How Does Your Dream Home Stack Up To The Best-Selling House Plan In America?

 

Everyone has an idea of their dream home. I bet when you imagine your dream home it is filled with personal style and amenities to make your life easier and more enjoyable. My dream is to have a perfect little "jewel box" of a home that is smaller than what most people imagine but my dream home is more luxury than extra space.

What is your dream home like? I bet it is far different than the dream home of your parents or grandparents. You may have similar dreams for your family and our future but today our vision of what makes an ideal home are different than they were in post-War America when developers considered rows of similar homes to be the perfectly planned suburban neighborhoods.

Today home builders have shaken the 1950's idea of a "one size/style fits most" approach. They know that the perfect homogeneity that developers once imposed is no longer a match for the range of today's families and their needs.

And when it comes to finding a home with your dream design it’s easy to be envision lots of the details you want. It is just as important to choose a home that not only meets your individual needs but also considers where you'll be building, the typography of your lot, the look of the natural landscape and whether it will be marketable to future buyers.

Often the best way to do this is by simply looking at lots of home styles and floor plans. Companies like The House Designers offer what seems like unlimited options for your floor plan and home style. With so many different designs I was curious about which one was their most popular house plan.

House Plan 1895 - L'Attesa di Vita is an affordable, mid-size home featuring classic Craftsman details in a 2,091 square foot design.

Their most popular house plan is #1895 - L'Attesa di Vita. It is an affordable, mid-size home featuring classic Craftsman details in a 2,091 square foot design.

House Plan 7878 - Vita di Lusso is a luxury version of the classic L'Attesa di Vita featuring high-end Craftsman detailing, a 3-car garage and a finished walkout basement.

For those wanting more, the house plan #7878 - Vita di Lusso is a luxury version of the classic L'Attesa di Vita featuring high-end Craftsman detailing, a 3-car garage and a finished walkout basement.

Both of these dream homes are topped off with a designer roof from DaVinci Roofscapes that adds to the beauty of the exterior and gives both of these home Craftsman-Style Curb Appeal.

If you are ready to start working on making your dream home a reality you don't want to miss your chance to Vote for the New Look of America's Best-Selling House Plan! Win up to $1,000 in Prizes!!! But don't wait. Voting ends on October 10, 2016.

0Comments

How to Get Craftsman-Style Curb Appeal

By Laura Gaskill, Houzz

The Craftsman-style home is one of the most charming (and popular) home styles in America, and it’s no wonder — from the rich, earthy colors to the beautiful architectural details and warm, welcoming front porch, there’s a lot to love about Craftsman homes. Make your Craftsman-style home look its best with these tips for choosing paint colors, windows, doors, landscaping and more.

Roots of Style: See What Defines a Craftsman Home

 


FGY Architects, original photo on Houzz

 

Nature-inspired color palette. Craftsman style is deeply influenced by nature, so turn to rich, natural hues for the exterior color palette. Soft olive green, earthy browns and cream (rather than stark white) allow the home to settle into its surroundings. Shingles are the most common exterior finish by far among Craftsman homes, and these can always be left natural with a clear finish if you do not wish to paint them. With so many architectural details, it is common to use at least two or three different complementary shades on the exterior to highlight the craftsmanship.

Don’t forget to test! The warm, earthy hues of the Craftsman palette can look wonderful when they work, but some colors (especially greens) can be tricky to get right. Be sure to test any color you are considering using so you can actually see it in situ, not only on a tiny paint chip. If you are feeling unsure about picking colors, consider hiring a color consultant to help with the process.

 


Moore Architects PC, original photo on Houzz

 

Go more modern (with caution). If you’re not a huge fan of the earth tone look, you can go with a more modern gray or “greige.” Just keep it a little bit muddy to pay homage to your home’s Craftsman roots, and choose an off-white rather than pure white for trim. A comfortable porch. Play up a deep porch with a few carefully chosen pieces — a Craftsman-style bench or pair of rockers and a cluster of potted plants will do the trick. If your home’s original tapered or double columns have been covered over or removed by a past owner’s renovations, consider working with an architect to renew the porch to its former glory.

 


Moore Architects PC, original photo on Houzz

 

Multipane windows and doors. Typically, Craftsman homes have double-hung windows with either a four-over-one or six-over-one pattern, while doors nearly always have panes of glass in the upper portion of the door.

When to replace your door. If your home’s door is original, but in not-so-good shape, you may be able to revive it with a good sanding and a fresh stain, plus new Craftsman-style hardware. If, however, your home’s original door was long ago replaced with a modern version, a new solid-wood Craftsman-style front door can be a worthy investment, since this is really the centerpiece of your home’s facade.

Charm with lighting. Options abound for Craftsman-style exterior light fixtures — one of the most popular is a lantern-style with multiple panes. Lanterns echo the multi-paned windows and doors of the typical Craftsman home, making for a put-together, intentionally designed look.

Quality craftsmanship. If you are adding any details to the exterior or landscape of your Craftsman-style home, it pays to seek out the highest quality craftsmanship you can — after all, it’s not called Craftsman style for nothing! Beautiful details on a fence or garden gate will echo the architecture of your home and enhance the view from the street.

