Exterior Consultation with Orange Stone and Brick: Before and After

My client Laura and I go way back. I decorated the interior of this house over 7 years ago. Their house is in Morgan Creek and their backyard overlooks the golf course (above).

She has twin boys who will be heading to University next year and Laura and her husband will be downsizing. They have bought a fabulous, brand new condo in downtown Vancouver to experience city life and they will be moving in next year, after it’s built.

This house will be sold (below) and Laura wanted to freshen up the dated colour scheme:

The only colour that was close to being right on this house given the fixed elements of the stone and brick was the trim and fascia. The reddish brown, wood stained, tudor style trim didn’t relate to anything, and the sage green colour made the house feel too dark and there was no green at all in the brick and stone.

I chose a green grey to create more contrast with the stone and brick and a new trim colour in a slightly lighter shade for ALL THE TRIM with a purple undertone.

After  in Green Grey

 I also had the house photoshopped to a shade of taupe so you could see it in both colours since there’s taupe in the fixed elements as well (below). Tricia and I have talked about this a few times when we are working on exterior eDesigns with stone or brick, whether to pull out the green grey in the stone or the taupe.

Do we go cooler to make it seem more current as it looks above, or do we embrace the taupe in the stone and brick but have it look more earthy which is slightly less current.

As you can see in this example, you can go either way.

After in Taupe


After in Green Grey

This medium toned green grey is often found in mortar and natural stone or concrete. You can see that it relates nicely to the green grey cobblestone driveway here.

After (in taupe)

You can see that the existing windows are black so the trim could not go lighter. And, there is no white or cream in the stone so painting all the trim a paler colour than the house would not have worked either.

Here’s the before again:

You can see that it is unnecessary to paint the gables a different colour. This house already has a lot going on because of the MANY gables and heavy trim and fascia.

When I was a new colour consultant, I was under the misconception that if you had shingles, stucco or siding on your house, each should be a different colour.

That opinion changed very quickly.

And the after:

After in Green Grey

Which neutral do you prefer?

You can see that Understanding Undertones® is critical to choosing the right exterior colour. Become a True Colour Expert this Fall, here.

If you’d like help with your exterior this season, check out our eDesign packages here.

If anyone has an AFTER PHOTO to share from one of our exterior eDesign consultations, please email us at admin (at) mariakillam (dot) com, we would love to post it on the blog and would be so grateful to have one!

Related posts:

10 Steps to Transform Your Exterior

Navy Blue Exterior: Before & After

Photo Shoot in Morgan Creek

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  1. OMG, it looks so much better with either neutral, because the whole house looks so much lighter. Having the darker colors on the fascia dragged the house down. The new green grey made the driveway look like a natural extension of the house and minimized the orange brick and didn’t make it stick out as it did before. BTW, do you ever advise painting brick (say with the taupe of the stone?) . there are a lot of painted brick homes in the Atlanta area which look very lovely. Maria, this house looks so much better, you are a genius!

  2. I prefer the taupe! I think the green gray is too light … slightly too cottage-y for a home this large with it’s serious tudor styling. Also, there appears to be one other “fixed color” — the natural wood in the above the porch and the balcony — and I prefer the taupe with that. But as always — gorgeous options!!

  3. Marie. You did a Fabulous job. What a big transformation. Before the house looked dark and drab. Now with the new color which by the way I do love, It stands out. And in today’s market homes need to stand out. This home say’s COME IN. GREAT JOB.

  4. I prefer the green gray. To me this compliments the foliage better as well the other colors on the house. There is so little brick, it makes me wonder why it’s there in the first place. The new color scheme does help to make stand out less.

  5. Green grey all the way! The exterior of the house is way, way, way too much – as so often, even builders of very upscale houses seem to feel that they need to add one or more of everything. Kristie’s comment about green complementing orange and the grey/green color not having to relate to the stone was right on. Reminds me of my late husband’s daughter & son-in-laws home in Bend, Oregon, custom built after years of touring Street of Dream homes in the area and designing their own dream. No bits of this and that – they went with gorgeous Montana stone outside and inside in a most stunning fireplace (my husband and I got a chance to watch the stone mason actually creating the pattern on a portion of the exterior), a lighter but warmer wood trim and a green grey color that, even in the depths of winter with rain and snow everywhere, still looks fresh and welcoming after all these years. I hope Laura chooses the green grey.

  6. I love the green-grey! But….I would like to see the brick painted in the green-grey as well. The stonework is beautiful and current, but they brick color is distracting and dating the house. I feel like the stone, and the brick is fighting each other. Does anyone else see this?

