Color Lesson: Defining Colors

After working with hundreds of homeowners I know that a little color knowledge can go a long way to end your frustration when choosing colors for your home exterior. What I'm sharing with you today is quick lesson in how understanding the characteristics of color can make choosing the right color easier.

This home featuring DaVinci Single-Width Slate has chosen colors where the hue, value and chroma all work nicely together.

In order to organize and communicate about color we use three characteristics: hue, value and chroma. Now don't click away because you think I'm about to get all scientific on you because I'm not. These are just the technical terms for how you already talk about color everyday. If you’ve ever described a color as light blue gray or deep dark green, you’ve expressed all three of these attributes of color.

Let's break it down because these three characteristics are actually what you are trying to get right. When you don't like a color you've selected it is because one or more of them is off and thus the color is not what you had in mind. That is when the frustration starts. Knowing how to think of the color in terms of its characteristics can put an end to your frustration.

Hue and color are often used synonymously, but hue refers more specifically to the colors of the visual spectrum — red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and violet. These hues, along with the six intermediate hues of red-orange, yellow-orange, blue-green, blue-violet, and red-violet, are the pure colors that circle the color wheel. These twelve hues -- often called color families-- can be blended to produce an untold number of colors.


Value describes the lightness or darkness of a color in terms of how close it is to white or black. Blending black with a pure hue darkens it; conversely adding white lightens it. This changes the amount of light emanating from the color, which changes the color’s value. The lighter the color, the higher its value. For example, navy blue emits less light and has a lower value than sky blue.

The value of the color and texture of the material will affect the amount of light reflected. To help you determine the value of different colors most paint companies include the LRV (Light Reflectance Value) on the back of the color samples or an index for their entire line of paints.

The higher the LRV, the more light reflected. Color with lower LRV reflect less light. A white or very light color will have a high LRV, while a dark one will have a lower LRV.  

Some areas specify that colors be within a certain LRV range. In Tucson, Arizona, there are guidelines that homes must be constructed with materials that fall within a certain LRV range, to ensure an earthy desert look is consistent throughout the town.

Guidelines for LRV are also often used to conserve energy consumption in a building. For example, in a hot climate if you want your home to absorbs less heat you would use a lighter (LRV of 50 or higher) and smoother finish. In cooler climates a darker and more coarsely textured service could serve to keep a home warmer.

Also some materials have LRV recommendations. For example most vinyl manufacturers recommend using a LRV of 55 or higher when painting PVC/Vinyl. 

As you can see there is more to understanding color value than you may have realized.

Chroma is the attribute that expresses the brightness or purity of a color. You may not be familiar with the word chroma, because it is often expressed as intensity or saturation. The human eye does not easily perceive the differences between intensity and saturation, thus the terms are often used interchangeably.

The closer colors are to their pure hue the higher their chroma. High chroma colors are described as clear, pure, brilliant, bright, rich, bold, or vivid. Colors that are less intense or saturated are described as toned-down, soft, muted, subtle, misty, dull, drab or dusty.

This is the characteristic of color that trip people up most when it comes to finding a color that matches the idea of the color they have in mind. Here's why.

When we look at paint samples we are naturally attracted to the color we think look prettiest or best on the color swatch. Those colors however are rarely the ones we like painted on our homes. Once that color that looked so pretty in the paint store spread out over one or two stories you may find that it looks too bright and much more colorful than what you had in mind when you were looking at the swatch.

If you were to look at a home painted in a color you love and then went to the store to find the actual color I bet you'd be surprised at how blah it looks compared to the colors in the fan deck. That is because the full beauty isn't apparent when looking at that small sample especially under artificial lighting. Once you see this less "colorful" paint on your home it can come to life.

Colors like SW 7657 Tinsmith or SW 7015 Repose Gray might not jump off the paint chip racks at you yet they may be just the color you need to enhance your cedar shake roofing or the stone around entrance. SW 6215 Rocky River may not look like much when you see only a 2" square but wait until you see how beautiful it looks on your shutters. I think you get the point.

The bottom line is that most of the time the colors that will work best on your home exterior are not the ones you think look the prettiest on the swatches. The color you are actually looking for is far more likely to be one of the colors you passed over a first glance thinking it was too dull. Slow down and give some of those more toned down colors a second look. I bet the color you fall in love with on the exterior of your home will not be a color that first caught your attention.


Color Risks Not To Take

Have you ever wanted to be bolder with your color choices? Try something that really stands out or shouts "wow"? If so, I say, 

"Go for it!"

The only caveat I'll add is that you make wise choices about where, when and how you get adventurous with color.