 

 
Todd Soli Architects, original photo on Houzz

 

The Craftsman garage. While some original American Craftsman homes were built before garages were common, if your home has a garage it will look its best if the overall style matches the rest of the house.

Naturalistic landscaping. Think of paths that curve and wind, natural stepping stones and native plantings. The best landscaping around a Craftsman home helps the house feel a part of the landscape and neighborhood around it, and it generally stays within a natural, earthy color palette as well.

 


ACM Design, original photo on Houzz

 

Natural elements connect indoors and out. Increase the connection between landscape and home by repeating natural elements from the architecture (such as stone and wood) in the landscape.

Add warmth with copper, bronze and handmade details. Craftsman homes look their best when surrounded by warm-toned metals (like copper and bronze), natural ceramics and wood. Keep this in mind when selecting exterior details, and everything will look as if it’s meant to be together, from the planters to the rain gutters.

0Comments

How To Handle Falling In Love With More Than One At A Time

Recently I worked with a couple who asked my advice on a topic I don't often discuss. They had fallen in love not just once but twice and needed my help.

They were remodeling their home exterior and had been doing their homework on which products and colors they wanted to use. By the time this couple contacted me they had already fallen in love with a DaVinci Slate roof in Smokey Gray. It is a great choice for their home.

They had also fallen in love with the idea of painting the siding of their home brown. They had seen other homes in their New England town that were brown and liked the look. They had looked at many dark browns but it was Benjamin Moore Falcon Brown 1238 that they loved.

DaVinci Roofscapes Multi-width Slate in Smokey Gray alongside Benjamin Moore Falcon Brown 1238

What this couple saw once they painted a section of their home and placed the roofing tile samples next to the dark brown was that the two didn't work well together. The two were both dark and although different in color similar in value (darkness or lightness) and they started to have their doubts that the two colors they fell in love with were going to work well together on their home. That is when they contacted me to give them my thoughts.

Both colors they selected were lovely on their own but were not the best choices together. Their home was large and you could see a good amount of the roof. There home was also shaded by many trees. Even with contrasting trim and a welcoming color on the front door the overall look would still be too dark and could seem a bit ominous. At the same time I understood that they had a vision of their home in brown and gray that they weren't ready to give up on.

Following my "top down" method for selecting home exterior colors it didn't take long before these homeowners and I came up with an alternative we all were happy with.

From two loves to true loves --
DaVinci Roofscapes Multi-width Slate in Smokey Gray and 
Benjamin Moore Bear Creek 1470

We started with the Smokey Gray roof and then looked for a brown that was a little lighter and slightly more gray. After sampling a couple of colors it was Benjamin Moore Bear Creek 1470 that captured the hearts of my homeowners. It isn't a huge change but the color was just different enough to change the exterior dynamic and created exactly the look these homeowners first had in mind.

You might think the reason people make mistakes with choosing color is that they aren't good at picking colors but believe it or not that isn't always the reason. Often is is because they get an idea in their mind and don't know how to create the look unless they use the same exact colors they've seen. Or they might find more than one color that they just love and are blinded to the fact that they don't work well together.

Over the years, I help many homeowners who are purchasing a gorgeous polymer slate or shake roof from DaVinci Roofscapes to choose the right color for their roof as well as the other elements of their exterior. From the choice of 50 color and a whole range of blends it is easy for homeowners to fall in love with one that they really want to use.

The next step is to make sure that all of the elements that will be used on the exterior work together. Since a DaVinci roof last a very long time and plays a major role in creating curb appeal, I always say to start from the top down. 

The roof can be 30 percent or more of what you see as you approach a home. Blending the color of your roofing material with other elements of the home exterior will create an overall cohesive look. When the roof and the main are working together it allows you to have many choices for your trim and accent colors. This also makes it easier to change the color of your front door or shutters and give you home a new look in a few years down the road. 

0Comments

Tips for Adding Curb Appeal to the Home

Want to truly personalize your home exterior? Then National Curb Appeal Month is the time to let your creative spirit kick in!

Kate Smith, chief color maven at Sensational Color, has several tips to get homeowners focused on adding color to their home exteriors in an effort to enhance curb appeal.

  • Designer RoofTip #1 - Consider the fixed features of a home before deciding on what colors to add. These elements include the colors of foundation and chimney materials, like brick, stone and concrete, along with other fixed elements like porches, steps, walkways and retaining walls.

  • Tip #2 - Think about regional colors that might work well on your home. It's fine to have a home that stands out in the neighborhood, but it needs to link in with the overall geography where you live.

  • Tip #3 - Look at your environment. The natural setting and landscaping around your home can help you select colors that complement the existing setting.

  • Tip #4 - Let the style of your home help you determine how bold or subdued you should go with color. For example, bright colors are almost expected on a Victorian home, while more refined colors like off white, dark green and rich chocolate would complement a Ranch style home.

  • Tip #5 - Consider the historic element of the home and let that help lead you to colors that reflect the house's history. Also make sure to check with any homeowner associations you might belong to for possible restrictions on color usage.

 

Two free e-books to help choose the right colors for home exteriors authored by Smith are available on the DaVinci Roofscapes website by clicking HERE!

Looking for more ideas? Visit Exterior Home Textures Boost Curb Appeal and Stuck on Color? No Problem - We Can Help.

