It’s finally spring! Most of us had a pretty harsh winter and the warmer days are most welcome. Bring on the spring rain and blossoms!
However, with the warmer weather, our thoughts turn quickly to all the updates we need to make to our home’s yards and exteriors don’t they?
eDesign Exterior Colour Consultations
This time of year, our eDesign department gets extra busy helping clients with the best updates for their exteriors. Because let’s face it, if you get a colour choice wrong for your exterior, it’s not as easy as simply repainting a room or returning something.
Exterior projects tend to be labour intensive and costly, so it’s really important to get the colour just perfect the first time.
This is especially true when it comes to investment upgrades like new windows.
Don’t just default to white or black windows
My dear client Carla reached out for help last season. She needed to replace her large metal windows on her classic brick home and wanted to make sure she got it right.
By the way, did you know that window style and colour is one of the first selections you will need to make when you are building a home? And that standard true white windows are too stark to work with most brick and stone?
Many builders simply default to white, and don’t even ask. It’s very common to see exteriors with earthy stone and brick and screaming white windows that in no way relate, and this is why.
White vinyl windows are generally the least expensive, “standard” option too. If you’re planning brick or stone for your exterior, it’s best to budget for a custom window colour that coordinates, you’ll thank yourself in the long run.
Many builders are now offering black windows and these should also be chosen with care, I talked about the black window trend here.
Carla’s original windows were true white and a good example of white windows looking too stark with brick (below).
Carla’s House Before
You can also see that the grids on the original windows are too busy. And the glass surrounding the front entrance lacks the wider profile elements, so it doesn’t relate well to the others.
On the other hand, the large scale of the windows is wonderful and I could see lots of potential here.
Here is a close up of a white window with the brick so you can really see how stark the white looks (below).
Stark white window with earthy red brick
Photographing and Testing Exterior Colours
I advised that her new windows should be a softer green beige or green gray (cream wasn’t an available option) to relate to the mortar colour. Here is a test of the best green gray option the window manufacturer offered. It looks very similar to a pale green gray in my system, BM Pashmina AF 100 (below). Handy that she owned my large colour boards!
Colour test of Clay windows
You can see that this colour coordinates much better with her mortar colour and looks softer with the red brick.
By the way, so that I can be sure that I’m seeing neutral undertones and colours accurately in my clients photographs for eDesign, I ask for them to take photos of all the finishes with white paper in natural light.
Carla did this for me with her brick (below).
Photo of brick with white paper for colour accuracy
The Before and After
They are planning some new landscaping which is going to make the curb appeal of this home just amazing, but in the meantime, I couldn’t wait to share the dramatic after from just updating the windows and trim to match:
Here’s the before again:
And the after:
Beautiful right? The new windows relate perfectly colour wise, so much softer. While she didn’t consult with us on the style of the windows, the original grids were just so busy, especially with the patterned brick. Now the windows have presence but are much cleaner and more current looking.
They also changed the front door from a dated chocolate brown to a more classic black.
Once the new landscaping goes in, this house will be a knockout.
Thank you Carla for allowing me to share your beautiful home!
PS. The ‘Colour is Relative’ talk I moderated at the KBIS show was video taped, you can watch the entire presentation here!