Don't Turn A Short-Lived Fascination Into Your Long Term Solution

If you want to top off your look with bright blue strands like Katy Perry or rainbow highlights like Selena Gomez give it a try. It would be best to wait until after an important job interview or big day to dye your hair but other than that, why not? You can take that color risk. If you don't love your unconventional hair color no problem. Your hair will grow out or you can recolor it or maybe it was only temporary to begin with. It is a color risk but one without big consequences if it goes wrong.

The time not to take a color risk is when you are topping off your home with a new roof. A roof with a lifetime warranty last a long time so you are going to live with that decision for many years. That doesn't mean you only have to go with black or gray although those are often great choices. All of DaVinci Roofscapes 50 colors are inspired by nature what I consider "can't go wrong" colors. Still if you need some guidance we are here to help. Start by going to the Color Studio where you will find lots of great guidance. If you still need help you can get in touch by going to "Get Advice From Our Color Expert"

Multi-Width Slate in Aberdeen was a wise not risky choice for this home.

When Choosing Colors And Patterns, Don't Create Confusion

In fashion mixing prints and patterns is often said to be one of the riskiest trends. However, when you get it right, it can give you a show stopping look. For mixing patterns in fashion you may hear that the way to go is to stick with the same color families in the prints. That can work but you don't have to use all of the same colors. The real key is to make sure that one of the patterns, regardless of the colors, acts as a neutral. Not necessarily that it is a neutral color but neutral because the pattern doesn't call too much attention to itself. So go ahead and combine patterns with many colors. Just keep in mind that all of the prints can be different but only one or two can really stand out. 

When choosing a roof or other materials with texture or pattern for your home you need to keep that same advice in mind. For example, when choosing roofing tiles, you can choose a single color with soft variation, several similar colors or multi colors. The same is true in materials such as stone or brick. It is the variation between the colors that accentuates the pattern. When you mix these different colors, textures and patterns on a home exterior they cannot all compete for attention. If your home is a solid color brick that can act as your neutral when adding a patterned roof such as DaVinci Slate in Aberdeen, Vineyard or European blends. If you brick has lots of variation of colors in it then the roof should not include lots of color or pattern variations or it will compete with the brick pattern. A roof that is more solid in color will allow the brick to stand out and the two elements will work together to create a cohesive look.

You Can Overdo Accessories But Not Accent Colors

As Michael Kors says, "I've always thought of accessories as the exclamation point of a woman's outfit." I couldn't agree more and encourage to take risks with color and style when it comes to accessorizing your style. Personally, I follow the "more is better" philosophy of Iris Apfel. Take risks with your accessories and accent colors. And if you aren't sure it works take this bit of advice from Coco Chanel, who gave this advice about dressing with accessories, “Before you leave the house, look in the mirror and take one thing off.”

The way I think about accents and accessories for you home exterior is almost the opposite of the way I think about these things in fashion. On your exterior more is not always better. A few well-placed color and accent pieces are going to give your home the best look. Too many will keep your eye jumping from place to place never allowing it to focus on any one spot. Figure out the one or two things about the front of you home that make a statement. Then you can find ways to use embellish or call attention to these features. Color is a great way to have those elements grab the spotlight. Painting your front an eye-catching color calls attention to your entrance. An accent roof can highlight an attractive bay window. The colors on your patio that link to the colors inside can fool the eye and make the interior space feel larger.

You Don't Need To Be Cautious With Color

Once you understand where, when and how it makes sense to take risks with color and when it doesn't you can make choices that work well for you. So go on and get a bit bolder with your color choices. Sometimes risks are worth taking.


From the Architect's Corner - Choosing a Color

With 50 individual colors and 7 product lines to choose from, we'll admit that we offer a lot of choices to our customers. Spending my days working with architects and other design professionals, I see the work that goes into making sure you choose not only the right product for your clients, but also the right color for their homes or projects. We offer a variety of tools to help, any of which we'd love for you to take advantage of:

1. The Project Specialist - at DaVinci Roofscapes, everybody who is interested in learning more about our products is a customer, not just somebody who works in the building material field. We have folks here at the plant who are dedicated to talking exclusively to homeowners. They can attest, the majority of their days are spent on the phone with folks who are ready to roof, but need assistance in choosing a color. They are happy to take a look at photos of the house (or future house), paint samples, siding samples, or brick/stone samples, and make suggestions on what product and color may look best. To get in touch with a Project Specialist click here

2. Color Expert Advice - for several years now we've been working with Kate Smith, a Color Expert and owner of Sensational Color. Kate has written two books for us, the most popular outlining her F.R.E.S.H. Approach, which guides homeowners and designers on a simple and methodical way at choosing exterior color. You can download these books for free by clicking here, or, if you are in need of some credit hours, you can take the continuing education course that is online and based off this book. Click here and you will jump over to AEC Daily for this free online learning course. 