    • Yes Christine, we all see this. . . and this is exactly why I advise my clients to proceed with caution if they must choose BRICK AND STONE for their exterior. AND, this is not the perfect world of exteriors that I’m showing. . . it’s real life “Let’s paint to sell the house” that you’re seeing.

      NO I will not be photoshopping the brick for this post (in response to someone else’s comment) which is already done and dusted.

      Thanks for your comment, Maria

  7. I rather like the low-contrast original scheme, and prefer a somewhat darker taupe option if I had to pick, or go with a darker grey-green for at least part of the siding, like the shingles. Although I like the lighter colors in close-up, when seeing the house as a whole, the lighter colors really emphasize the array of dormers and other embellishments and make it look a bit disjointed in my opinion.

    But if you do go lighter, those light colored tops of the angle braces really pop out like polka dots, and it makes more sense to paint the entire bracket the same color as the trim. That alone could help unify the facade, and make the brackets appear stronger, like they actually do help hold the roof up. Try it out and see what that alone does.

    I also think the apron under the center balcony could be painted the trim color to help merge it with the roof. Or something matching the metal roof on the bay window. It seems a bit lighter than the other siding because it is stucco(?) not lap siding, and the higher contrast scheme and light color really makes it jump out to me. Perhaps it is just the program you are using, but the shingles look a bit darker than the other parts of the house, and that color could be used on that portion, or the difference could be more pronounced. as in the original.

    I also wonder if a darker color or a bit more detailing on the garage doors would help demphasize them.

  8. So much better with the green grey, although the taupe would work fine too. I know they are selling, but there is such a small amount of brick on the front, it would look better if the brick were removed and replaced with siding. Painted to match of course.

  9. I love the green-gray. My impression of the house in the BEFORE photo was that it was heavy, dark and gloomy, almost depressing. In the AFTER photo I see a large expansive house with lots of room where a family could live happily. Wow, what a difference a change in colour in the right undertones can make ! Maria, you are truly amazing.

  10. Well.. does look better. I am not a taupe fan so the green gray it would be of the two. If this place was mine and we were to stay I would do a color.. maybe a blue

  11. I really like the green gray. Prefer it over the taupe. Lighter and more appealing to this girl. The taupe obviously works but feels so much heavier. There are so many variables to this one and you came up with not just one option but offered the power of choice. Nice job.

  12. Maria.. you’re right, and I agree about ‘ideally’ wanting to paint the brick, but were unable to do so because of selling the house. The ‘before’ shots had my eyes jumping around catching all of the differences. The ‘after’ was immediately more calming, as it brought continuity.

  13. Which green grey (specific paint color/brand) did you choose Maria? We have similar brick and black windows and are looking to change/update trim color.

    Personally, would love to also paint the brick, but that is not an option with the husband.

    Many thanks!

  14. I like the green-grey that you chose. The transformation of this home reminds me of the way you transformed my home a few months ago. While my home has Acadian architecture with a New Orleans influence, I had a similar orange brick as this Tudor home. The previous owners had painted the siding a hideous olive/moss green, with all the trim and facia in black. Very dark and heavy. When I purchased your exterior package, you and Tricia really lightened up the house with the perfect shade of green-beige and the trim in a cream with a green undertone. And the front door is a knockout in a rich eggplant color. I will send pix at a later time because we are currently in the middle of a huge landscape project. Just know that thanks to you, my house is now among the prettiest in southwest Louisiana! The neighbors can’t complementing us on the new look.

  15. What a difference a color(s) make! I prefer the green gray, but I am a bit confused: is the green gray image also a photoshop, as you mentioned the taupe choice was, or did the homeowners actually already paint the home green gray? Do you offer the photoshop service often with you exterior consults?
    The photoshopped image of the taupe (and the green gray is that is also photoshopped) looks convincingly real. I have tried the Benjamin Moore, Sherwin Williams and the Behr versions of “photoshop” that they offer so you can try out their paint colors on your own photo, but find that they are seriously lacking in realism; the lighter colors actually seem to take on an eerie glow! They won’t be replacing a good color consultation with a real human anytime soon, LOL! Thanks for sharing. I love these before and afters!

    • Hi Phyllis, yes the green grey is the official ‘after’ picture, I just posted the taupe so that we could compare just for fun! I would NOT recommend photoshopping on a regular basis because photoshop still does not account for the fact that the colour washes out 4 times once it’s officially painted. I think it works only in this kind of situation. We do however, show our clients what the exterior colour looks like once it’s up on other exteriors. Thanks for your comment! Maria

  16. The trim color looks fabulous, too; I also meant to ask why you choose a color with specifically a purple undertone, if you don’t mind sharing? (Just trying to educate myself on the “why”. )
    Thanks again.