exterior face lift- a story of the big brown poop

^Post title inspired by true events today- my toddler did indeed poop her pants and then smear it all over the toilet, her hands, and belly. Good times. (Little kids are so gross).

But the other "big brown poop" I'm referring to is our new house! hah! The exterior needs a little love, because well, it's an ode to it's era- the mid-2000's (2006 to be exact), when every new house built in this area was very, very brown. To accentuate the tan stucco, is more brown trim! Which is what inspired this post- let's talk about when dark trim is a good idea, according to the third book of Whitney (and plans of how we're going to transform "the big brown poop").

Most houses do indeed have lighter trim than the main body of the house, especially new houses where bright white (and even white on white) is trending. Most people gravitate towards this because it gives a house nice, clean lines and can actually make a house look bigger. Of course personal preference comes into play (as with anything design related), but there are some instances where dark trim (as in darker than the house color) totally works and works beautifully


^In this former HGTV dreamhome, the actual trim of the house is still light, but the windows are black. This is a really good example of a happy medium! The darker windows bring some definition to the overall look of the house and ties in nicely with the color of the roof, but it isn't at all overwhelming or too dark, despite a darker house color, because the trim keeps it light. (And if replacing all the windows in your house just for cosmetic reasons wasn't insanely expensive- I'd dooooo it.)

Here's another example of that same concept on a different house:

^Admittedly one of my favorite exteriors I'm crushing on right now from House No. 6! Here, most of the trim and windows are black, which looks really nice against the bright white paint color and adds an element of drama (along with the additional stone textures and those beautiful garage doors!). Dark trim (namely black) looks great against white houses! (But I also have a place in my heart for white on white houses...like I said, preference! But don't ask me to pick white on white over white with black specifically because I literally can't choose.)

^The architecture and materials of a house also has a lot to do with what colors will and won't work. Houses made of either all brick or stone can also pull off all dark trim. Interesting architecture automatically lends itself well to nontraditional paint colors (think about Victorian style houses...we almost expect those to be painted cool colors!).

^Though I don't love the colors on this one (preference), the darker trim on this house is still pulled off by a couple of different features. First, the exterior is made up of different textures: brick, siding, and shake. It also is painted a couple of different colors to break up sections of the house and to add some variety (and I'm hoping it's just the lighting of the picture because the redness of the brick paired with the cool gray paints is driving me bonkers...so we'll pretend it's the lighting of the picture and that the gray actually has much warmer undertones).

I would say majority of houses get the color pairing of the trim/windows/exterior just fine (though you may not like the actual colors because of preference- but in design theory it still "works"- you feel me?). Just like the English language, there are always exceptions, but sometimes I catch myself driving by a house thinking...who let you DO that?! 

Anyway. Our new house is one of those houses. If we were just going off exteriors, I would have passed it up pretty easily, but the inside totally won us over, so our decision to buy it was a no-brainer. Besides, just about anything can be changed. ;-)

I'm also excited to tackle an exterior project, since I haven't done that yet! I was telling James my plans the other night and he said, "So you're planning to do that yourself?" And my answer was, "heck no." 
1. I don't do climbing on roofs. 
2. Pregnant (I'm pretty sure climbing on roofs is frowned upon when your center of gravity is off). 
3. I find exteriors much more intimidating to DIY than anything interior. 

I'm hoping we'll be able to tackle a few of these ideas when our townhouse closes and we get the profits from that sale, but we still have to price everything out- so we shall see. (Plus we have to buy things like window well covers, a lawn mower..you know..super exciting house stuff. ;-) If it doesn't happen in the next couple of months it'll still happen, just later down the road. :-D (But fingers crossed it happens in the next couple of months!!). 

 So first let's take a look at the poo'! Ours is the top left. Wah-wah. The color of the main body isn't my first choice, but can be worked and around and improved, but what I can't stand is all of that dark brown trim! When I was looking for inspiration, I wanted to find similar houses in design and materials, since we're just making (mostly) color changes, so I could start to get a picture of what I knew I wanted the end result to be. The other three houses shown have stone and stucco.  

I also knew I wanted to add another texture to the house, and right now I'm leaning towards board and batten on the dormers (like the top right and bottom left).

Lastly, all of the inspiration pictures have lighter trim than the main body of the house. When you compare them all to each other, ours stands out like a sore thumb! (In our neighborhood it doesn't- like I said, they're all very brown..haha..but with these changes the house will still flow with the neighborhood, but just have a LOT more curb appeal!)

Here's the plan:
1. Repaint the eaves and trim lighter, and the same color. I haven't decided which color yet, but it'll be somewhere in the light cream family since we're not planning to repaint the stucco portions and the stone around the bottom has all warmer tones, so it'll be somewhere in line with that...just much lighter and brighter!

2. These are the two spots where I want to add board and batten! Also possibly on the triangle portion behind that tree on the left...This will be painted a color between the spectrum of the house color and the trim I end up picking out. 

3. The garage door will be repainted to match the board and batten sections, and I want to add some hardware to look like a carriage door style garage door. 

4. (Probably completed farther down the road-- and I can DIY this one) Right now the front door is kind of a dark teal-ish color (which is hard to tell from this picture). I love big and bold front doors (especially a heavy black door against a light house!). But, this time I'm going to go lighter (again, a color with warmer undertones so it all ties together with the rest of the house). I'm not sure which specific color or shade yet. 

5. (Also probably completed later on...I may DIY it...depends on how brave I'm feeling). I want to add another texture element to the front of the house, so I want to wrap the stucco beams in wood to beef it up a little, and paint them to match the trim color...or maybe do a natural wood stain? I dunno yet. I have time to figure that one out.

Can you picture it?! It's going to be maaaaa'velous! The back of the house will be pretty simple, since just the trim around the windows will need to be painted. I also have lots of landscaping things I want to add to the backyard, but that's for another post at another time. :-) I've come to accept that any landscaping most likely will not happen this summer (because you know, baby).

Of course I'm already scheming up some interior projects, but this is definitely the first up on my list! Who knew trim was such an exciting topic. ;-)



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