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Design

Painting The Farmhouse Exterior – Our Inspiration, Biggest Debates, And How Choosing Between White Paints Can Be Hilariously Maddening – Even For Me.

Twenty years into this relationship I’ve realized a secret reason why I married Brian – he can be so decisive when I’m practically pathologically paralyzed with indecision at this point in the renovation. I weigh the pros of all the beautiful options out there and mentally exhaust myself with fear of making the wrong permanent choice. I’M SUPER FUN TO BE AROUND. He thinks this is a holdover from my styling days, where I was trained to literally think about every scenario, bringing prop options for every single shot, making “in the moment decisions” based on the framing to camera, and not really needing to commit to anything til the second before you click the camera. This doesn’t work for renovation and frankly is an occupational hazard. So when it came to paint, most recently the exterior of the house, Brian has been firm since day one that it is to remain white with an accent color. GREAT. He is immovable and won’t even let me take us in another direction and I’m honestly so relieved. I could have explored a medium color, a bright happy color a darker moodier tone, and even a two tone (with the sunroom being dark), but not Brian. He is firm and confident which brings me a lot of calm. That doesn’t meant there aren’t still decisions/mistakes/regrets to be made, but I’ve been leaning on him hard because at this point in the renovation I feel like I’m not my best self. I’m looking at tiny things I wish we had done differently that no one will ever notice. I’m DONE making decisions on my own and as much as ARCIFORM can help me, it’s not their house. So much of a renovation is simply a personal preference based on your lifestyle and practical needs. But that doesn’t mean that we didn’t look at some options in the renderings early on for the exterior, so today I’m going to walk you through our journey on what colors to paint our house.

Before – In 2019 When Life Was Simple….

When we bought the house it was painted a sweet bright white, with an accent of black shutters. White did feel right for a farmhouse then, as it does now. The shutters didn’t fit the windows, which can be a pet peeve for some of us (although I see this on beautiful houses all the time and it can still be super sweet). Ideally shutters should look like they perfectly fit the size of the window when closed, despite not actually needing them to close. But the black was a nice accent against the white and broke it all up.

So I started Pinning For Inspiration …

Knowing that we would remove the small shutters the question became should this house be all white? Or white with a different color trim? Historically a lot of ‘farm’ houses are all white – including railing and trim. I looked up why and here’s what I found: “It all began with whitewash, also known as lime paint, which was used during colonial times to prevent mildew from forming on both the inside and outside of houses”, according to the Daily Press. That makes sense. I also think these houses were meant to be purely utilitarian and affordable – so one color made it cheaper to paint and just kept it simple. Like these…

design by billy cotton | via house & garden
image source

While this is pretty, I think the setting is what made me pin it. When I showed these two to Brian he said, “Absolutely not – that is very cold and boring” and he’s not wrong. So we started looking at adding some accents …

design by jean stoffer design

White House With Light Blue Trim

image source

I love that house so much – that blue is so sweet. But clearly, the brick is amazing, the shingled roof is beautiful and the stacked stones don’t hurt. So sometimes you have to check in with yourself and ask yourself why you like a photo – is it the dog? Or the blue trim? Hard to say.

But I like that one, too!!! These were too blue for Brian, and Anne agreed. Too sweet and not classic enough. I still don’t totally agree, but like I said – I’m leaning on others right now with really firm opinions to help guide the decision. The truth is that the house is so beautiful and so well executed and the landscape surrounding it will be so pretty that I think any and all options could work. When you have high-quality materials and good execution I think that ANY color you choose could work.

My Favorite Inspiration Image…

image source

Then I found this image and I fell in LOVE. It’s white with a blue/gray trim, surrounded by green – like ours will be. It seems like the window sashes are painted dark and maybe the top half is a shade of gray? But the white and light gray color combination got me excited.

But Which Color of White Paint?

If you want to torture yourself or your partner, try choosing white paint. Even as a pro, I find it maddening. There is a reason that designers have their go-to’s and that’s because they KNOW what works for THEM and use it over and over, I think to mostly preserve their mental health. My go-to has always been a crisp bright white, with no undertones.