0Comments

More Tips For Exterior Color From The Top Down

In my last blog post I gave you the top 3 reasons that homeowners are opting to go with a neutral as the main color for their home more than ever before. I also shared tips on how to set a home apart when starting with a neutral as the main color of the exterior.

Today I'm giving you a few more tips for choosing colors from the top down for your home exterior. Again in these examples, each of the homes below are painted an identical neutrals color. Then starting with the roof I've given you a quick tip for choosing accent colors inspired by your roof color.

To keep the illustrations simple, I'm showing the main accent on the front door and the secondary accent on the trim however you can use these colors in whatever why best suits your home and gives it personality. For example, with a light trim color the secondary color could be used on the shutters. 

If your home has a DaVinci Slate in Smokey Gray or similar color you're in luck. Gray, easily the most popular roofing color, goes with just about every color on a home. Against a neutral base, use one dark version of a color you love and another medium to light version in the same color --- like the blue tones shown here.

DaVinci Slate in European blend is gray with a twist. Mixed in with the mostly gray roof is a bit of muted burgundy. Whenever your roof has a touch of color you can play up the color added to the gray roofing blend by using a deeper or darker shade for the front door. A medium gray accent on trim work brings the entire look together.

DaVinci Slate Aberdeen Blend is a good example of a multi-color roof. With a multi-color roof choose two of its colors as accents for the home exterior. This blend of complementary hues of olive green and brick red bring out the beauty of the roof.

These ideas plus many more tips for creating curb appeal with "Color From The Top Down" are captured in two infographics -- Color From The Top Down Infographic and Top Tips for Creating "Top Down" Curb Appeal. View and download both now with our compliments. And for even more great ideas visit the Color Studio.

0Comments

Tips For Exterior Color From The Top Down

More today than perhaps at any time in the past homeowners are opting to go with a neutral as the main color for their home. There are many reasons neutrals have risen in popularity but these are three of the main reasons. First, there are more neutrals available and they are far more interesting than the old boring beige of years ago. There are chromatic grays and beiges with depth and complexity that give the colors character.

Second, the growing popularity of mixing materials on a home's exterior requires a color that can blend with many different textures, finishes and colors making a neutral the perfect solution. Last, a strong desire to have a home that blends with the environment -- "outdoors in, indoors out" -- and using a neutral as a main color is the easiest way to seamlessly connect a house to its surroundings.

With this movement towards more neutral exteriors many homeowners wonder how they can set their home apart. Choosing colors from the top down is the best way to figure out the right color scheme for your home exterior. For example, each of the homes below are painted an identical neutrals color. Starting with the roof I'll give you a quick tip for choosing accent colors inspired by your roof color that will give your home a unique personality. 

To keep the illustrations simple, I'm showing the main accent on the front door and the secondary accent on the trim however you can use these colors in whatever why best suits your home. For example, with a light trim color the secondary color could be used on the shutters.

If your home has a roof with the tones of DaVinci Shake in Tahoe blend look for an accent color that is enhanced by brown. Green is a natural complement to this shade of brown roofing. Pick a favorite shade from yellow-green to true green (or blue green!) for the front door. A lighter shade of brown for trim work contrasts nicely with this neutral body color.

DaVinci Shake in Mountain is a deep neutral blend that lives between brown and gray. If your home has a roof with warm gray or brown tones warm accent colors are often the best choice. Harmonize colors from the warm side of the color wheel to flow from the roof down. Classic gold on the door and warm grays or bronzes accent the rich tones of this roof color while creating curb appeal on the neutral main color.

DaVinci Shake Autumn Blend is a good example of a red-orange based brown on the roof that is enhanced by a complementary blue-green on the front door. A deep coppery red similar to colors of the roof makes a perfect secondary accent color.

The same idea works well whether your home has DaVinci Shake, DaVinci Slate or any other type of roof. Many of my tips for creating curb appeal with "Color From The Top Down" are captured in two infographics -- Color From The Top Down Infographic and Top Tips for Creating "Top Down" Curb Appeal. View and download both now with our compliments.

0Comments

Color From The Top Down Infographic

Has a home ever caught your eye simply because it was so well put together? The home might not be your favorite style or It might not be painted a color you love but you couldn't help admire its overall look. That’s a home with true curb appeal.

Does your home have curb appeal? If not, now is a great time to think about what steps you need to take to give your home that eye-catching look. August is National Curb Appeal Month and to help you get started we've put together our Color From The Top Down tips to get you started. A great color scheme starting at the roof and flowing down your exterior is a great way to give your home curb appeal, increase its appeal and value.

For more ideas about how to create curb appeal see our infographic Top Tips for Creating "Top Down" Curb Appeal.

You will also find a wealth of information in the DaVinci Roofscapes Color Studio. Go there now download our two free ebooks that give you the step-by-step guidance you need when selecting any colors or products for your exterior.

Now that you know how to add curb appeal to your home get start now. After all it is National Curb Appeal Month.

0Comments

Update Your Driveway and Front Walk to Ramp Up Curb Appeal

Guest Blogger: Laura Gaskill, Houzz

They’re the first thing visitors see when approaching your home (even before they get to the front door), which makes the driveway and front walk the keys to maximizing curb appeal. Here we’ll give you all the details on updating your front walk and driveway, from material choices to costs.

