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Before and AfterExterior Colour

Vancouver Colour Consultant: Can You Mix Brick & Stone on Your Exterior? Before & After

By 11/09/2012May 25th, 201948 Comments


I’m here in Oklahoma. I first met my lovely clients on-line early this year in February. They were building their forever home and found my blog after the house was painted and they were VERY unhappy with the final result.

‘I even liked the yellow primer (above) better than the awful sage green that we have now!’ my client wrote in her email after she found me on-line. ‘We are shocked at how much the after photo ages the house, it went from a bright looking house, to a dark and gloomy house, please help!’

I’m here helping her choose furniture for her entire house. She laughed when she told me today that when she first called me and found out I could help her fix the colours on her house, she slept well that night for the first time in weeks!

The first problem with the colours was that they had selected pink beige brick with yellow beige stone. If you’ve read my ebook or my blog long enough, you’ll know that mixing pink beige with yellow beige always causes pink beige to look dirty.

Pink beige brick, yellow beige stone, a gray brown roof and sage green hardy board, fascia and gutters was definitely way too many colours.

When you look at brick and stone in samples sizes, it seems harmless enough right? What could be wrong with a brown and yellow combination like this one (above)?

Well once you know that if you are looking at hard finishes, carpeting or fabric and it’s looking ‘brown and neutral’ to you? Chances are, you are just about to install the most limiting beige undertone of them all. Pink Beige. 

I have seen so many bad exteriors with multiple combinations of brick and stone. My advice regarding combining brick and stone is very similar to this post I just wrote about combining multiple patterns in hard finishes. Bottom line, there must be a relationship to the exterior finishes you are selecting or what you will have in the end is a big mess!

What’s the solution? Well I could see that the roof was gray brown, not a green or red brown. We couldn’t introduce a red/pink brown to replace the green because then it would clash with the yellow stone. Any shade of yellow was not an option because then it would continue to clash with the pink beige stone.

First we started with photos of large painted samples in the colours I thought would be right. My clients patient husband held them while she snapped away.

A dark taupe was the answer. Here we have BM Ashley Grey on the left gable and Fairview Taupe on the right. You can still see the original Woodstock Brown (sage) the the colour the manufacturer recommended for the hardy board to coordinate with roof.

The Ashley Grey still looked too pink in comparison, so Fairview Taupe was the winner.

Here’s the before photo again:



And here is their lovely house in the end. All the trim and posts were painted Grant Beige, which is beautiful with the yellow beige stone. Creamy without looking too yellow.

My client did a beautiful job of specifying the shutters so they look in proportion with the windows. I went crazy over the dog shutter detail which keeps them slightly ajar not flat against the house (below):


Because we were able to coordinate the remaining colours so well, the trim colour on the shutters and the yellow beige stone look like it does relate to the lighter creamy looking tones in the pink beige brick.

Sometimes, colour can work magic and in this case, I think it did!

If you need help coordinating your exterior colour scheme so that your house fills you with happiness when you see it, go here.

Related posts:

Why Pink Beige Should be Banished Forever

 When Can you Combine Patterned Stone or Tile?

 Happiness is. . . A Little Magic


36 pins


  • Wendy says:

    Nice work, great improvement!

  • Gretel says:

    An amazing demonstration of the importance of colour. Thank you!

  • Lisa says:

    Would you consider painting the brick?? If so, what color might you choose?

    Can you…should you..ever paint EXTERIOR brickwork?

    • Maria Killam says:

      HI Lisa,
      Yes I would absolutely paint a brick house. In this case though since it was brand new that would have been a last resort solution.
      If I was painting the brick on this house, I would have chosen a yellow beige to coordinate with the yellow beige stone. Maria

  • Tricia says:

    Well written post, Maria. The dramatic results of your expert advice was evident in the photos. I love before/after photos that showcase how essential optimal color choice is to achieving successful results.

  • Carol Landt says:

    Maria, what a beautiful improvement! I’m in the same area of OK this weekend!

  • Laura says:

    Maria to the rescue! What a dramatic difference the correct colors can make. I’ve got orange and yellow bricks with an orange brown shingle. This post makes me feel more positive that there MUST be a good color paint to update my home. Thanks for another amazing post!!

  • Anne Swift says:

    Your work is amazing! And I really appreciate your blog. Thanks

  • Mary says:

    Abssolutely AMAZING.
    Great post,
    I am struggling with whether or not to paint my ugly pinky brick.

  • Lisa Sontag Kissee says:

    Isn’t it amazing how a lot of people have no idea what they are doing when building a home and no less their forever home. You really pulled them out of a ugly mess.
    I would always suggest if you have no since of color or design to hire a professional. Kudos to them for having consulted you, to bad they didn’t do it before starting their forever home. They wouldn’t have had any sleepless nights…..

  • Terry says:

    That is an amazing transformation by just changing the color! I love how it turned out.

  • Charisse Andrews says:

    I think the color change to the house is terrific but am not very keen on the white shutters, especially on a rustic exterior. I think I would have done the shutters in a deeper shade of the house color or stained them if they are wood. Lovely home and nice changes inside as well. charisse

    • Karen says:

      Interesting – I don’t see this house as rustic. And the owner wanted the house to be bright. So the cream really works I think. Outlining the trim helps too. I love everything Maria does!