Our Glendale House

photo by tessa neustadt | from: our home exterior renovation

Six years ago we painted the exterior of our Glendale home Calm OC-22 by Benjamin Moore, and I really liked it. It had a slight undertone that is a little warm but again, it looks totally white.

photo by tessa neustadt | from: our home exterior renovation

Man, I loved that house!!!

The Original Portland Project

A few years ago I went with a warmer white for the Portland project (Sherwin-Williams Oyster White) and while it was slightly too warm/yellow for me when I first saw it, but I warmed up to it (HA). Sometimes that shock is going from primer to paint (because the primer is so white) and ultimately it looked great. Now looking at it I’m realizing it looks TOTALLY WHITE, but I did take a note that I don’t love yellower undertones. I wondered if it was because it’s often next to so much green and gray? And maybe those two tones, being so cool, brought out its yellow-er undertones? Maybe.

photo by sara ligorria-tramp | from: the portland outdoor living spaces and a lot of styling tips

So I went on a recon mission around our rental house neighborhood (which is GORGEOUS by the way) and tried to note what colors I liked the most.

So many of the houses had a crisp white exteriors, with black accents and surrounded with brick and greenery. LOVE.

I think understanding your weather, your flora and fauna in your own locale is a good exercise. We really really want this house to feel bright, fresh and happy. Not muted or depressing, and staying far away from beige.

Excuse my terrible blurry photo skills

We like how the green and white really pop off of each other even though stylistically ours will be very different.

A Few Fun Options …

Months ago we asked Anne to play with some colors on the house – to see what a white (above) and a dark (below) trim color would do to the house.

As you can see the white is a bit boring and the dark is a bit busy. So we felt pretty good about choosing something in the middle.

So we ordered a ton of Sherwin-Williams paint stickers in whites and light gray/blues and went around the house to see it in full sun and shade. The biggest thing we wanted to make sure was that we liked was how the light gray/blue interacted with the already clad steel blue-gray doors and the Sierra Pacific clad windows.

The gray you see on the window casings is Sherwin-Williams Online, and we really like how it interacted with the blue of the door (below) and the white windows.

So we tried it out on the house with a couple of paintbrushes and really liked it.

They have started prepping the house to paint, but we haven’t totally locked down the color. I’m a little worried that the Sherwin-Williams Online is not blue/happy enough, but Brian, Anne, Stephyn AND my friend/photographer Kaitlin all disagreed with me. They think it’s classic and classy. But like I said above, I think that no matter what, it will look really good. And yes, we do plan on putting shutters on the second floor in the same blue as the doors so I think that will help A TON. Here is the plan so you can visualize it more:

  1. The Body of The house – Either Sherwin-Williams Pure White or Sherwin-Williams Extra White in Satin Rain Refresh. They literally look identical. Originally I chose Extra White, but then I just realized that I’ve used Pure White a lot before (for the Portland interior) so I might switch.
  2. All door and window casings where there is wood siding – Sherwin-Williams Online in Satin Rain Refresh
  3. Smaller wood casings around sunroom windows – Sherwin-Williams Extra White

What I’m nervous about:

  1. For whatever reason, we ordered the windows to have a white frame and a slightly light gray sash. I remember that we didn’t want a white sash because we wanted it to be less WHITE as to not look like vinyl, but unsure why we chose a different frame color and it can’t be changed (it’s aluminum-clad, not wood), so it is what it is and we know it will be fine. But it makes me nervous to paint the original windows on the second floor a bright white if the ones on the first are a SLIGHT tone of gray. We all decided that I should CTFD and that it would go unnoticed since the light blue casing color would separate them all. Plus we’ll likely have shutters up there. It also means that there is a white strip between the sashes and the casing, which we decided that we think will look good if you even notice it. It ties in with the body of the house. But yeah, I’m a little nervous.
  2. I’m nervous that we should paint the window and door casing on the brick sunroom the light blue/gray instead of white, but it’s a much smaller profile of casing – which is more period-appropriate. I just don’t want it to be ALL WHITE and have it feel like it’s missing that accent color. Those windows are so gorgeous and I want them to be highlighted. Luckily if that were the case, painting the light gray over the white would be easy-ish and likely something we could do ourselves.
  3. Is our white too white? Maybe? What has made me feel better is that we held up the paint sticker onto the old house on the property (the one from the 1850s – see below) and it matched perfectly.
original 1850’s house with bright white paint