3. Samples - This is probably the most important thing in choosing color. You can't decide until you see it in person, and we offer samples of any product in any standard color for free. While we can do the best we can with good photography of our blends on our website, blogs, and literature, seeing the samples outside, in the sun, next to the building's other major fixed features is the only way to choose a color. We offer color chips, individual tiles, and sample boards in every product in every color blend, and we're happy to send as many as you need for your project. 

Also, we will always stress the importance of putting your samples outside (even nailing them up on your roof, if you can) and watching them for several days in all lighting. This is recommended as a photo is just a snapshot of a color at one moment in time. The color of a roof can shift throughout the day, all due to lighting, so it is important that a color is approved after seeing it at all times of the day. See below. These photos show the same product and color blend, but they look pretty different because of the lighting at the time of day the photo was taken, as well as other factors, like the direction of the house, the cloud cast, and the time of year. One photo shows the Mountain Blend looking pretty brown and the other shows it looking more gray. Same product and color, different lighting.

Fake Shake


Happy Friday, Architects! 


Shades of Gray in Richmond

If you're planning a trip to Richmond, Va. in the future, make sure to include a "tour of DaVinci Roofscapes polymer roofs."

It's easy to do. Just visit Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens and make sure to pass by the Evelyn D. Reinhart House at St. Mary's Hospital. Both these locations have sustainable roofing from DaVinci.

When you're at the botanical gardens, visit the Bloemendaal House, built in 1884. With views of Lakeside Lake, the historic home hosts wedding receptions, small events and unique functions. And, atop the two-story house you'll find Bellaforté Slate roofing tiles in Castle Gray --- the perfect accent for the lovely setting.

On the campus of St. Mary's Hospital you'll find the spacious new 14,000-square-foot Evelyn D. Reinhart House. The structure includes 16 guest rooms and is used for guests of the hospital as a "home away from home." On top of this beautiful building you'll find Single-Width DaVinci roofing tiles in Slate Gray.

Evelyn D. Reinhardt HouseIt's no surprise that shades of gray are so popular on these Richmond roofs. According to color expert Kate Smith with Sensational Color, gray is a classic, timeless color. (See The Power of Gray)

"Gray is a color with historic roots that is at home on a beach bungalow or a stately mansion," says Smith. "Shades of gray continue to increase in popularity because of the color's widespread appeal.

"The color gray reflects the finer things in life, a respect for history, and a love of colors that are as complex as we are. Gray tones are mysterious in many ways ... especially in how they can both 'carry' a color scheme or sit back and serve as a bolster to other colors."


Going for a "Florida Look"

We have worked hard to change our 40 year old home into a "Florida look" home. We first painted the brown brick with a Niagara product called Niagara Coatings, and then found a similar color shingle roof. We wanted to blend our home and make it look bigger. Now it's time to re-roof and when we looked for a similar color product, we found you. We are open to new ideas as well.

Michelle Myers
St. Catharines, Ontario
Product: DaVinci


Dear Ms. Myers,

Your home does show the "Florida look" influence you were going after. To keep that same look in the future you will want to stay with a light roof.

Although not shown on the website we do have a few whites/lights that are available to you - Katie can let you know about the specific options available to you. I think we have a custom color that has been done and is close to the color of your existing roof however it is difficult for me to get a good read on the exact color from your photograph.

Alternately, you could go with a pale to light gray. There are several that you can see in the Color Designer Tool and again Katie can help you with colors.

As you consider your roof color, don't be afraid to go away from a true gray. As long as you stick to a light or pale color you can carry off the same look. Light Gray, Light Weathered Gray or even Light Chesapeake. Sometimes a slight change instead of an exact replacement can be just enough to make you feel like you've updated your entire look if that is what you are hoping for with the new roof.

I hope that gives you the insight you are looking for as you choose a new roof for your "sunny" home.


Kate Smith
DaVinci Roofscapes Color Expert


Gray at Home - A Trendy Color

When it comes to home exteriors, gray is a true neutral that "plays well" with all other colors.

Fake SlateColor expert Kate Smith relates that neutral gray can set the stage for creating a cohesive color scheme for the many materials used in a New American house and other home styles.

"Traditional homes are appealing for tones of medium or deep gray, accented with lighter trim and strong accent colors," says Smith, with Sensational Color. "Ranch style homes benefit from going with two tones of gray --- one for the designer roof and one for the siding --- to give the illusion of height to balance the strong horizontal design of a Ranch.

"You'll also find that gray can balance the multi-color schemes found on Victorian homes. And, on any style home, gray is an appealing alternative to white or off-white as a trim choice."

Inside the home, Smith says that homeowners are requesting gray in everything from cabinetry to flooring to furniture. "Gone are the days of matching metals," says Smith. "Today, incorporating different metals and finishes is the way to go. People are mixing the gray of silver, pewter and chrome with the warm tones of gold, iron and copper. These are unique ways that gray proves its staying power as a stable color both inside and outside our homes."

