At the beach just outside of Provincetown
Until you travel somewhere, what people say or the photos you see about any city or place doesn’t really land until you see it for yourself. After our Atlanta course, we flew to Boston for the next one, but we had a four day weekend in between.
Terreeia (pronounced Maria with a T) and Maria
On Sunday, Terreeia and I rented a car and drove up to Cape Cod. I was completely enchanted by the homes and how they all had a similar look and feel.
When I asked my Boston class why the homes are mostly weathered shingles with one side painted, they told me that the paint doesn’t last long in the salt air which is why many of the fronts of the homes are painted but the other three sides are left untreated.
Then one of my followers on Instagram posted this comment on one of the exterior photos:
“I had to choose new natural cedar shingles for my cottage in Maine. It was really difficult to pick a roof shingle before they had weathered. Straight gray had too much blue undertone in it, so I went with a brown/gray -hope it will turn out to be the right choice!”
I always assumed that cedar shakes or shingles weathered the same neutral shade, which in my system is a green grey. I didn’t know you could choose which neutral you wanted and end up with taupe for example, like the comment above.
If anyone has any more information on this, please post a link in the comments, I tried searching online but couldn’t find anything useful.
Here are some lessons I learned about Cape Cod colours and architecture:
If your trim is white, it looks the best when it relates to the clamshell driveways
Until I walked up close to look at the creamy driveways that were everywhere, I thought it was some kind of pea gravel. It’s clamshells (below). In the pretty house (above) with the purple door and garage doors, all the trim should have been the cream or yellow beige fascia colour as well, which relates to the driveway.
This was the guesthouse (below) which was on the same property as the house above.
Sure enough, the green beige shake roof certainly hasn’t weathered to the same colour as the singles which look more violet grey here.
Paint your door and shutters the same happy colour
I have always thought that a white house with shutters painted any other colour but black looks more like “We couldn’t afford to paint our house so we painted the shutters instead”. However, on this style of home because it looks like a cottage, it’s totally charming.
Shutters look the best on narrow, skinny windows
One of the reasons the shutters are so pretty on Cape Cod homes is because they look like they can close over the windows.
If you are looking at your house and something bothers you about it, it could be that your windows are too wide and shutters are completely unnecessary.
In the house above, since there is only one wide window, it would have looked awkward to not repeat the shutters, however, they look way better on the smaller windows.
There are certainly exceptions to this rule, but it’s a case by case, custom situation. Often when Tricia and I send out our exterior eDesign recommendations, one suggestion we will make is to remove the shutters if the windows are just too wide.
Front Doors can be a cleaner colour than usual and it still works
One of the huge distinctions that my True Colour Experts learn in my colour workshops is to be able to see a clean and dirty colour combination.
Understanding colour is equally as important as understanding neutrals.
The pink door combined with the siding colour in the house above would normally be considered a clean and dirty colour combination but I think here it works.
Here’s an example of weathered shingles on one side and painted siding on another side (above).
Don’t be afraid to paint your house a colour
How fabulous is this pink house with the grey roof (above)? Colour is way more classic and timeless than the trendy neutral of the moment.
Compare undertones and you’ll see them easier
What are the undertones in the shutters and siding (above)? So much easier to see them when they are together.
Paint your front door an accent colour
Most people in the cape had a front door painted in a great colour! I love the way this orange door relates to the fading hydrangeas and the bench on the porch.
Here’s a motel which has come to life with alternating colours on the doors (below).
Hope you liked my tour of the Cape!
Here are some pictures from my Specify Colour with Confidence event in Boston last week:
This is Diane Lupo (above), the grand prize winner of a seat in one of my courses who we flew in from Chicago! This prize was one of my 50 prizes for turning 50 giveaway I had in June.
The Boston Class
Nine neutral undertones in fabrics!
Class photos by Caroline at KLAAR Photography in Boston
Karen T sent this note after the course:
Just wanted to say ‘’Thank You” for a fun and information packed three days. I learned so much and will start to review everything all over again as there was so much information and lots to absorb.
The seminar was very well run, fast paced and always interesting! Loved the stories and examples that helped me ‘’see’’ the undertones, recognize how many bad decorating choices there are out there that will really help in my upcoming renovation.
There’s one seat left in my second Vancouver course coming up in two weeks and lots of seats in LA. We will not be back in Los Angeles so now is the time to attend if you don’t want to fly to another course.
Have a great week everyone!