house of a different color

May 21st 2013 Comments: 4 Topics: ,

Did you ever look at the color scheme on a house and say “What in hell were they thinking”? I’m currently working on a renovation of an older house and am considering an offbeat color scheme.

This particular house is a late 1800s Victorian in an historic designated district. This means we can change very little, architecturally, on the house’s exterior. The outside color scheme, however, is fair game. Therefore, it’s our sole exterior opportunity to make a design mark. I’ve become curious about doing an almost-black gray house with stark white trim. My research (pictured above) has produced some lovely examples of this combination; oddly traditional yet refreshingly contemporary. A perfect color storm.

This led me to recall some of our other projects which boasted more unusual color schemes -the creasote-blackened farm utility shed with cherry-red trim, the fire-engine-red red farm house and the dirt-brown lake cabin with sickly green window sashes. The owners of these projects allowed us to bravely go out on the paint-chart limb. The results were strikingly daring.

We’ll see how my black and white pitch goes….

Greg Tankersley, for McAlpine Tankersley Architecture


  1. Ashley says:

    ALL of these color combinations are spot on! Perfection! LOVE them!

  2. Christina Duffy says:

    Always amaze. Fabulous!

    Sent from my iPhone

  3. Jon Blunt, ASID says:

    I don’t see these color combinations as “far-out”. I think they are great new interpretations of classic colors. Your work no matter how “new” the idea might be will always have a classic feel.

  4. Lisa van der Reijden says:

    While cruising on a little boat through the canals in Amsterdam I was captivated by the charcoal grey buildings with white trim. some had white mullions with white trim but my favorite was dark grey building, white trim, black mullions…love it!

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