 


Rill Architects, original photo on Houzz

 

Project: Updating the walkway and driveway.

Why: Having a beautiful, well-maintained front walk and driveway increases curb appeal, adds value to your home and makes coming home each day a more pleasant experience. Cracked and damaged walkways and driveways can be dangerous, causing falls and damaging tires; improving this area of your home will add beauty and increase safety.

 


Madson Design, original photo on Houzz

 

Repair, enhance or replace? Repairing an existing driveway or path costs far less, and takes less time, than replacing it. Cracked asphalt can be filled and a new layer of asphalt added over the old. For badly cracked concrete drives and walks, however, repairing is not an option.

How to Reseal Your Asphalt Driveway

If your existing driveway and front walk are in good condition already, consider adding a decorative edging made from brick or pavers to boost curb appeal.

 


Heidi’s Lifestyle Gardens, original photo on Houzz

 

Materials: 

  • Crushed stone and gravel are inexpensive and easy to install, though the gravel will scatter and need replenishing from time to time. Gravel paths and driveways are also difficult to keep cleared of snow.
  • Concrete is long lasting (15 to 30 years and beyond) and smooth, and has a modern look. It does tend to crack in cold conditions and does not take well to patches and repairs.
  • Asphalt has more give than concrete, making it a good choice for cold climates, and is easily patched and repaired. However, asphalt breaks down more quickly, sometimes requiring repairs or replacement within five years, even in a mild climate.
  • Cobblestone and pavers are the longest-lasting option — a cobblestone driveway or walk can last 100 years or more! They are also by far the most expensive options and require the most work initially to prepare the area and lay a foundation for the stone. Repairs are fairly easy with both; you can replace individual stones as needed, making upkeep costs relatively low.

 


Courtney Oldham, original photo on Houzz

 

Costs: They vary by region, but this list can help you compare materials’ relative costs:

  • A path or drive made of gravel> alone costs about $1 per square foot.
  • An asphalt topcoat runs about $2 per square foot; a new asphalt driveway (including a base layer of gravel and several coats of asphalt) costs $3 to $6.50 per square foot.
  • A new poured concrete path or driveway costs around $3 to $4 per square foot.
  • Pavers cost $6 to $10 per square foot installed, and a cobblestone path or drive costs $12 to $30 per square foot installed.

 


Rocco Flore & Sons, Inc., original photo on Houzz

 

Who to hire: A paving contractor, landscape contractor or landscape architect will best be able to help you complete this project. Ask the pros you are considering hiring about their experience with the type of driveway or path you would like to have installed — brick and stone especially require a pro with experience to lay it properly.

Good to know: Your driveway and front walk designs should take both beauty and safety into account. Keep the driveway slope modest and have it properly graded to allow water to run off instead of pool. A gently curving drive or path will take up a bit more real estate, but it can be worth it if you love the look.

 


Knight Construction Design Inc., original photo on Houzz

 

Best time to do this project: Warm, dry weather is ideal. In most regions late spring or summer is the perfect time to lay a new driveway or path.

How long it will take:

  • Crushed stone and gravel can be installed in a single day.
  • Both asphalt and concrete can generally be installed in one weekend. You can use your new asphalt driveway within 24 hours, but concrete takes about seven days to cure before you can drive on it.
  • Cobblestone and pavers take longer to install than the other options — up to a week for a large cobblestone drive. Mortar between stones is usually set and ready to be walked on in about 24 hours.

 

First steps: Look at your existing driveway and front walk with an impartial eye— taking a photograph or asking a friend’s opinion can help. Decide whether you want to repair, enhance or completely replace what you have. Begin gathering inspiration in an ideabook or folder, and make a short list of pros to contact. By the time warm weather rolls around, you will be ready to get started on your home’s new look.

0Comments

Curb Appeal Starts Up on the Roof

During National Curb Appeal Month in August, national color expert Kate Smith reminds everyone that adding "top down" color to a home exterior can enhance its overall curb appeal.

"True curb appeal of a home happens only when all the exterior elements are viewed as a whole," says Smith, chief color maven at Sensational Color. "When evaluating a home's appearance a person needs to first look at the roof, then let their eyes wander down to the siding, windows, door, porch and then the landscaping.

"The colors should 'flow' down the home exterior cohesively. For example, a slate gray roof works well with siding that's painted either pure white or a light shade of gray. Then accent colors of dark red or deep blue could be used for the shutters and entry door to give the home specific color 'pops' that increase the curb appeal."

 

Just because color starts with the roof doesn't mean it has to be boring. At DaVinci Roofscapes, there are 50 different colors to choose from for the roof. (See 50 Shades of DaVinci)

"We offer bright colors like Medium Terracotta and Light Violet for people looking for stand-out roof colors," says Wendy Bruch, marketing manager for DaVinci Roofscapes. "But we also have more subdued colors like Medium Tan, Dark Weathered Gray and Medium Dark Tahoe. And, Slate Black is still one of our most popular colors."

The company also offers four dozen blends of colors, where two or more roofing colors are mixed and matched together on the roof. Up to six colors come in some of DaVinci's standard blends or homeowners can create their own personal color blend online in our Color Designer tool
 

0Comments

Colorful Imitation Slate Shingles from DaVinci

Go ahead and imagine it ... a new composite slate roof sitting atop your home. Now close your eyes. What colors do you imagine for your polymer slate roof?