I’m honestly just as eager to see how it turns out as you are. Some days I feel super confident in our decisions. ARCIFORM has been really involved in the more architectural decisions (like railing, stairs, windows and doors) and I trust them so much. Other times I’m nervous as this isn’t my wheelhouse and it’s super permanent. But I’m standing by my own advice – no matter what we will make it look GOOD. Will it be on the safer side? Probably. But that’s ok 🙂 I’d rather be safe when it comes to these relatively permanent decisions than regret that we went too trendy or playful. We are erring on the side of “classic and timeless” and I don’t think any of our decisions go against that – YET. 🙂 And I know that truly no one else will ever notice (except you guys as I point them out) the tiny things I wish I had done slightly differently. Remember (as I’m telling myself) this is the stage where you find yourself obsessing about how things are turning out, noticing that some things aren’t as you had pictured. But I promise you (me) that when it’s all done you will likely not notice them. It’s like we are standing in front of the mirror only wearing a blouse. You don’t have the full picture so you overanalyze the stitching, the fit, and the shade of color. But you have to trust that once you get the full outfit on, an outfit that you painstakingly curated, it will look amazing.

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Colleen S
1 month ago

I love the soft blue-gray you chose. White with black will always be classic but lately it’s getting overdone in the modern farmhouse HGTV style.

We just moved into a house with very ugly brown brick and made the decision to paint it white with Romadio mineral paint. We had to work with bronze windows and a brown shingle roof so chose a soft white (they matched it to SW Alabaster), with BM Revere Pewter for trim and BM Wedgwood Gray for the front door. It was transformative and we are so happy with the results. Our new neighbors across the street even put a note in our mailbox: “Thank you for improving our view! Your house looks beautiful.”

Colleen S
1 month ago
Reply to  Colleen S

Here is one shot of the front door.

Lacy Ellsworth
1 month ago
Reply to  Colleen S

I was going to suggest Emily look into Romabio for the brick sunroom. Assuming you’re using speciality vinyl paint for the siding, that will not adhere to the brick as well, latex is what most people use but it chips and peels on brick. You can get a brick paint in other brands but Romabio is the best.

Colleen S
1 month ago
Reply to  Lacy Ellsworth

Yes, Romabio— thanks for the correct spelling! And sorry my photo didn’t attach. Not sure what I’m doing wrong.

Atiya
1 month ago
Reply to  Colleen S

Completely agree about white + black trim getting overdone. I live in a 1950s neighborhood of beautiful custom midcentury ranch homes that are getting torn down one by one and replaced with developer-built white + black trim farmhouse McMansions. They all look the same!! It’s ridiculous. Really glad you steered away from that, Emily.

1 month ago
Reply to  Colleen S

Since we moved into our little cottage in a rural agricultural valley several years ago, I dreamed of painting it white with black trim. And then, the year before we were set to put on new siding and paint, 3 houses on my block chose that color scheme.
So yeah, it’s being done to death.
I kept thinking about it though, but ultimately came to the same decision as Emily– it felt too busy, especially on our small house. The contrast also made the black feel very heavy to me.
We still have small black accents in the exterior lighting, porch railing, and door hardware and it’s enough contrast without screaming “black trim!”.

wally
1 month ago

I agree – I would love a bluer color. Oregon gets so grey so much of the year, a little blue will bring in memories of happier weather.

Caro
1 month ago
Reply to  wally

I don’t agree. Outside colors always look much brighter anyway. Let the architecture of the house speak. No need to put a lot of bright makeup on a beautiful face!

Lacy Ellsworth
1 month ago

I’m surprised you’d choose a bright white for the exterior. Professional designers steer away from a too true white because it can be painfully glaring and will look dirtier faster than a warmer white. It might match the white of the Victorian, but that also looks dirty in the photos, so while that helps dim the brightness a little, it’s not clean looking. I suppose the Portland cloudiness will help it not look so bright, but than it might just look even colder, especially with the blue gray trim, which I love btw. And sorry, you see this a lot but you need an editor.

