Color Selection

I have a bunch of posts about the solar installation, energy audit and progress on the exterior paint job on the way, but they’re all on the back burner. I was in Massachusetts this past week for work, we hosted guests from out of town over the long weekend, and now we’ve been scrambling to choose colors before Perfect Painters gets started on actual painting (as you’ll see in a future post, they’ve been busy scraping, sanding, priming and replacing shingles).

We’re considering a number of options, with an obvious tilt towards green:

Paint Options 1

The front-runner is Sheraton Sage on the shingles, Garden Gate on the stucco, Roycroft Vellum for the trim, and Roycroft Copper Red for accents like window sash. The last two colors come from Sherwin-Williams’ Arts & Crafts collection.

Paint Options 2

As a reminder, here’s how the house was painted when we took possession. We’re not fans of brown or yellow.

Front of House

You can see we’re also considering Roycroft Bronze Green for the stucco. Using a lighter combination might be on the table too, such as Colonial Revival Green Stone on top and Sheraton Sage on the bottom.

That last option would be a lot less Craftsman-appropriate than our leading choice, which is already pushing it with that sage, but we’ve already decided that while we want to respect history as much as possible, we don’t want to be shackled to it either. We’re thinking that combining historic and modern colors and using even the classic colors in novel ways (Craftsman houses didn’t really feature very light trim like the Roycroft Vellum until the late 1910s or early 1920s, as far as I can tell) is the best way to honor the past and consider our tastes too. Besides, it’s not like anyone else in Ithaca is choosing from the historic palette.

Historic Ithaca‘s library (you get free access if you’re a member) was immensely helpful in getting us started. Robert Schweitzer’s Bungalow Colors (affiliate link) is an outstanding resource too. It’s the only book dedicated to choosing colors for Arts & Crafts house exteriors and contains history of the Arts & Crafts movement, color theory, color choices for certain house types, before & after examples, and paint swatches from Sherwin-Williams. It’s been incredibly useful and has helped support some of our decisions such as the red accents and two-tone body.

The pressure to get this right is intense. Unless we want to spend thousands of dollars doing this again, the decision could last decades.

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