Whether your answer is Dark Gray, Light New Cedar or even Dark Violet ... at DaVinci Roofscapes we offer 50 standard roofing colors to make your dreams come true.

Designer Roof

 

One of the most fun elements for homeowners when purchasing new synthetic slate roof shingles is picking a color that works well with their home exterior. Our color expert, Kate Smith with Sensational Color, offers great advice on how to select the color that's right for your home (see Top Tips from Color Expert Kate Smith and "Top Down" Color Message from Kate Smith).

One of our key tips is to look at your home from the "top down" to determine a color that will serve as the perfect accent for your home's style. Don't know how to start? Then download our free e-guide: FRESH Color Schemes For Your Home Exterior.  There are lots of color options in the booklet that match up with different styles of homes. Best of all, we take you from the top of your house down to the lawn, so you get color recommendations for your roof, siding, shutters, door and trim!

Here's another tip: you don't have to select just one of our 50 colors. Our blends of two or more colors are especially popular because they add visual depth and character to the roof. For example, a Bellaforté Slate roof in the European-VariBlend includes Light Gray, Medium Gray, Dark Gray and Dark Purple. Or, you could select an imitation slate roof in a bright Sonora blend of Light Terracotta, Medium Terracotta, Dark Terracotta, Light Clay and Dark Clay!

Whichever color (or colors!) you select for your DaVinci polymer slate roof, we're here to make the process a colorful and fun experience. Visit our Color & Inspiration section of our website for more color assistance and ideas!

0Comments

Warming Up Your Home Exterior

Say farewell to the days of harsh exterior color combinations on a house. These days, warmer tones of beiges and neutral hues, plus soft shades of gray, are the colors homeowners are leaning toward for their homes.

According to Kate Smith, color trend forecaster at Sensational Color, homeowners are marrying up warm beige exteriors with trim work and shutters in eye-catching contrasting tones.

Brownstone Blend"Today's homeowners are looking to express quiet sophistication on their home exteriors," says Smith. "That can be achieved by viewing the home from a 'top-down' overview. By starting with the roof and letting the eye travel downwards on the house, different soothing color combinations can be joined to create an overall warm exterior."

As an example, Smith cites a DaVinci Roofscapes® synthetic slate roof in a Brownstone Blend of browns and tans. Flowing down the home, a welcoming Antique White paint on the siding would be offset by a Mahogany front door and accenting trim work in a deep Chocolate.

Castle Gray"Neutral tones of beige and brown certainly warm up a home exterior, but they're not a homeowner's only option," says Smith. "Gray is a popular and powerful color these days. There are softer tones of gray, like Smokey Gray, that easily flow into this trend of creating warmer exteriors."

For this type of home, Smith cites the example of a Castle Gray Blend of roofing that leads the eye visually down the home painted in Silverpointe and accented with Snowcap White trim and Steely Gray shutters. A front door in Ibis Rose or Royal Gray completes the exterior.

For more color tips from Smith, see The Best Shades Of Gray Paint For A Home Exterior. 

0Comments

Understanding Paint Color Undertone

 

When it comes to choosing color for your home, what you don't immediately see about a paint color is as important as what you do notice.

Color is dynamic and energetic. Every color has a vibrant public persona, but it also has more subtle attributes that the human eye does not immediately see. This is what makes color both fascinating and frustrating. One of the most effective techniques for alleviating frustration and mastering color is to understand how color undertones affect what the eye actually sees.

More than meets the eye

It is easy to think that first see about a color gives you all the information you need. But you can't always trust what you see. Often a color’s has qualities that at first are concealed. It isn't until you take a closer look that you discover exactly what a color is all about.

There is the color you first notice but there may also be a quality that is less obvious. This is the color’s undertone and it is often "hidden" and takes a closer look to see. It is important however that you do take a closer look because if you fail to recognize the colors undertone, it will show up when you least expect it. Choosing a color, especially a neutral, without considering the undertone can cause the color schemes you thought was perfect to feel amiss.

Understanding Undertone

To understand undertone you need to know that colors have both mass tone and undertone. Mass tone is the color you immediately see. Undertone is the characteristic of the color that is often concealed when a color is viewed on its own. Undertones become more apparent when a color is place near other colors.

In some colors, the mass tone and undertone are very similar; other colors have undertones that are quite different from their mass tone. A true blue, for example, will have a mass tone and an undertone that are very close to the same hue. However, turquoise has an undertone of either green or blue and periwinkle has an undertone of violet. Sometimes the undertone is referred as the way a color "leans" -- a turquoise that leans blue or a purple that leans red. These undertones are usually easy to see. 

With whites, neutrals and muted colors, that isn’t always the case. The more complex and less pure the color is, the more difficult it can become to determine the undertone. In my experience, either not recognizing, or incorrectly identifying undertone causes most color mishaps.

An example of a well-chosen white. The color blends beautifully with the surrounding
and the
Bellaforté Shake Shingles in Mountain Vari-Blend.

Finding the undertone

Understanding how to select the correct color is important, but selecting the correct color that also has the right undertone is even more important on your home's exterior. Here’s why: if you’ve ever seen or created a scheme that you thought should work, but didn’t, it was probably the undertones threw the scheme off rather than the mass tones of the colors. The specific colors you chose may have had undertones that were fighting each other instead of working together.

