My husband Monte and I have procrastinated about painting our house for too long. However, over time I’ve picked up paint chips of many colors.
Our house is mostly covered with cedar shakes stained a shade of redwood.
The cedar shakes are very New England. My daughter Sandy’s house is also covered in cedar shakes. Not the thin shakes you find in the department stores, but thick shakes it is difficult to find in Southwestern Pennsylvania. Thus, when Monte and I traveled to New England in 2008 we visited a shake-maker in Corinth, Maine, northwest of Bangor. We loaded our car with four large bundles of these shakes. It was great fun to open our car door each morning to be assaulted by the odor, which in small amounts is pleasant, but in concentrated doses…well, think of skunk—almost. We transported four bundles over many miles and many days to our Southwestern Pennsylvania home.
But I digress. The starting point in picking a paint color is the cedar shakes. The continuing point is the use of two shades of the chosen color, or two different colors, one of primary use and the other an accent.
Take into consideration that we live in a cottage home in a park-like setting. To me, some colors just don’t fit this setting. A good example is the Pantone Color of the Year 2014—Radiant Orchid:
- Radiant Orchid blooms with confidence and magical warmth that intrigues the eye and sparks the imagination. It is an expressive, creative, and embracing purple—one that draws you in with its beguiling charm. A captivating harmony of fuchsia, purple and pink undertones…(it) emanates great joy, love and health.
Radiant Orchid is a dark color, so would qualify, to me, as the accent color. However, harmonizing lighter shades simply don’t fall into my color choice for a house, even if it originated with nature’s offerings, an orchid.
The Benjamin Moore color of the year—a Breath of Fresh Air—is a light shade of blue, chosen because we were seeing it across several different environments—it’s our new neutral…
This is a more acceptable color. Used with a deeper blue accent it could complement the redwood color of the cedar shingles. However, I’ve been leaning towards an olive-shade of green. Color therapists, what is the meaning behind pastel olive green and deep olive green?
But then, my neighbors just changed the color of their house from yellow to green—with a deep golden-beige accent. It looks great, but should I use green? Won’t they think I’m a copy catter, a keep up with the Joneser, or just unoriginal? However, I did opt for the green before they ever began painting their house…
During drives through the community and countryside I noticed a lot of homes, both new and old, being painted in shades of green. Usually, my color choices are way out of style. Am I, for once, in style?
Finally I decided to go with my whim—green. I chose a light and darker green I thought would be acceptable. I took the paint chips to the neighbor’s house and was satisfied they were totally different shades.
Monte painted part of a window with the darker color. Whoa, it was quite light, and very acceptable for where I wanted the lighter color—a section of the house above that has aluminum siding. It’s fortunate the green is acceptable to do that, since Monte purchased two gallons.
Now I’m engaged in the tricky part: choosing a darker green that will complement the cedar shingles and the light green.
I’ve narrowed it down to three shades:
- Cosmopolitan olive
- Thyme green
- Gun metal gray
I just cannot decide. I don’t trust my judgment. I’m not an artist. My eye for color isn’t that great.
Second opinions I suspect will be evenly split, leaving me, in the end, to make the choice.
I wonder what it will be.
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