    • Lisa says:

      Shutters could be stained the same color as the front door.

    • Sharon says:

      Although the picture shows the trim and shutters as a “white”, according Maria’s post they are not white but a Grant beige. Amazing what a camera lens will do/not do from a distance. Would be nice if we could really see the actual color, although I must say I am loving this look! Great job as ever Maria!

    • Maria Killam says:

      HI Charisse,
      The builder actually had the shutters painted the shutters Fairview Taupe originally and it looked very dark and bad.
      Stained shutters in a dark colour would have been no different. Maria

    • Sylvia says:

      Interesting…the shutters were my favorite part. Compared to the before picture, i think the result is stunning. Maria, I also liked the format of this post with the hints as you inched closer to the final reveal with lots of pictures since the light always keeps changing. You indicated what you ruled out and why, allowing us to guess what we would do first. I got a little confused about which colors went where on the gables, but of course, the result was much better, primarily because of those shutters. At least for me, they spread out the light beige and trick the eye out of comparing the brick and stone mismatch. I imagine there could be other combinations, but I really like this one!

  • You are a miracle worker. It looks like a different house!

    🙂 Jill

  • Susan@Susan Silverman Designs says:

    What an amazing transformation. What a beautiful home. Maria, you did good yet again! And I also think pink-beige brick should be outlawed!

  • Ginger says:

    What a beautiful transformation! After seeing what you did for the exterior, hiring you for the interior must have been the easiest decision they’d made in months.

  • you totally rescued these poor people, who every time they pulled up to their home felt sad! The final after is gorgeous, well thought out, of course, and looks great in it’s environment. beautiful job maria!

  • Louise says:

    Please say we’ll see the interior once furnished?

  • Lisa says:

    Yes, definitely a beautiful transformation.

  • I had to do the same thing for a client. Matching the painted exterior surfaces to bricks. They had a pinky beige trim with yellow undertone bricks. When I fixed the painted areas to coordinate better with the bricks, the whole house looked great. And it didn’t stick out in the neighborhood either which was good because they were in the process of selling 🙂

  • Wow! So amazing! Kind of fun to know that you’re in this part of the country. 🙂

  • What a good looking final outcome! Nice job.

  • Mary says:

    I think your new title should be The House Whisperer. Great job!!

  • Joy says:

    I wouldn’t of been able to sleep either. The “before” colors would of bugged me every time I drove up to the house. I bet they are so glad they changed it. Great makeover Maria.

  • Debbi in Texas says:

    Please tell your clients their home now has a gorgeous and rich looking facade. I think any home in trees and shadows needs light and bright colors or else it just disappears; excellent job

  • Kathrine says:

    Many new brick homes are being built to purposefully paint the brick. Painted brick can be fabulous! Was painting the brick not a consideration?

    • Sylvia says:

      Wow…that’s being done on purpose? I’ve seen soooo many painted brick homes in Southwest USA, and well, it just feels like paint over brick Is used to cover up something bad or something old. I far prefer the natural finishes for this house, especially given its setting. Painting the brick could be an easy way out, but though it’s more challenging, creating a balance between all the elements without replacing or hiding them demonstrates Maria’s true artistry and expertise.

  • Sarah says:

    What a transformation – great job!

  • KJ says:

    What a difference! We had a horrific hailstorm here that destroyed everyone’s roof so everyone has new shingles/roof. You have never seen so many BAD color choices for shingles; the shingles don’t relate to a single thing on so many of the houses. It’s truly painful to drive down the road and see the mess. There are a few houses that have gotten it right; but WOW so many bad decisions. Very hard to correct too. People in Dallas, please don’t pick a new roof until you talk to Maria!

  • Andrea says:

    Wow that’s a beautiful transformation. Great eye for color, I am new to your blog and enjoy reading your informative articles!

  • Christian says:

    Lovely. Maybe the best exterior transformation you have shown us yet! I went from being afraid of the house to wanting to visit! Amazing transformation from nothing but color change.

  • M says:

    Looks great, but also helps that the home was completed and it was a sunny day when shooting that final picture.

  • Paula Van Hoogen says:

    Maria, you not only made this house look happy,
    but more importantly, you made people happy. There’s nothing so daunting as a major investment as this going the wrong way. What a fulfilling feeling for you as well, to know that these people are at peace with their home! That’s almost a ministry!!
    I love the European/French feel of the house now with the lighter color on the trim and shutters!!

  • That looks amazing! Nice work congrats

  • The house looks 10 years younger and pounds thinner 😉

  • This is SUCH a fabulous before and after! You are amazing, Maria!!

  • Thanks for the lesson Maria.

    Beautiful home and beautiful transformation!!!!!
    Knowing that computer generated images are not always accurate, I still have to agree with ‘Charisse’ as I am loving the arched ‘n paned design of the windows, however not so crazy about the shutters (which I normally like) as I feel they distract.

  • Sylvia says:

    I feel they integrate the brick and stone and helped to lighten the feel, but it’s admittedly hard for me to visualize it any other way after seeing these pics.

  • Linda says:

    did you actually change the roof material?

  • Robin says:

    I noticed the black windows. They look good on this house. Are black windows something you recommend if the house has a black roof and windows are being replaced? It certainly would cut down on power washing and painting here in the South.

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