Monday, January 20, 2014

Curb (Appeal) Your Enthusiasm

In the 7 months we've owned this house, Matt and I have made a lot of changes to both inside and outside. The big projects like reclaimed wood wall, the deck, the horseshoe pits, the patio, paint in EVERY room, and all the small fixes like ceiling fans, a/c, plumbing, landscape clean up, and chimney repairs have all made strides toward making this house feels like "ours", but one thing kept us from really accepting it as our dream home. And that was this:
Hello, 1973.
( House actually built in 1986, shockingly.)
The pink and brown color scheme almost kept us from putting an offer on the house in the first place. It made the brick look old and dirty and beyond salvage. We even considered staining the brick, which after much research, we discovered that staining brick is one of the riskiest things you can do to it. For those who are wondering, it's because bricks are "baked" with the color and in order to change the color you have to sand off the "baked" exterior so the stain will soak in, making the brick forever porous and exposing your home to water issues (mold, rot, etc). Painting the brick is also a terrible plan because it flakes off every few years depending on the weather. I did paint the brick hearth on the living room fireplace, but interiors are a different matter. 

So we decided to paint the exterior and hoped that better colors and a power wash would be enough to revive the dull brick. We found out from the neighbors that the color choice was actually only 4 YEARS OLD. WHAAAAAT?!?!  Someone looked at a paint chart in 2010 and said "This is the future of exterior design." Yes, clearly pink and brown was the color combo of the modern age since the pantone of the year was…..
It makes ALL the sense, readers.
So for the colors we wanted to go with modern yet classic, something people won't ask "Why?" about in 4 years. We are putting a lot of bold design choices inside, so outside needs to appeal to a slightly broader audience. Grey with white trim, hard to go wrong.  "But Jamie", says concerned reader, "there are SOOOO many hues of grey, how do you pick the right one?" Here's how:

Pick a few hues to get samples of of, roughly $3 a pop, and then ACTUALLY PAINT THEM ON THE HOUSE. There is no other way to pick. Holding up tiny swatches to your giant house will not work. You will end up picking too dark or bold a color, or getting scared and picking something that washes out the whole building. We picked 3 hues, and a bright white trim, and went with the middle one in the picture; Sherwin-Williams Magnetic Grey.  Placement of the paint is key. Paint your sample colors next to trim and near something that is staying once the color has changed, like flower boxes, or brick, or a deck. 

So we picked a well reviewed crew who sealed me and the pup in the house with tape and plastic for 3 days in a row while they worked. Nothing like a stir crazy, naturally protective pup and the noise of 5 guys all around the house to drive a housewife to the breaking point. And then I had an interview for a non-profitworking with mentally ill clients. Perfect. I wonder if the glint of cabin fever made me more desirable as an employee or a case study? Anywho….paint. We were talking about paint.

The results!

Amazing the difference a little paint makes, huh? What do you think, readers?