For gray polymer roofing color options from DaVinci Roofscapes, see Don't Hide Your Gray! 


Choosing The Right Color For A Stucco Home

When it comes to choosing a color for a stucco home three blends of composite slate are selected time-and-time again by homeowners Canyon, Brownstone and Sonora.

Once that decision is made most homeowner turn their attention to selecting the main color for the body of their home.

Tan is a traditional color that works well on stucco. My recommendation is to go a bit lighter rather than darker when selecting a nice neutral tan. A color like PPG Pittsburgh Paints FLLW840 Wright Grey Tan would be a good choice.

Brownstone composite roof is the right color for this stucco homeYellow is another color that is often used on stucco. Finding the perfect yellow or gold can be a bit tricky so take your time and always test out a large patch before giving the painters the go aheand. Yellow visually expands very quickly as you go from the color that looked just right on the small swatch to a large wall on your home's exterior. Suddenly your color may seem way too bold or bright. Look for a toned down golden yellow or wheat rather than a true yellow. One that I like is PPG Pittsburgh Paints Turning Oakleaf PPG1107-3

White is color for stucco. Sherwin-Williams Alabaster or Benjamin Moore Simply White are popular choices. Take a good look at the white you choose by comparing it to other white paint chips. This will help you to really see the color and its undertone. Some whites are bright and clear, others grayed down a bit and still others are a bit pink or blue or yellow, etc.

Most homeowners prefer a true white or one that is slightly yellow. White that is slightly grayed down is another type of white that works well. Steer clear of any whites that have a pink or blue undertone when you compare them with other whites. The reason that this is important with stucco is that the textured nature of the stucco tends to make subtle undertones of the color you choose stand out as the light of the day changes. For example, even a hint of yellow or gold in your white paint can make your home take on a slightly golden glow at sunrise or sunset. This would be very nice with your roof color whereas a bluish cast would not be as attractive. 

As for accent colors, use one color on your stucco banding, and trim (soffits, fascia, door trim, garage doors etc.). Use a second color on the front door to create a focal point. A stained front door is a nice choice while a paint door will have more contrast. Traditionally blues, blue/green or greens were used although just about any color could work. Why not go non-traditional with a color you love. Just find the right tone so that it stands out while fitting into your overall scheme. 

Do you want to step out and try a non-traditional color for the body of your home? Green, pink or just about any color could be a possibility. It is important to remember that a little color can go a long way. Go too bright, bold or strong and your color will feel overwhelming. It also may not go over well with the neighbors. A hint of an unexpected color may be all you need to give your stucco home a big personality.



Royal Enthusiasm

Anticipation in Kansas City is high. This is the weekend our beloved Kansas City Royals come home to launch the 2016 baseball season.

After their spectacular win against the New York Mets at the 2015 World Series (see In It to Win It!), it's sheer luck that our team gets the chance to open the season at Kauffman Stadium against the Mets. This is a match-up not to be missed!

At DaVinci Roofscapes we're "Forever Royal" fans. Our manufacturing operations are just outside Kansas City and we're convinced there's blue running through our veins. 

During recent trade shows, we proudly displayed samples of Royal Blue composite roofing tiles we created at the request of some uber Royals fans. The blue tiles generated lots of attention and several positive comments for our favorite baseball team.

Danny Lipford, with Today's Homeowner with Danny Lipford, was so taken with the blue tiles that he posted pictures of himself "going blue" in our booth!

Designer Roof




Find Out What Color The Easter Bunny Chose For His Lifetime Roof

Recently I was asked to provide color consulting services for a very special client, The Easter Bunny. Mr. Bunny needed to put a new roof on his home. After researching all of the options, he wanted a luxury roof from DaVinci Roofscapes. But, like many homeowners, he wasn't sure how to choose just the right color. They asked me to give him my color advice.

With good reason I thought that Mr. Bunny would want a custom blend that was as bright and colorful as the eggs he dyes each year. I explained that we could make a special color roof or roof tile blend in any color his warm and fuzzy heart desired. I even showed him a couple of examples of a beautiful blue and perfect pink that we had custom blended for two princesses living in Florida to spark his imagination. Much to my surprise that wasn't what he had in mind at all.

One of the things that had attracted him to DaVinci, in addition to its resistance to impact, hail and fire, was that all 50 polymer roofing colors were inspired by nature. Rather than a brightly-colored storybook roof, he wanted one that would blend in with the surroundings. While he likes his egg dyeing studio to be bright and attention-getting, for his home Mr. Bunny wanted to create a hideaway that insures that after the busy Spring season he will be able to rest and relax undisturbed. Now that I understood, I was able to go in a different direction with my recommendation. I narrowed it down and had the awesome DaVinci customer care team send out samples for him to look at on his roof.

