Updated: Jan 20
With the exterior black and white trend everywhere these days, I've been wanting to wash all the trim and brick accents in the same white as the house. What's more classic than a white house?
Won't my house feel boring if it's all one colour or material?
I often hear that people are nervous their home will feel boring if it's just one siding material (such as vinyl siding, hardy board, stucco, etc.) So the temptation (or often the requirement for new builds) is to choose a waterline stone or brick. But the effect is that it can make the house look smaller by chopping it up, or in the case where a bossy stone is selected, you're house body colour will forever be limited within the stone colour palette. If your home was built in the brown trend (early 2000's) and you want to freshen it up now that we're in the white and black trend, you likely will not be able to choose a true white, instead you'll want to look in the realm of greige or beige for the read of cream. Otherwise the white will look just wrong against the stone.
Instead, look to your landscaping to bring visual interest. Landscaping is the lamp, art and rugs of exterior design! More on this in point #5 below.
Do you see how choppy it looks on a small home to break up the lines with the belt of brick, and how heavy the trim and fascia look painted dark? (Black fascia on a light house looks like angry eyebrows to me lol). Also the rock garden was driving me nuts - nothing grew there, and rocks are so annoying to weed and rake the million leaves that drop from this big ol' maple every fall!
Let me take you through my process in this simple yet impactful exterior update.
1. Colour Matching the Siding: First I got out my sample boards to find the best colour match to the existing siding. The closest match in the sample boards was Grey Owl, but it was lacking a hint of violet in it's undertone. I decided to sample it to see.
The sample looked decent, so I proceeded. After the first coat, in certain lights however, it just looked so green comparatively (see the trim at the front door)! So I got out a paint fan to see if we couldn't get closer for the second and final coat.
2. Sample, sample sample! Lesson learned here: don't be afraid to sample, sample, sample in the beginning of the process! I was a little too eager to get 'er done as we were having such a beautiful late fall in terms of weather, and I didn't want to miss my window! I managed to find the grey that had the perfect undertone - Behr Chic Grey.
Did you know, exterior colours lighten 2-3 shades in the direct sunlight? Meaning a light grey will read white on an exterior.
Luckily, in the end, it didn't end up costing much more to change it up. I managed to paint all the trim and fascia using 2 sample tins! After taking the sample home and applying it, there was only a bit more to do, and since I only needed to do one coat (because I had already done the first coat in Grey Owl) I went back to purchase just one more sample pot in Satin, and a quart in flat (for the brick).
3. Paint Sheens: A light colour will always look slightly different as soon as you change the sheen, you could get picky and choose a different colour to accomodate for this difference, but most of the time, in most lights, you wouldn't notice it. Below you can see that in flat (or matte depending on which paint company you use) on the brick looks less violet than the siding and trim in the shaded areas of the picture. But because it is the correct undertone overall, it doesn't bother me.
(FYI, the Satin sheen worked on the vinyl siding as well. I needed to patch a spot by the sconces.)
4. Budget time for demoing the existing landscape: I completely underestimated how much time removing all the rock would take! So I'd recommend bribing (ahem) employing your children with Blizzards and $10 bucks a pop to shovel a tonnnnne of rocks for you! My amazing parents also offered to lend a hand. Teamwork makes the dreamwork after all! This process would have taken longer than the painting without the team effort.
5. Landscape Plan: Hire a landscape designer or speak to your local nursery to determine what would grow best in your space. We just had this bitty area, so we did a hedge of hydrangeas, hedge of boxwood and some ground cover in front.
We get quite a bit of shade here between the Maple tree and the house, so I'm not sure how the hydrangeas will do, but I really wanted to give them a try since hydrangeas are my favourite! And I use them in styling for clients often. I was able to find these Annabelle Hydrangeas in the clearance section at Dogwood Nursery so not a big investment should they not take. They are white in the summer and turn lime in the fall, like the popular Limelight Hydrangeas, and are said to do well in dappled sun, so we have a chance, folks!
6. Accessorize: Yes, inside or out, don't forget this step! I love the warmth of terracotta pots against the brightness of the white siding. As well as the stained soffet, front steps and Muskoka chairs. In fact, the brown roof previously bugged me with the black and grey accents, whereas now I absolutely love it against the bright white! Warms everything right up. Beautiful.
Grass seed will have to wait until spring, as there was no sense in planting right before all the leaves dropped.
Here is the side-by-side #beforeandafter of this little project. Head to our IG to see the reels associated with it, I'm very thankful for my family's help! I may paint the garage door with the same white one day if we don't replace it with a stained carriage garage door, which would be my preference. But my kids said they preferred the black, and I didn't mind it either now that the trim was brightened up.
What do you think? I'd love to hear from you in the comments below!
Are you considering a facelift on your exterior? If you need advice specific to your project, grab a consultation (in person or virtual) from the link below!