Becks
1 month ago
Reply to  Lacy Ellsworth

Yes to this, our designer steered us away from a bright white because of this exact reason.

1 month ago
Reply to  Lacy Ellsworth

Was thinking the same. I stayed away from bright white for that reason, especially as I’d seen how glaring several white houses in our neighborhood could be. Portland gets a lot of grey days but when it is sunny it is BRIGHT.
And I will always agree with a friend who lamented that she could never understand why so many PNW houses are painted with grey– like we don’t get enough grey here???
A warmer blue or farmhouse green in a similar tone to the doors would be lovely, although I must admit, the color Emily chose is definitely in keeping with her style, which IMO runs a bit more classic/traditional.

priscilla
1 month ago
Reply to  Lesley

having just told emily to trust her gut and lean on brian, our neighbor just painted their dingy mossy green house a delightful, almost too blue blue with white trim. i had my doubts when i saw the big swatches they painted but it’s really cute.

Caro
1 month ago
Reply to  Lacy Ellsworth

I agree. Don’t chose a too bright white. Outside colors always look so much brighter!

LAUREN
1 month ago
Reply to  Lacy Ellsworth

Our house is bright white (in Portland) and I can’t face towards in it in the summer because it’s so bright and gives me a headache. We are planning on painting it a muted white, with grey undertones to help absorb the light.

Kelly
1 month ago

Maybe you could do a sample wall on the little old house to see if you like how it looks – a test wall of sorts?

Donna
1 month ago

Maria Killam is a color expert and she has several posts of her blog as well as a master class in choosing exterior color for your house. https://mariakillam.com/exterior-colour-masterclass/ I’m an artist, and I can dawdle over house paint colors to no end., to the point of mixing my own (not a good idea when you have to duplicate the color) I have found her advice to be spot on and her methods have helped me to be decisive and confident. The house is looking lovely!!!

Donna
1 month ago
Reply to  Donna

*on* her blog

Katherine
1 month ago
Reply to  Donna

I had her pick exterior paint colors for us and it turned out amazing!

priscilla
1 month ago
Reply to  Donna

Maria knows her stuff for sure

lora
1 month ago
Reply to  Donna

I came to recommend Maria Killams color advice too.

Rhealyn
1 month ago

Nothing beats big paint samples on your actual house to help make a final call, BUT! HOT TIP!!! For a very nominal fee, you can pay a designer on Etsy to help you brainstorm colors and photoshop them onto pics of your house. We used BlackCatInteriors and they were phenomenal! It was a few hundred dollars (a good investment when you consider the cost of repainting the whole house if you hate it!), and included I think 4 options and then several rounds of “tweaks.” Highly, highly recommend. For a lay person, I’m fairly good with color, but HATED the outcome the last time we painted the house and then had to live with it for 7 years. Felt much more confident in my decision this time around!

Stevie
1 month ago

when faced with paralyzing indecision, something that helps me is to remember there is always more than one right answer. Almost never in right is one choice good and all others bad. Often, you’re obsessing to get to the “most right” when the “second-most right” is also truly great!

Stevie
1 month ago
Reply to  Stevie

Typo. It should read:
“almost never in LIFE is one choice good and all others bad”

MKP
1 month ago
Reply to  Stevie

This is such a good point!

🥰 Rusty
1 month ago
Reply to  Stevie

Yes! Like Emily says “Done is better than perfect.”

Angela
1 month ago
Reply to  Stevie

Yes! Another thing that helps…oftentimes, decisions are so difficult because when we obsess over two things for a long time, we get attached to BOTH, so it becomes harder and harder to eliminate one option. If two options are very close, I’ve learned to quickly just pick one, knowing that it’ll only get harder and harder the longer I live with both.

🥰 Rusty
1 month ago
Reply to  Angela

Good point.

Ellie
1 month ago
Reply to  Angela

Such interesting and helpful observations, for life really!