Because it was so close to Easter I decided to send him a little surprise that would drive home the point of just how natural the synthetic slate and shake roofing tiles look. I dyed a very special dozen eggs in a variety of DaVinci colors. The eggs arrived with the roofing samples and a note challenging Mr. Bunny to hide these eggs around his home and hold a special egg hunt to see if his friends could find these eggs. I felt confident that these special eggs would be camouflaged so well that they would be hard to find, if they are found at all.

Luckily after the special egg hunt, as I expected, even his color specialist had a difficult time finding the eggs hidden among the stones, soil, grasses and other colors of the natural landscape. Eventually those with the most discerning eye for color were able to find most of the eggs but there are still two or three yet to be located.

The Easter Bunny is satisfied. He confidently selected the mix of colors I had recommend in Bellaforte Slate. Now when Mr. Bunny hops down the trail to his burrow after a long season he will be welcomed to his own private hideaway. With a solid roof overhead in a color that blends with his natural surrounding he can relax into a much-deserved rest.


Gray on the Rooftop

Up on the roof, shades of gray attract the attention of homeowners nationwide year-after-year. How does DaVinci Roofscapes respond to that desire for gray? By offering an abundance of polymer roofing options in shades of gray!

Composite Slate Roof"Fourteen of our 50 standard composite roofing colors reflect a shade of gray," says Mark Hansen, vice president of sales and marketing at DaVinci Roofscapes. "That's because so many people request gray colors for their designer roofs. We continue to add shades of gray to meet the demand of homeowners nationwide.

"The Smokey Gray color we introduced in 2015 has become an instant favorite. Slate Gray, our number one seller, comes in a refined gray, like a grey wolf.

"However, Smokey Gray is more charcoal in nature with a deep richness. Some of the best custom blends we've seen recently include both of these popular gray colors plus a Medium Gray or Light Chesapeake."

Can't get enough of gray? See our stories on The Power of Gray and Don't Hide Your Gray!


Be "Loyal Royal" with a Royal Blue Roof!

Designer RoofIt's looking really blue in Surprise, Arizona these days. That's because the Kansas City Royals --- our World Series winning champions --- are there at Surprise Stadium for Spring Training.

The team is playing every day in preparation for the first game of the season on April 1 against the Arizona Diamondbacks ... then they head home for their season opener on April 3 against the New York Mets. Yes, the same team they beat three games to one in last year's World Series! (See Blue October in Kansas City!)

It's an exciting time to be a "Loyal Royal" fan. At DaVinci Roofscapes, we've actually received a few calls from Kansas City residents interested in showing their team pride in a very unique way --- with a custom blue polymer roof!

Die-hard fans have come to the right place for that roof. The DaVinci team is ready to create Royal Blue composite slate or synthetic shake roofing tiles for any fan ... just give us a call!


Going Grayer --- Popular Shades of Gray Roofing

From sizzling book titles to whales to the hair of famous actors, the color gray has never been more popular. That's especially true in the roofing industry.

"Gray is a classic, timeless color, so it's really no surprise that the color gray is an essential element in the home exterior palette," says Kate Smith, chief color maven at Sensational Color. "Gray is a color with historic roots that is at home on a beach bungalow or a stately mansion. Shades of gray continue to increase in popularity because of the color's widespread appeal. (See Going Gray on Top)


Gray Slate  Polymer Slate


"The color gray reflects the finer things in life, a respect for history, and a love of colors that are as complex as we are. Gray tones are mysterious in many ways ... especially in how they can both 'carry' a color scheme or sit back and serve as a bolster to other colors."

According to Smith, architects and home builders lean on the color gray to unify diverse materials and textures both inside and outside the home. "There's almost no home exterior that wouldn't work with a gray roof," says Smith. "Perhaps that's why Slate Gray is the repeat number one best seller in polymer slate and shake roofing products at DaVinci Roofscapes."


Give Your Home a FRESH look this Spring

The snows have finally melted, but the harsh winter weather has left your home looking a bit shabby. To perk up your home exterior this Spring, get FRESH.

DaVinci Roofscapes offers two free e-books that can help re-fresh your home exterior from the top down. (See Free E-Books Help You Select New Polymer Roofing in 2016)

The first e-book, FRESH Home Exterior Colors, offers 5 steps for finding the perfect hues for your home exterior. This FRESH approach involves selecting the perfect colors for the outside of your home based on:

Polymer RoofingFixed Features

Regional Colors

Environment and Surroundings

Style of the Home

Historic and Have-to-Use Colors

By putting it all together and viewing your home exterior as a whole unit (from the roof down to the siding, windows, front door, trim and garage doors) the e-book helps you pick the best colors for your home.