The mass tone and the undertone of the colors you select need to work together to create a harmonious color scheme. Now that you understand the importance of identifying the undertone, the next step is to learn how to detect it. For those just learning, the easiest way to see the undertone is to compare one color to another similar color. Start by looking at your chosen color alongside other colors from the same color family. Although the hues all belong to the same color family, you will see how their undertones are different. For example, some blues will lean more purple, while others will lean more green.

Comparing your paint swatch to the purest version of the main color is another way to see the undertone. When you place your blue swatch next to a true or pure blue, the undertones will become apparent.

This technique works for white as well. If you thought white was exempt from the undertone issue, think again. When looking at a white swatch on its own, it may be almost impossible to distinguish the undertone. Look at the same swatch next to pure white and it will mysteriously turn into a faint yellow or pink or some other color. That is the magic of undertone.

Neutral territory

Neutrals are a bit more difficult. You can compare neutrals to other similar neutrals, but that doesn’t guarantee you will easily recognize the color of their undertone. Neutrals are the toughest to get right, but don’t let that discourage you.

One way to confirm the undertone of the neutral you select won't class with your other colors is to place the neutral swatch against pure hues -- red, yellow, blue, green, orange, or purple. If your neutral has a green undertone, placing it next to red (the complement of green) will bring the green undertone out. If the neutral if the neutral has red or pink undertones those will more clearly come into view against green. Yellow undertones pop out against purple, orange against blue,

A little tidbit that can help you to know your right is that while neutrals can have an undertone of any color some are most common:

  • Beiges undertones are green, yellow/gold, red/pink and occasionally orange.
  • Undertones of colors most people describe as a gray are blue, green or purple.
  • Taupe or Greige is a color that is between beige and gray and doesn't lean towards a particular color.
     

Creating harmonies

It’s important to identify the undertone of your paint color because selecting a main color and trim color with harmonious undertones is the secret to creating a successful color scheme. Evaluating the color and its undertones is well worth the effort. Expertly choosing colors that harmonize is the foundation for designing a beautiful exterior. It may seem challenging at first, but like most things – a little effort now will pay off every time you look at your home.

Ready to know even more about choosing color? Here is another post that can help you as you choose your exterior color Color Lesson: Defining Colors

0Comments

Color Tips for Gaining a Warm Home Exterior

Neutral tones of beige, brown and gray are the "in" thing when it comes to color for the home exterior. But don't worry about selecting a color that's just trendy --- these warm, traditional colors are timeless.

"Soft tones of gray, browns and beiges work well with so many different home style exteriors," says Kate Smith, color trends forecaster with Sensational Color. "Always begin by working from the 'top down' on your home. The roof has a huge visual impact and that's the place to start!"

Smith, who offers color guidance to homeowners choosing composite roofing from DaVinci Roofscapes, has compiled these five tips for people ready to take the plunge and warm up the colors of their home exterior:

                       Designer Roof Tip #1 - Use paint samples liberally. Take time to paint out a large enough sample area so you can really see the true color of a chosen paint. The full beauty of many colors, especially a neutral color, isn't always apparent when looking at a small sample. You might be surprised at just how beautiful the color you thought was "too dull" really is when you see the true hue on your home exterior.

                        Tip #2Don't dismiss gray. A great choice for a roof, colors like Smokey Gray can be used with warm or cool neutrals and a wide range of colors on the home exterior. For a house that has natural wood siding or is predominantly brown in color, going with the warmer tones that fall between gray and brown (such as a Mountain Blend) would also work well on a synthetic slate or shake roof.

                        Tip #3 - Surface texture matters. The lightness or darkness of a color, along with the texture of the surface it is applied to, will affect the amount of light reflected. If you are applying paint to stucco or another textured surface, the color will appear darker. If applying paint to a smooth surface, the color will appear lighter.

                        Tip #4 - Go outside with your samples. It's always best to view all color samples and materials (including your roofing options) in the natural light outside your home and at different times of the day. This allows you to see the way the light changes the colors throughout the day and allows you to envision what the product will most closely look like before placing your order.

                        Tip #5 - Accent neutral colors with deep, rich and slightly toned down colors. You can use neutrals, textures and accent colors to give your home personality and make it stand out. Stone, brick and roofing tiles all add texture and depth to a neutral palette. Then, choose a statement color on your front door to turn it into a focal point.

Need more color advice? See Please Help Narrow Down Color Selections... and To Determine The Best Color For Your Roof Start By Looking Down Not Up.

 

            

0Comments

Give Your Home a FRESH look this Summer

The snows have finally melted, but the harsh winter and stormy spring weather has left your home looking a bit shabby. To perk up your home exterior this Summer, 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

 

0Comments

DaVinci Roofscapes Introduces Four New EcoBlend Colors for Cool Roofs

We've done it again. DaVinci Roofscapes has launched four new EcoBlend options approved by the Cool Roof Rating Council (CRRC) to reflect sunlight and heat away from a home or commercial structure. The new color blends all meet Title 24 requirements for California. (See  What is EcoBlend?)