Karen
1 month ago

You must put LARGE paint swatches of the white on the house to make sure it’s the right white. You cannot choose an exterior color based on a stick-on swatch. Both of those colors seem quite bright white for exterior. I am not sure about the gray trim for the bottom windows. I’d prefer the windows to be more cohesive. If I understand correctly, the top floor windows and the sunroom windows will all be painted bright white, but the first floor windows will have the gray trim, gray tinted windows and a white strip between the two grays. That sounds odd to me. I personally think the windows, especially since they are all different, would look best kept white. Good luck- I think choosing exterior paint colors is very difficult.

1 month ago

I agree, painting the exterior in white is a difficult decision. I made a panel with 15 shades of, let´s say, white, although pure white does nort actually exist for exterior paint except for traditional “encalado” in Spain and Greece (Andalucia, Ibiza) , and I put them it against the wall once the exterior tiles and roof tiles were in place. As the style is, more or less, spanish colonial with spanish gres light red terracotta like tiles and red roof tiles, what I liked the most was a white that has a green shade in it. When you see it, it normally looks white, but once against the snow it looked more greenish. I think pure white requires a lot of sun and bright light to look beautiful. If not, it can look “cheap” Later, I read that for exterior it is better that walls are tinted with the opposite color to the floor, this is the reason red terracotta tiles look good with a greenish white exterior. I must say that many people have complimented me on the colour of the exterior. The say it looks beautiful and expensive, which I think is a great compliment as paint… Read more »

Amber
1 month ago
Reply to  Asuncion

I agree with this. Whites in Portugal or Greece etc. work because the sun is so intense (and the contest you mention). That’s also what made bright white work on the modern LA house.

But Portland is grey a lot. I am reminded that dark rooms look dingy with white walls. I kind of think the same is true for exteriors.

Amber
1 month ago
Reply to  Amber

Ugh. Contrast. Thanks autocorrect.

Lane
1 month ago

Those colors are beautiful. I also like the whites you chose for other projects. There’s no right answer. Obviously bright white works in your neighborhood so your white house will fit right in, which is important. I like both a black and a gray-blue trim. Which ever you choose do it with a conviction. I also am not decisive at times, there are too many good options. It’s easier to recommend things to others than to figure out what I will like in my home in a longer term. This is probably not a good approach as all things can be sold, updated, fixed or replaced over time.

Lane
1 month ago
Reply to  Lane

I meant to say that there’s no One right answer. Lots of great options. And most of the paint colors you’re picking from will work very well.

Roberta Davis
1 month ago

Exterior paint colors are tricky! Even if you are a color expert, it seems that exteriors play be a slightly different set of rules! I’m sure this is going to look great. It’s probably good that all the others felt the same way and you went with their vote.

Kristi A
1 month ago

It’s going to look great! I love that you trust your village when you need to.

🥰 Rusty
1 month ago

Funny, not funny … I’m great at choosing permanent, exterior, paint colours, but curtains? Phoot!🤣

There are sooooo ms8ny light grey houses with crisp white trim around my historic neighbourhood and other older neighbourhoods. I’m totally over it! 😐
However, the reverse – white with light grey trim – is much more palatable.

BUUUT … I truly think ALL the window trims should match, AND …. they should be THE SAME BLUE AS THE DOORS! 💙

It’s such a large building that the cohesiveness is critical, or it will look like a bit-of-this-bit-of-that, like it did when you bought it.

“– is it the dog? Or the blue trim?” THIS! This is what happens to my brsin ehen I see scruffy dawgs in pics!🐾🐾

1 month ago

Thank you for sharing such nice information. I like it very much.

Betsy
1 month ago

I just painted my exterior SW Pure White. My trim is Extra White. Honestly, I can barely see the difference now that the whole house is painted. I LOVE the way it looks. But I live in a ranch, with wood shingle siding, so much different than the farmhouse. But my entire front of the house does have a covered porch. My aunt gasped when she saw it. She LOVES it so much. She is a designer, so I took her shock as the ultimate compliment. But it could also be that my house was a very dark charcoal gray, with white trim, before. It’s been white for about a month now, and I am still super happy. My green bushes look stunning, against the white backdrop. Remember, it’s only paint. I know how expensive a new paint job is, but it can be changed.