But, what about your home's style? That's where e-book #2 can help.

FRESH Color Schemes for Your Home Exterior identifies seven different home styles (such as Colonial, New American and Victorian) and then shows you samples of colors that really work for each home style. So, whether your home is a Ranch, Spanish Mission or European style, we have pages dedicated to helping you bring the perfect "top down color" to your home for a memorable Spring spruce-up!

Find more FRESH insights at Adding Color to Lightweight Roofing Tiles on Colonial-Style HomesRed Roofs Popular on Spanish Mission Style Homes and Victorian Homes Beg for Colorful Accents



The Power Of Color On Your Home Exterior

March is a month for celebrating color! The International Colour Association has named March 21st as International Colour Day dedicated to understanding color - one of the most influential phenomena in our lives. It is also Color Therapy Month dedicated to celebrating the healing power of color.

International Colour Day and Color Therapy Month


According to Color Therapy Month founder Eleyne-Mari (a color therapist and director of Aura House School of Color and Light), March was selected for Color Therapy Month because it typically conjures thoughts of colorful rainbows and the color green, which represents prosperity, good health, renewal and growth.

Marking both the beginning of spring and International Colour Day March 21st seems a perfect time to think about color in relation to your home because this is the time of year when many of us start putting together our plans for what we will do to improve our home exteriors.

To celebrate the power of color how about some "color therapy" for your home? With the focus on green this month together with the fact that natural greens are on trend I thought it would be a great time to share some of my favorites ways to had green's power of prosperity, well-being, and renewal to your home. As always I like to look at color from the top down.

If I suggested green for your roof you might think about the bright green metal of a farmhouse and cringe at the thought. No need to think I'm asking you to jump into the color deep end. Take a look at these gorgeous and environmentally friendly roofs from DaVinci Roofscapes in Weathered Green and Evergreen Variblend. Now we're talking green roofing options that even a color-shy person can love. 

DaVinci Multi-Width Synthetic Slate Shingles Weathered Green
DaVinci Multi-Width Slate Weathered Green

​Bellaforté Fake Slate Evergreen Variblend
Bellaforté Slate Evergreen-VariBlend

You could also add copper accents on your exterior that as they age the patina turns them a lovely shade of green called verdigris.

If you prefer a green that you think is too dark or too vibrant to be used as a main color on your home consider using it as an accent color. Green can be a good choice as a complement to brick or to add life to neutral siding or stained wood.

Green exterior color with Therma-Tru front door
Image courtesy of Therma-Tru Doors

Haas Green Garage Door
Image courtesy of Hass Garage Door

And of course you can always use green as the main color on your home exterior. When you think about color therapy for your home (aka updating your exterior) think about green as a way to help you use the power of color to bring even more prosperity and well-being into your home.


And The Winner Is...

A couple of years I ago I was the hostess for the Leo Awards. I thought it might be my big break and that before long I could be hosting the Grammy's or CMA awards. A gal can keep dreaming, right? I'll still waiting for the call and in the meantime I'll keep my award-announcing skills honed by telling you about some winning roofing solutions.

Fake Shake

With incredible character and strength I don't think anyone will be surprised that the winner of
Best Synthetic Shake Roofing in a lead role goes to Bellaforté Shake Mountain-VariBlend.


The winner of the Best Shake Shingle Roof Design goes to the beautiful blend of colors and
impeccable installation of the DaVinci Multi-Width Shake Autumn Blend Roofing System.


With outstanding performance and unparalleled elegance the Award for Technical Achievement
goes to DaVinci Multi-Width Shake Tahoe Blend.


The winner of Best Visual Effects Of A Designer Roof goes to Bellaforté Slate Evergreen-VariBlend
for the natural beauty of its color technology.


Europe's slate roofing colors are still admired but today's homeowners demand higher quality and less maintenance.
The Best Foreign Inspired Solution: DaVinci Roofscapes Single Width Slate European-VariBlend
wins over demanding homeowners over and over again.


Fake Slate

I saved my favorite award for last. The winner of the New Color Of The Year. This year the award goes to
a color that gained instant popularity - Smokey Gray. This is a color that is perfect for just about every home.
It is available in all three Slate Profiles, and can even be used on DaVinci Shake roof tiles.


Year-after-year DaVinci wins over the most discerning homeowners. While I may never get that call, I'm quite happy to be here telling you all about the color and style of DaVinci Roofscapes award-worthy architectural shingles week-after-week.


Bad News for Cupid

Oh no! Cupid has an important job to do, but he's been thwarted by homes with impact-resistant DaVinci Roofscapes polymer shake and slate tiles overhead.

"Time is tight and I'm trying to shoot my love messages to people in homes, but the DaVinci roofs are really getting in my way," says Cupid. "I'm using all my strength, but my arrows are simply bouncing off the DaVinci roofs."

