Archive for August, 2011


Some of our hardest color decisions are those that involve exterior colors for our homes. It is not like interior colors where color choices can be kept secret and not for the whole world to see. Exteriors colors are literally “out there”.

The first thing to consider when choosing color is what are the most permanent surfaces on your exterior? Roof colors are made to last the time of the warranty, up to 40 and 50 years! That is a long time to have the same color, which is why those color selections are so neutral and natural. Another long term item is bricks or stone. These are materials that last longer than a lifetime and are of course neutral or natural colors as well.

There are two ways to address color choices for exteriors. They are based on whether it is new construction where all the color choices are open or if it is a remodel situation where you must work with existing materials.



This home features the use of one of the most popular roof colors, a warm combination of gray and brown most commonly referred to as weathered wood, or weathered cedar. It blends perfectly with a broad range of other colors making it very versatile. Here it is combined with a cream body color that can be found in the stone color and the roof color is repeated in the garage door. This is a perfect example of how to select color combinations for your home. Use a starting point of the long term stone colors and select a neutral monochromatic roof color and a light tone for the body to make the home appear larger.









Another consideration in color selection is making the colors fit the neighborhood and the style of the home. This shows a contrast between two neighboring homes, one with a cool blue gray as an accent against a red brick home for a complementary color scheme and one with warm red accents that work with the brickwork for a monochromatic color scheme.









In some regions of North America, such as Florida, you will find color combinations that are brighter than in other locations. This combination shows crisp white trim and a warm wood tone door against the cool green exterior.










These British Colonial style homes in Key West are perfect for their location where sunny days and tropical flowers are commonplace. They feature simple white trim that make the bright spots of color stand out.











The southwest regions feature many stucco homes such as this. It uses colors that blend with the stonework and the desert surroundings.











This home has a simple gray roof and uses a sunny yellow for the body color. This warm hue is considered a great color if you trying to sell your home as it is warm and inviting and appeals to a broad range of consumers. Notice how the low stone wall mirrors the colors of the roof to tie the landscape into the home design.

Millions of children have asked their parents “why is the sky blue?” I am sure there have been a myriad of answers, some of them fact and some of them just made up. It is time that the real answer is explained.

First of all, we need to understand what our atmosphere is made of. It is a mixture of gas molecules and other materials, mostly nitrogen and oxygen with some argon and water in forms of vapor, droplets and ice particles. There are also small amounts of solid particles such as dust, soot, pollen, pollution and salt from the oceans. These amounts vary by location and weather, such as more water vapor near oceans or after storms.

The other major factor is the sun or light. Light is made up of wavelengths that contain all the colors of the spectrum, like the ones seen in a rainbow. Light travels straight until it encounters one of the particles or gases found in the atmosphere then it either reflects or absorbs the light depending on what it hits. Higher frequency blues are absorbed more often than reds of lower frequency. This is called Rayleigh scattering named after Lord John Rayleigh, an English physicist who first described it in the 1870’s.

In the case of a blue sky light moves through the atmosphere and most of the longer wavelengths pass straight through. Little of the red, orange and yellow light is affected by the air but the shorter wavelength is absorbed by the gas particles. The absorbed blue light is then radiated in different directions as it is scattered and everywhere you look blue light reaches you.

As much as we ridicule fashion shows for their outlandish styles and ridiculous clothes that few of us would wear in public, these spectacles are just that; spectacles! They do this so that by the time the trend trickles down to ready to wear and then into home fashions a semblance of the designer’s idea is still present.

The most seen fashion is what appears on TV and in the movies. Because they are so widely watched, they have a large influence on all of us. Youth markets have emerged as a strong impact on other markets, including high end and home furnishings. Young people have no boundaries when it comes to what coordinates with what, and the mix of patterns and colors show their independence.

Graffiti has been an ever present icon for the youth market and its strong influence spreads to interior walls, especially for teenagers’ bedrooms and media rooms.

Often you will see fashion literally translated into home furnishings, here a common mix of patterns and color is rendered into a teen’s room.

Other motifs that appear in today’s youth market are tattoos, layering, Goth, vampires, dragons and magic.

The interest in vampires reinforces the black trend that has been common to teenagers for decades. The need to belong and fit in bolsters this trend.

It is not unusual for a teenager to want their bedrooms to be painted black; actually it is a strong influence even for adult bedrooms and other rooms in the house.