Newly-introduced color blends for EcoBlend polymer shake and slate roofs include: Tahoe-EcoBlend, Mountain-EcoBlend, Brownstone-EcoBlend, and Slate Gray-EcoBlend.

Cool Roof Colors

Cool Roof Colors

"California's newly-adopted 2016 Building Energy Standards (Title 24, Part 6) will require use of more energy-efficient roofing materials starting in 2017," says Ray Rosewall, CEO and president of DaVinci Roofscapes. "We've developed these new roofing color blends to meet, and in some cases exceed, these strict requirements.

"In recent years when wildfires and severe weather conditions have increased on the West Coast we've seen enhanced demand for our DaVinci fire- and impact-resistant synthetic shake and slate roofing products. The newly-introduced EcoBlend color family options allow homeowners and commercial property owners to use our durable roofing tiles while complying with the new Title 24 requirements."

EcoBlend color blends previously accessible from DaVinci Roofscapes and still available include: Weathered Gray-EcoBlend and Castle Gray-EcoBlend.

"While Title 24 is unique to California, structures in all areas of the country can benefit from incorporating EcoBlend roof tiles," says Rosewall. "Because these tiles reflect heat and sunlight away from a structure, they help reduce the cooling load, and as a result, increase energy efficiency of a building."

2Comments

How To Choose The Right Roof For Your "Storybook" Home

Often when someone is telling me about how they want their home to look they use the word "storybook" to describe the style. As far as I know this is not a term used in architectural design, however I do know exactly what the homeowner means.

As we were growing up most of us saw lots of pictures of homes in the books we read. The illustrations often included unusual details, fun shapes and even some not-often-seen in real life colors. Although most of the pictures were stylized, your idea of a quaint home with unique details can be brought to life.

Your home does not need to be large and in fact many of the homes described as "storybook" are small homes or cottages. It does however need to have some details that make it special. After all, that is what captured your heart in the pages of the picture book.

Bellaforté Shake in Mountain-VariBlend

Above is an example of a "storybook" home. From the thick shake roof and details under the roof peaks to the lattice on the windows, exposed beams and window box this little charmer could have come out straight off the page of a children's book.

A "storybook" home looks best with bolder details like a thicker shake that is uneven rather than a traditional single-width shake.

DaVinci Slate also works well on this type of home. I usually recommend a multi-width slate roof alternative for these little dream homes but a single with can work, too especially if it is colorful. Speaking of which - have some fun with the color. Multi-color roof tiles are a perfect fit here. Select multi-width slate in Aberdeen, European, Vineyard or Weathered Green. This is the one type of home where it is better to go with more rather than less when it comes to details.

These homes are so much fun to renovate because the possibilities are just about endless. In fact, usually the only lament is, "There are too many colors and I can't make up my mind". Don't worry I've got you covered on that one. You can see what I recommend here.

0Comments

New Slate Roof Color Scheme Advice Needed

Looking at color schemes for Single Width Slate DaVinci roofing. Initially thought Brownstone-VariBlend would be good but now having some second thoughts. Would like some opinions and ideas.

Thanks.,
Wade

Name: Wade Gaeddert
McPherson, KS
Product: DaVinci Single-Width Slate

****************************************************************************************************************************************************************************

Dear Mr. Gaeddert,

You are among a special group of homeowners, who can't go wrong with any of DaVinci colors. Your home would work with just about every color and style offered. That being said there are a few that I think you would be very happy with so allow me to point those out. In the end it really will just come down to personal taste.

You mentioned DaVinci Single-Width Slate and that would be an excellent profile for your home. I think the straight rows complement the look of your home.

The varied warm tones of the Brownstone-VariBlend would work well. The variation in the brown tones would add additional texture and design to your roof that would be very nice.

Smokey Gray or Slate Gray are other colors to consider. Smokey Gray is darker; Slate Gray lighter and warmer.

Look at the colors while standing outside your home and go with the colors that looks best to you. You really can't go wrong.

Sincerely,

Kate Smith
DaVinci Roofscapes Color Expert

Slate Alternative

0Comments

Color Help for Bellaforté Shake Tiles

Need color suggestions - see attached photos of home - existing cedar shake roof.

David Brunjes
Lake Forest, IL
Product: Bellaforté Shake

*******************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************

Dear Mr. Brunjes,

In the Bellaforté Shake, I recommend either Mountain-VariBlend or Tahoe-VariBlend. The Mountain color is darker and more similar to your current roof and give the home a more formal look than a lighter roof.

The Tahoe color is not quite as dark and is slightly more brown which might be more of the natural shake look you have in mind.

Either of these colors will work very nicely with the color of your brick and the other elements of your home and landscaping I see in the pictures you provided.

The texture of the Bellaforté Shake will give your roof more dimension that will also add to the overall good look of your home.

Sincerely,

Kate Smith
DaVinci Roofscapes Color Expert

Fake Cedar Shake

0Comments

Take Time to Select Composite Roofing Colors

Petite paint chip cards. Tiny fabric swatches. Key-ring sized roofing pieces. How is anyone supposed to make a purchasing decision based on small samples?

At DaVinci Roofscapes, we encourage homeowners to request roofing tiles in the colors you're considering in order to make a smart, educated decision on the roof color that works best for your home. Since you're going to have this durable, impact-resistant polymer roofing for decades to come, make sure to select a color combination that truly accents your home.