Cupid has discovered what many homeowners have already learned --- DaVinci synthetic slate and imitation shake roofing tiles are Class 4 rated for impact resistance, plus they have a Class A fire rating, so even flaming arrows won't damage them.

"Synthetic roof tiles are durable in all kinds of situations," says Wendy Bruch, marketing manager with DaVinci Roofscapes. "Our roofs normally have to stand up to hail, high winds, snow and other weather conditions that Mother Nature throws at them. So, unfortunately for Cupid, he's going to have to find another way to deliver his heartfelt messages."

The good news for Cupid is that he can see DaVinci roofs in shades of his favorite color --- red --- during his romantic travels.(See Red, Red Roof)

Designer RoofIn Stamford, Conn. the Villa Maria Guadalupe Retreat has a custom terracotta color blend of DaVinci Multi-Width Slate on its roof to accent the restful setting of the Mediterranean-style complex and gardens. (See Terracotta-Hued Roof Added to Villa Maria Guadalupe Retreat).

And, in Greenwood, Penn. homeowner Ellen Greenwood recently had a custom adobe red composite slate roof put on her 1867 white farmhouse to complement a nearby classic red metal roof on a stone barn.

Gillespie Contracting helped Greenwood get the red roof of her dreams. "The owner had a very specific shade of red in mind for her roof and I had confidence DaVinci could deliver," says Bill Gillespie, president of Gillespie Contracting. "The final choice on product selection came down to DaVinci and another faux slate. Mrs. Greenwood compared both products side by side and felt the DaVinci simulated slate roofing was more durable and sturdier than the other option."

Durable, colorful and arrow puncture-proof. A winning combination sure to impress even Cupid.


100 Year Old Dutch Colonial


We are going to replace our roof in the next year. Our home is a 100 year old Dutch Colonial style. Huge roof on our 2.5 story home. What recommendations do you have for the color blends for shingle roof.

If you need additional pictures I can send some more.


Omaha, NE

Product: Shingles




Dear Ms. Knowles,

Among the things I consider when making recommendations the style of the home is a key factor. You can sometimes deviate from what has been used in the past but for a Dutch Colonial sticking with a historic look is the best decision.

The DaVinci Single-Width Shake is my preference because it will have a more uniform look. The Multi-Width Shake would also work but keep in mind the staggered placement may be too much texture for the traditional look.

I also recommend going with a color that is similar to natural cedar and has slight color variations rather than a distinct pattern. Tahoe-VariBlend or Autumn-VariBlend both fit that criteria. It looks like either would go nicely with the brick on your home, too.


Kate Smith
DaVinci Roofscapes Color Expert

Fake Cedar Shake


Best Red For A Home Exterior

Valentine’s Day is almost here, and red can be seen just about everywhere. While you're surrounded by this vibrant hue I thought it would be a good time to ask you to think about the color red. What comes to mind?

This hue has more personal associations than any other color, but there are two that are most common. Red calls to mind love, romance, and passion: the hearts of Valentine's Day or the sexy woman in a red dress. Yet red also is associated with fast cars, aggressive behavior, and even rage, made explicit in the expression "seeing red".

So how is it that the same color has come to represent two powerful emotions that seem so very different? It’s because red is inherently exciting. It stimulates energy and increases your blood pressure, respiration, heartbeat, and pulse rate. Love and rage both produce similar physical reactions. Love can make your heart beat a little faster and your palms sweat. Anger also raises your blood pressure and increases your heart rate, but for a different reason.

Love, anger, and the color red all produce changes in our body that are very similar and signal that you need to respond. This makes red an attention-getter at an emotional level in addition to it being a bright, eye-grabbing color. 

Red can be a great color for your exterior. It works especially well as an accent color. Put red on areas of your home where you want to draw attention like the front door or shutters. It can also be a great main color but take the time to find the right red

With a variety of shades from traditional barn red to vivid watermelon, you have a wide range to choose from. Here a few of my favorite reds for your home exterior.

Best red for a home exterior


Benjamin Moore's Cottage Red PM-15 was the color I recommended when last year's Shake It Up color contest winner wanted to take her cute cottage from faded pink to barn red. Just look at the difference this color made in adding charm and presence to this home and I think you can see why Cottage Red is on the list of best red for a home exterior. If you need stain rather than paint Sherwin-Williams SW 3020 Cape Cod Red
Exterior Solid Stain
 or Cabot O.V.T. Solid Color Stain Barn Red are also among what I consider the best reds.

For a front door or shutters I often use a more vivid red. The best red for home exterior doors are Farrow & Ball Rectory Red 217, Benjamin-Moore Caliente AF-290 or Moroccan Red 1309Pittsburgh Paints Ruby Lips 434-7, and Sherwin-Williams Poinsettia SW6594, Lusty Red SW6863 or Heartthrob SW 6866.

