice what is not perfect yet. The problem is very subtle, but see if you can spot it (I already hinted at it earlier).
So here, in my opinion, is the ultimate solution for this house, and again, it’s not a colour (see below).
Can you spot the difference?
We changed out the shutter style to a raised panel shutter that is more sculptural. In other words they look thicker and no longer simply painted on. And they are slightly slimmer. This is the detail that I think would make this house look just right.
Well my lovelies? Which do you like best on this house? Shutters or no shutters?
You can find more on shutters including ideas for getting the colour just right, and when they work and when they don’t in my all NEW Exterior Masterclass. Watch the first module free. The $200 discount has been extended until this Monday, March 13, 2020.
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If you would like my help with whether shutters are right for your house, and what colour they should be, you can use our eDesign consultation for shutters here.
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