Anne
1 month ago

Your color choices are lovely. You actually can paint aluminum sahses if you change your mind. We painted our aluminum-sided cottage with Sherwinn Williams paint and it has held up nicely.

Lesley
1 month ago

The white frame between the grayer sash and the trim would make me nuts. The previous owner of our house installed composite windows in a bright white. I went round and round on siding/trim colors but in the end the only trim color I could stomach was a white to match the windows, to make them disappear as much as possible. And then since I don’t like a medium or dark siding with bright white trim (though that’s ubiquitous here in Portland!), I realized I had to go with a light siding color. We chose Benjamin Moore Moonshine (greenish undertone) and it looks awesome—an interesting off white that never goes yellow and is so beautiful with our garden.

Lesley
1 month ago
Reply to  Lesley

Here’s the Moonshine siding. Columns, fascia, and barge boards are BM Castle Peak Gray (actually an olive green that looks more green in sun).

28A29BA7-D6BD-4487-8E9E-1AB1439FD35A.jpeg
Dawn Neditch
1 month ago

Are you really going to paint that beautiful brick? It adds so much texture to the exterior.

Bo
1 month ago

It seems only fair that if Brian got the house color you get the trim color. Knowing nothing about the Pacific Northwest (other than having a son in Portland) in winter does this not factor into your color decisions? Won’t it change your perceptions, for example, if you go too gray on the trim?

Patricia
1 month ago

I hear you. We had a brick Tudor revival house in Seattle, and I wanted the trim to be black against the warm brick. Gutters were brick red and the roof was the darkest shingle color I could find. My painter suggested a color. And then I drove myself crazy buying every possible shade of darkest charcoal paint test pot I could find. Some skewed purple or brown. Nothing was ‘perfect’. Finally, I had to commit and wound up picking the painter’s recommended trim color. And I loved it.

The Kitten Abides
1 month ago

Perhaps it’s sooo many years living in San Francisco and New Orleans, but personally I find white houses seriously dull and boring . . . but as I always say, “To each, their peach.”

However, I DID rather like the white house with the black trim and the black addition. I thought that was REALLY interesting and stood out from the usual white house/colored trim yada, yada, yada.

Just my .02

Paula
1 month ago

Yeah, traditional houses were often painted white because it was cheap. So, you see a lot of them. When I see a lot of white houses (especially on a wooden sided house), I think “cheap.”

Kelley
1 month ago

Maybe it’s different IRL, but SW “Online” makes me feel the opposite of happy 🙁 I feel like your gut is telling you to go blue-r.. trust it! I’m sure it’ll look great no matter what, but could you try something like SW Olympus White or Dew Drop?

Paula
1 month ago

I find grey trim depressing, drab, and a real downer. Too bad you can’t paint the sunroom a different color — that’s a look I really like. I guess white is …. safe? Just seems expected and a little boring.

Carrie
1 month ago

I would have totally gone with a dark green trim like on the old house. *shrug* I like grey – my living room is grey – but the rest of my house is colors, including the outside (light green stucco, which I did not choose since it was built with that color in 1959, but have no intention of ever changing!) I just lean toward more color being better/more interesting.

Karyn Meadows
1 month ago

After all the myriad decisions you’ve had to make on the remodel, I can understand why you are now in decision paralysis. Been there, done that! But in this case, you are talking about paint. Paint can be re-painted, easily. Might cost a bit but still, it’s def not permanent and it’s changeable. So try to relax and take a breath.
–From another indecisive decision-maker!!

1 month ago

We are always the worst with our own home. I always think I’ll try different whites but 100% if the time I go back to my old stand by. Simply White. It’s going to be amazing and if it’s not, it’s just paint!!

1 month ago

Dear Emily, please trust. your. gut. on this color issue. If bright white with a bluer gray than “online” feels happier for you, DO IT. There will be plenty of gray to go around in the atmosphere, your house doesn’t have to be gray too. Blue and white is so very classic farmhouse and homey, and if it speaks to you, go with it.
Signed, a fellow sun lover who lived in the very gray PNW. Having a cheery bright green door to come home to helped me a lot.

Jessica
1 month ago
Reply to  Maura

I so agree with Maura. Please use for voice with what you are so good at. Your color sense has a slightly quirky feel and it is part of your genius. You can envision what other very talented people cannot. Trust what got you here.