If you are looking for a red that will work well with the color of your composite slate or shake roofing here is a general rule of thumb to follow. If you're shake or slate roof shingles are neutral gray you can use either just about any tone of red. Select one that compliments the other colors on your home.

If your slate or shake roofing material is warm brown, terra cotta red, or even a very warm gray use a red that is slightly more orange than burgundy or pink. If you slate or shake roofing is cool gray, bluish or green then a cooler red will probably be a better choice.


Home Exterior Color Trends For 2016: Natural Green

Color Trends 2016 Paradise Found

An appreciation of our natural environment along with being more conscious of the long term impact everyday actions will have in the future continue to influence trends. Some ways this is manifesting include homeowners:

  • choosing quality over quantity and looking for products that are produced responsibly
  • doing research to find the best long-term products for their home to reduce the need for replacement
  • putting more thought into how their decisions impact the bigger picture in the future
  • being drawn to nature-inspired colors

A color that has been trending for many years and continues in this year's palette is green. Unlike the greens of past years, which were more warm or leaned towards yellow-green, this year's color is a cooler grayed green with blue undertones.


This is a beautiful color that blends so well with that landscape that it was called "The Paint Color That Can Make Ugly Stuff "Disappear" by House Beautiful in an article about how in Disney World this color is "used on utility structures, back doors, and other less-magical sights that Disney doesn't want guests to notice.

When using a green like DaVinci Evergreen (shown above) or Weathered Green polymer roof tiles this color will anchor the home and give it a sense of place in the natural environment. 

I'm not the only one that is a big fan of this color for 2016. PPG PITTSBURGH PAINTS® brands named Paradise Found – a serious, aloe green – as its 2016 Color of the Year they said that, "The green is inspired by consumers’ search for security, protection, privacy and resilience in an uncertain world." As consumers look to embrace future-forward lifestyles and designs, color experts from PPG Industries, anticipate Paradise Found will play a prominent role in home decor trends and styles, giving homeowners a silent guard and a sturdy, reassuring color for those wary of growing threats to global, national and cyber security."

Paradise Found (PPG1135-5) is reminiscent natural environments and reflects our society’s increasing focus on the development of personal strength, safety and security.

They chose a familiar shade of green that feels solid and protective. “An edgy-yet-comforting green like Paradise Found hints at nature while still touching on neutrality,” said Dee Schlotter, senior color marketing manager, PPG Architectural Coatings, U.S. and Canada. “The 2016 Color of the Year provides the sense of strength, energy and comforting familiarity that consumers need to feel confident embracing newness and change.”

Green might not be your first thought when searching for a new color for your home exterior but it is worth considering a comforting, well-balanced green to give your home style and the sense of comfort and security.

You might also enjoy my previous post on 2016 Color Trends: Wondering What Color Trends You'll Be Seeing in 2016? Here's A Sneak Peek!


Home Exterior Color Trends For 2016: White Feels Right

This year I'm talking about a color that doesn't often come up in a conversation about color trends -- White!

Yes, white. This non-color is getting attention this year because it just feels right to many people for many reasons. White is clean and uncluttered. It is a color we associate with a fresh start or new beginnings. It the proverbial blank canvas. White gives us a place to rest our eyes and space to clear our minds. Who doesn't find those qualities attractive after another way-too-busy day?

When it comes to home design white and off-white are timeless. They are traditional, modern and every style in between because there are myriad ways to use white especially on a home exterior.

White makes the most of interesting architectural details, it helps the details stand apart from the main color. Even with a white-on-white scheme the shadows created when light hits white define trim, dental molding, window frames, cornices and other architectural elements.

Black and white is a classic look that is the ultimate in contrast. A white exterior with black slate roof tiles and black shutters is a look that is hard to beat. White trim against any dark main color is dramatic or dark accents against a primarily white home play up the high contrast in another way.

Fake Slate

This year's white with its slightly warm undertones works well with muted medium shades and the diverse mix of materials so popular on a home exterior today. I especially like this warm white with DaVinci Slate Gray (shown above), or Smokey Gray roofing shingles.

My prediction of white as an important color in 2016 was proven correct when both Benjamin Moore and Sherwin-Williams selected white as their 2016 Color of the Year. First Benjamin Moore announced Simply White soon followed by the release of Sherwin-Williams Alabaster. Suddenly everyone was talking about white. 

Even though white doesn't often find its way onto the roof of American homes it does show up on nearly every other element of a home exterior. So I wanted to give white its due. Go ahead and stand out more proudly than ever white. This is your year!

You might also enjoy my previous post on 2016 Color Trends: Wondering What Color Trends You'll Be Seeing in 2016? Here's A Sneak Peek!