In order to truly appreciate this, we have to go back to where we started. This is what the exterior looked like a few months ago, before we started tweaking it. If you've been reading this blog for a while, you may remember me writing about some of our ideas for the curb appeal.
We started by building some shutters for the windows, which helped add some interest and dimension. We originally stained them a grey/brown color, but they just sort of blended in with our brown brick.
We also built a lattice structure on the left, where we planted some vines. Can't wait for those to grow!
The next step was choosing an exterior paint color. I had the HARDEST time making up my mind! I'm usually a very decisive person, so it was pretty frustrating. I just knew it was a very important (read: expensive) decision – no do-overs – and I didn't want to mess it up!
We knew we wanted to get away from the chocolatey brown we already had because everything was just so brown – the brick, the roof, the siding, the trim. The house was actually painted four different shades of brown, which was another negative for the current color scheme. Why would we we need so many different shades?! The entire inside of our house is painted grey, so I think it's pretty obvious that we like the color grey. We thought we could go with a nice grey tone that might make the house a little less milk-chocolatey.
We saved some serious cash by buying our paint during the Sherwin Williams paint sale. They were running a 40% off sale, but we didn't know what color we wanted yet. We ended up just buying the plain white base paint, and they said we could bring it back to add the color tint when we were ready. How awesome is that? We ended up saving $250 by waiting for the sale price, so we felt pretty good about that.
We brought home several grey/beige colors from Sherwin Williams to try on the house. One was much darker, and the others were more of a medium tone. We painted them in several different places, trying to get a feel for what they might look like with our brick.
Our house looked like this for a few weeks while we pondered the decision. We could NOT pick one! I felt like they were too grey and were clashing with our brown brick. It seemed like we were forcing a house that wanted to be brown to actually be grey, just because we really like grey.
I finally told the husband that I didn't like ANY of them, and I wanted to start over with more options. At this point I really wished Sherwin Williams had more color options available, and I felt confined by their selection. I wanted some warmer greys that had more beige/tan in the mix, but they just didn't have what I was looking for.
This was a major turning point for this project. We talked to the Sherwin Williams sales guy about our predicament, and we found out that Sherwin Williams can color match other paint brands. We could find a color from Lowe's, Home Depot or another paint store and simply bring the swatch to Sherwin Williams. They can look it up in their database and create that color for you. Hallelujah! I suddenly had a whole world of paint colors opened up to me, so the hunt for the perfect shade was officially on.
My favorite interior paint colors are from Benjamin Moore, so I decided to start there. I went to our local Ace Hardware to pick up a bunch of paint swatches. I found the winning swatch almost instantly. I like to call it love at first site. Shenandoah Taupe, will you be my house color?
While all of this paint indecision was happening, we finally had the new roof installed. We had a hail storm last summer and received insurance money to replace our damaged roof, but we've been waiting for the right time. Once we were finally ready we found out our roofers were already really busy, so we had to wait several weeks before they could do the project.
Just like we did with our first home, we bought the shingles from Home Depot ourselves (on sale, of course). Buying them ourselves helps us get a better price with our roofers, and you know we're all about saving cash! As for choosing shingles, I'm a huge fan of the Timberline Natural Shadow shingles because I think the three dimensional shingles look so much better than the flat variety. I'm willing to pay the small markup for what I think it a much better looking roof.
I thought a dark roof would make our house look so much better, so I chose the Timberline Natural Shadow shingles in the charcoal color. Instead of blending in with the brown brick, the roof now highlights the architecture and tall eaves in front of the house, which is exactly what we hoped the new roof would do!
Did you notice we painted the shutters, too? They got a fresh coat of Valspar Hematite, one of my favorite colors and the current color of our front door.
Let's see the full transformation, shall we?
The only sad thing about that after is that my poor plant is dying! Look at how lush and green it was in the top photo. Tragic.
Anyway, we are so happy with our new curb appeal! We feel like we made the right choices, even though it took us a long time to make the picks. What do you think?