One of my readers asked me to help update her 60s exterior. And, you may be surprised to learn that the biggest change I recommend isn’t about colour. Keep reading to find out the best way to update this dated home exterior.
If you didn’t see my last email, and missed my Ask-Me-Anything webinar I taped last Saturday, you can still watch it here.
I talked about exteriors (even sharing some before and afters), decorating from scratch, bathroom inspiration, kitchen countertop colours, choosing hardwood floor colours to coordinate with a wood stained kitchen and much more.
Ok my lovelies, I am having SO MUCH fun with all your questions. Thank you for sending them in! If your question didn’t get answered in my free ask me anything webinar it might show up in an Ask Maria post, like this one (keep reading).
And since it’s exterior season, and I’m busy creating more content to add to my Exterior Masterclass (all of you who have already purchased will receive the updates FREE, they will simply be added to the existing course!), so with exteriors in mind, I’m excited to share a couple of reader questions about exterior colour that I’ve been working on.
Exterior Conundrum 1: Help me update my 60s exterior.
As you can see, the siding on the window panels needs fresh paint as does the door and the spindles on the patio over the carport on the far right. The stucco on the walls will not be painted. (My son is firm on that having seen examples of painted stucco in his neighbourhood and how it stands up to Kamloops weather. And it’s a rental property, Mom!)
The brick supports either side of the door will not be changed either. Perhaps if this was not a rental property they would go the extra mile to change them. My husband believes foundations shouldn’t be painted so hopefully there will be foundation plantings that will distract from an additional colour.
From my Maria Killam informed colour knowledge, the brick supports look to be the bossiest element. Would a dirty tan like BM Manchester Tan work? How do you then work in the grey of the walls? If the colour of the siding panels under the windows, trim, patio spindles and the door worked together could the stucco wall colour stand alone?
Okay, so my team and I worked through a few different scenarios for this house so you could see what works, what doesn’t work and why.
And it turns out that although the siding panels do need to be painted, the most impactful change that needs to be made is not really about colour at all.
As this is a rental, likely your son might not want to do anything more than the first colour updates (below).
The rest of the versions are for the blog. Not for a rental property. Thanks for sending in the photo!
So first of all, if the green grey stucco is staying, the siding panels and portico peak need to blend and match as closely as possible. I would test BM Revere Pewter HC 172 or one shade darker SW 7061 Analytical Gray.
In this rendering, we changed the front door to a cognac brown to relate to the brick. If you do nothing except add some paint and landscaping you could do this.
Siding details painted to match the stucco, front door painted to relate to the brick colour.
But it’s still not awesome yet.
Before I reveal what I would do, let me walk you through a few other solutions we tried.
The brick of the pillars really is the distracting and bossy element, so we tried (virtually) painting the portico out in a fresh white and adding a bright, mid century modern style door. While I would argue that this is a slight improvement, now it emphasized that the brick columns are way too large and just plain wrong for this home.
This is what it would look like with a brighter, more modern door and a white portico.
So, we tried to blend the portico with the body of the house in the green grey. Keep in mind, this is photoshopped, and still the answer is a big NO.
Portico painted to match the body of the house.
The door really pops with everything else blending, but we were not in love.
Are you ready to see what the ultimate solution is?
Transforming this dated 60s exterior.
Taking it a step further from adding a more modern front door, we realized that while in general, a portico is a lovely feature, the colonial style portico has no business on this modern house.
I asked MaryAnne White my landscape designer what to do with the landscaping and she sent me some ideas. Then I had my team photoshop a similar plan onto the front yard.
Here’s the before again:
AFTER | Replacing the mismatched colonial portico with a more linear mid century modern portico makes all the difference on this house!
This is what needs to happen to this house for it to live up to its potential. It needs a broader, more linear, modern portico with slimmer columns like this. A wood stained soffit underneath would be a nice detail. And some well designed modern landscaping with concrete pavers and grasses would also make a huge difference.
AND, if you really want to transform this into a desirable property, you could take it a step further and paint it a creamy white to make it into a show stopper.
Landscaping is important for updating a dated exterior.
Colour can go a loooong way on its own, but sometimes, the only way you will get there is by making a deeper change. The existing portico and clunky brick columns are never going to work on this style of home. And without good landscaping, it is always going to be bleak.
Now obviously we could go on with improvements to this exterior, but I again wanted to stress the importance of LANDSCAPING. Do I sound like a broken record yet?
Notice the positioning of the tree on the left that cleverly disguises the longer span of siding between the windows on that side of the house!
It’s like styling for exterior. . . such a great way to distract the eye from a dated house.
When you see what’s possible, what would you get busy doing? Adding a bunch of unnecessary stone to the front of this house (like most people commonly do), or hiring someone to help you create a gorgeous plan like this?
Because, let me say this again, a PLAN from a professional who’s aesthetic you like, is the CHEAPEST part of the entire project. AND you’ll know exactly which plant material to use, where to put it, just like I did when MaryAnne helped me with my house.
Get help with your exterior
The feedback on my Exterior Masterclass has been, ‘This is amazing, and we want more!’ So I’m adding some new modules very soon (see the dates below)!
I am also extending the discount on the Masterclass for Exterior Colour selection for two more weeks! Now since we’re all at home anyway and if this is something you want to get good at, take the time to watch it over and over again because each time you may hear or see something in another way. Sometimes when we are in a different mood we hear things differently and the next time you watch you may discover a gem or something perfect for your home that you didn’t notice before. Same words it’s just answers show up when we have different energy or purpose of listening.
I can’t cover every style of home, however the overall trend of FRESH, applies to every house, this is why if you watched my Ask Me Anything webinar this past Saturday, you’ll have noticed that BOTH example brick homes, the final option was the same. Cream or white painted brick. That’s because fresh, white and bright is what most people are looking for right now (like it is in todays example).
White or cream is definitely not the ONLY answer, but it does feel more fresh for a lot of homes right now. Grey feels dated because we’ve just done it for 10 years and it’s too soon to go back to beige (which was the Tuscan trend before that)
So, let’s do a poll. Which colour scheme is your favourite from this post above?
I have three brand new modules being added to the masterclass. If you’ve bought it, you will automatically have access inside the class.
Module 13 – Coming April 10 – Decks, Porches & Fences
Module 14 – Coming April 24 – What would Maria Do With THIS house; Before & After
Module 15 – May 15 – What would Maria Do with THIS Deck, Porch or Fence? Before & After
If you have a question with photos for my Ask Maria posts; send them here.
Both my eBooks are still on sale for two more weeks, get them here.
If you’d like custom help choosing your exterior colours, check out our eDesign packages here.
P.S. In other news, I have now moved ALL my live Spring workshops to the Fall because the world of social distancing continues. #staysafe
Live Colour Training Schedule
Vancouver: September 9 – 11, 2020
DC Area: September 16 – 18, 2020
Mississauga: September 23 – 26, 2020
San Diego: November 2 – 4, 2020
Dallas: November 16 – 18, 2020
How are YOU holding up? I’d love to hear in the comments below! Tell me which house you like and HOW YOU ARE DOING in this new world we’re ALL in together!