1 month ago
Reply to  Maura

actually this is a hilarious oversight, our last house in the PNW which we didn’t live in very long was…surprise…a cheery gray blue farmhouse style (opposite your plan though, blue with white trim) outside Seattle. It looked bluer in the sun but everything skewed more gray on overcast days – definitely go more blue if it speaks to you. here’s a link to a shot I took on a gray day comment image

🥰 Rusty
1 month ago
Reply to  Maura

Luverly!

Mariele
1 month ago
Reply to  Maura

It’s a very pretty color, but maybe I need to be committed, because it looks the opposite of cheery to me. 🙁

julie
1 month ago

Love what you are doing to your house! Gotta say that for me, the house by jean stoffer design just floats my boat! The dark sunroom, the copper gutters all playing nicely off the white…be still my heart.

Asha
1 month ago

I think your white and gray will be so completely lovely against a green garden. And Oh my goodness, can I relate to the decision paralysis! I am a graphic designer building a small 1920’s style english revival cottage in a historic district…we are to flooring install and I just had no idea our build would be literally thousands of design decisions! I have been busy doing “to scale” drawings in Adobe Illustrator of every possible scenario, lol.

Shar
1 month ago

my partner and I both grew up in Oregon (though different parts) and both grew up in white homes with green trim that our parents still live in today! When we buy a home I know it will be white with green trim. My parents’ home – outside Eugene – is warmer white with dark forest green trim and my partner’s parent’s home is bright white with eucalyptus trim (my lingo – he says “Kermit” green which I vehemently disagree with). Both are perfect for their pace! I love the colors you’ve chosen and think they will also be perfect for your space! Oregon is so funny that way – the season and the sunshine really do change everything. Only you can know what is best!

Heidi
1 month ago
Reply to  Shar

I can’t get over white with green trim. It always makes me smile and it’s so very Anne Shirley, which is what I also love about the current puff sleeve trend! My house is bright white and it’s making me wish I’d painted the trim green haha.

Sherry Kobashigawa
1 month ago

Thank you so much for sharing that you feel paralyzed and afraid of making a mistake. I think as Designers we see so much that’s it just feels so hard to make decisions for ourselves. It’s so much easier when it’s someone else’s space! Love the white! The options you’re looking at are my go to’s. Its going to be beautiful!

Caro
1 month ago

In case of doubt: go less bright with the white then you want! That always gets better!

Susanna
1 month ago

Did you really need to use 1,240, 592 words to decide which white you like?

Hilary
1 month ago

I find it fascinating how many choices there are to consider with exterior colors, and how many hidden things drive us. The style of the home, the quality of the architecture, the tastes of the homeowners, the style and color of other homes in the neighborhood, historical references related to the home’s style, not to mention every person’s personal memories, nostalgia, attachment, hates, loves, etc. More than almost any other design decision, I feel like exterior paint is something that’s hard to comment on unless one is being asked specifically for advice. Especially on a blog, where we can’t see all this information, there are about 10 zillion factors that only someone inside their own head would know…

priscilla
1 month ago

Gurrrrrrrl, I feel your pain. But listen, I’ve “known” you a long time now, and I know it WILL be fab. Yes, there are a zillion ways to go, but trust your gut, not your head. Your head is only trying to make things better, but don’t listen. You really can’t go wrong with the colors you choose, and remember this (which is what I have famously said every time i painted my living room a different color because I hated the one I just painted), it’s only paint. So, the last time i had my house painted the painter asked what color. I had some leftover paint in the basement which I pointed him to and said, paint it the same color. Whoo-eee, was that a mistake. instead of soft yellow with dark green shutters, i got scream-in-your-face Y E L L O W, emphasis on the “YELL”. I hated it and myself for a couple of weeks, then guess what? I got used to it and love it. (I have learned my lesson and will specify the right color the next time we paint). It’s going to be fab, Emily, so trust your gut and lean on Brian.… Read more »

priscilla
1 month ago
Reply to  priscilla

omg, after reading a lot of the (all legit) comments, I’M getting paint anxiety!

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