Featured Project! Choosing Exterior Paint Colors for a Timeless Tudor Home
When it comes to choosing paint colors… It's a process.
Architects, builders, interior designers, and tradespeople all go through a creative process which, step by step, leads to a desired result. Taking time to choose the right colors is a process worth doing, however, because ultimately you will live with the results on a daily basis and it’s best to be happy with those results.
Professional paint color consultation: the fastest route to the perfect palette
I’ve been doing residential and commercial interior design for 22 years, and although I have a full-service design company, color consulting is my specialty. In fact, it’s more in demand than all of my other services combined.
Color is primary. Color is crucial.
It’s a very important and foundational element in interior and exterior design.
Early in my career I found that most people get overwhelmed and need help with paint colors. After being asked repeatedly to assist, I discovered that my talent for art and design, along with my extensive fine art training, enabled me to help others successfully with ease. Years later, I became known as a color consultant specialist.
Step 1: Getting ready for an exterior repaint in Hillsboro Village, Nashville
Marciana is an artist and former Biomedical Research Administrator who lives in the Hillsboro Village area of Nashville. She and her husband own a beautiful Tudor home and guest house that was in need of a new exterior paint job. Marciana was overwhelmed and didn’t know where or how to begin choosing her exterior and interior colors.
So, Nash Painting referred her to me and we set up a consultation.
How to choose exterior paint colors
I showed up at Marciana’s home with my designer paint color kit, consisting of a fan deck which I use to select preliminary color families. After that, we narrow down the selections and use 4”x 4” color sheets that will be put up with painter’s tape for viewing. I always begin by asking questions, to find out the client’s thoughts, desires, needs and preferences. In this case several different colors were needed and she wasn’t sure where to start, so I guided her through the process.
We began by looking at the main body of the house, which was brick, and searched for a mid-tone color that would complement it. After viewing several potential colors against the brick, I asked which one stood out to her the most (I try to first learn what the client likes before offering my opinion).
If we both choose the same one, chances are it’s a good one. If there is more than one color that could work, I discuss the qualities of each different color choice and what specifically those colors bring to the design in terms of overall look and feel. This often helps to guide someone in the decision making process.
After viewing several taped up samples against the brick, we both agreed SW6152 Superior Bronze was the best choice. It was earthy and complemented the brick and all the other exterior elements as well. This was the mid-tone we used for the trim around all the windows and on all doors except the front entry.
Next, we chose SW7542 Naturel for the large areas of stucco. It highlighted and enhanced the mortar and areas of concrete, including the keystone accents above the windows. This was to be our lightest shade: light, without being too bright. Often for exteriors it’s wise to choose a gradual light, to medium, to dark shade progression. This helps create visually smooth transitions.
And from the side
Choosing paint colors for the exterior accents and French doors
Next, we needed a darker shade to be applied to the wood accents. We looked for a darker shade that would mimic a dark wood look that would also outline and accent the architectural features of the roofline. We settled on SW6069 French Roast. We wanted a deep chocolaty shade of brown that is commonly used on classic Tudor style homes.
We took the samples around the side and rear of the house to make sure she liked the selections in each area and to confirm they looked good from all angles. When we arrived at the back deck of the home, we observed her exterior doors in the process of being stained. The timing of my being there worked out perfectly because the stain was not coming out to her liking. I have often helped Nash Painting clients choose a paint color to mimic the wood instead of an actual stain for a few very good reasons. One: the stain does not always give the client the consistent color result they wanted once applied to old wood. And two: Nash Painting offers a 10 year warranty on their painting which ensures a long lasting finish and color consistency. I was able to help Mariana in the moment to choose a paint color for her rear deck French doors.
Next, we chose the darkest color, an accent shade to mimic the look of iron for the front door. We chose SW7675 Sealskin for its deep, dark, bronze tone. It was darker than the wood color with just the right touch of bronze for the perfect accent to complete the look.
Moving indoors, picking kitchen paint colors
I then followed Marciana into her kitchen where she showed me a photo of cabinets in a color she liked. I pulled out several color sheet options for her to view in the space and we discussed each one. Finally, we arrived at the one she felt was perfect: SW621 Rainwashed. She also had a very large armoire covering an entire wall of her kitchen that she wanted to lighten. I brought out several colors to lighten and brighten it until we found just the right shade that was warm, neutral, and not too yellow. SW6112 Biscuit was just right for her personal preference.
Pro tip! Use color sheets when choosing interior paint colors
During a consultation, I always write all color selections down in my book, and then order large color sheets from Sherwin Williams. These arrive directly to the client in 3 or 4 days. This allows the client to view them again, live with them, and confirm their selections. I also follow up each consultation with an email that goes over everything we covered, as well as a road map that tells which colors go where (for exteriors I often ask clients in advance to print out their Nash Painting estimate with the detailed photos so we can directly mark down what colors go where). I also offer a complementary follow up call or email if the client has any questions or concerns.
Because choosing colors is a process, I’ve learned that some people may require more follow up than others when they get their color sheets. I’m sure to make myself available to the process for each individual. The goal is to make the client happy with the end result, and making them happy is what matters most.
What a transformation!
The interior work is still in progress, so for now I hope you enjoyed seeing the exterior transformation. What a difference!
Special thanks to Karen Goodlow!
This guest article was written by Karen Goodlow of Karen Goodlow Designs. She has partnered with us on numerous projects over the years, providing invaluable color consultation expertise.