Polymer Roof Tiles"We happily send out full-sized samples of either synthetic shake or simulate slate roofing tiles so that homeowners can truly see how different colors look with their home setting," says Megan Stone, marketing program manager with DaVinci Roofscapes. "Nothing compares to standing outside your home and holding the actual tiles up against your siding to see which color works best for your home exterior.

"It's not just about having a good sized sample. It's about seeing what the sample looks like against your home or on your roof at different times of the day, when light hits it differently. Next, homeowners should look at the tiles from every angle of the house. A color that looks great from the southern side of the home may not look as appealing when viewed from the east or west.

"My biggest piece of advice is to not rush a polymer roofing color choice. Your designer roof is an investment that will last for decades ... so take the time to work with your roofer and make the right choice. Spend several days moving the tiles around. Look at them in sunny weather, on cloudy days and in rainy conditions."

Dave and Jeanne Schwab are homeowners who invested the time to select their DaVinci Mountain color blend.

"We took home many of your color options," says Dave Schwab. "We put them on the roof and started removing ones that just didn't fit. Then we would put them back up and get friends to pick their favorite. The Mountain blend was the last color standing. Now that the entire roof is covered with the color, we like it even better!"

For more ideas on color selection of composite roofing, see Is that a Peacock on the Roof? and Try "Top Down" Approach to Unify a Home's Exterior.

0Comments

How Light Affects The Colors Of Your Home

To understand how different types of light affect color you have to know a little about what light is, how it “works”, and its relationship to color.

Light is one of the many waves found on the electromagnetic spectrum. Other waves on the spectrum include ultra violet, radio, microwaves and x-rays. What differentiates light from the others is that it is the only one that can be detected by the human eye.

 

All of the colors we see are a byproduct of spectrum light, as it is reflected off or absorbed into an object. All of the colors we see are a byproduct of spectrum light, as it is reflected off or absorbed into an object. An object that reflects back all of the rays of light will appear white; an object that absorbs all of the rays, black.

​All of the millions of other colors are produced by a combination of light rays being absorbed and reflected. Grass, for example, absorbs all colors except the ones that make up its color of green.

The Effects of Natural Light

Natural light can vary greatly depending on the weather, the season, the time of day, the position of the sun in the sky, the location of the building and where the space is located within the building. Understanding these factors can help you to anticipate how natural light will affect a color.

Light that comes from a northern direction can cast a cool, blue to gray tint on the objects it washes over. Northern light is indirect and can make colors appear darker and less saturated. Keep this in mind as you look at sample of the paint or roofing you are considering. For home facing north you will want to make sure the color you selected comes to life once on your home.

You may need to compensate for the lighting by considering a roof tile or paint color that is slightly lighter than you first thought to give you the look you are after. For your front door or other accent colors on a home that faces north, you may want to go with a color that is slightly more intense. Inside your home, colors that work best with northern light are light in value and clear or bright rather than grayed or muted.

One of the nice things about selecting colors for a northern exposure is that it is the most diffused light and remains quite consistent throughout the day. This is why with northern light, your color both inside and out will look basically the same throughout the day.

Southern light adds to the warmth and beauty of DaVinci Shake in Tahoe-Variblend

On the other hand, homes with a southern exposure will benefit from beautiful warm light however, midday the light can become very intense or glaring. To solve this problem on the interior use colors that are muted with a bit of grey to absorb some of the intense light so the room feels more comfortable.

On the exterior choose colors that won't look washed out in the strong noontime sun. It is extra important to sample your colors and look at them throughout the day or better yet several days to make sure the colors are not too bright in the early morning or late afternoon light.

Like southern light, western exposure is also warm. It cast a yellowish orange light that changes throughout the day as the sun moves across the sky. This light is softer and more yellow in the morning moving to intense and reddish orange in late afternoon. Colors that are warm and not too muted or grayed can work well. Brown and warm earthy color comes to life in southern light. When using blue and green the ones that are warmer can also work well both inside and out.

Light that comes from eastern exposure is between soft and can be bluish or yellowish depending on your location. It is neither as cool as northern light or warm as southern or western light. It enhances lighter colors 

The Effects of Artificial Light

Artificial light supplements natural light so it can important for you to know how a space will be lit when selecting colors. The type of artificial lighting in a space influences how a color looks. Some of the most common sources are fluorescent and incandescent light bulbs, halogen bulbs, and LED lighting.

Halogen lighting is nearly white and the closest to natural light on a clear day around noon. Fluorescent lighting is more bluish although now some fluorescent bulbs produce light bands close to daylight. Incandescent lighting produces a yellowish light.

When thinking about how your lightening and colors will work together, consider that warm, yellowish light can intensify warm colors and mute cooler hues, while cool bluish light does the opposite. For example, incandescent lighting cast warm light that can enhance reds, oranges and yellows; Cool fluorescent light works best with blues, violets and greens.

Look At The Colors In Context

When you know how lighting effects color it can help you to understand why a color doesn't look exactly as you would have expected. But keep in mind that this is only one factor among many that can change how a color appears. There is atmospheric impact, the texture of the surface, and the adjacent colors to name a few. That is why you must make your decisions while looking at the colors exactly where you plan to use them and at different times of day. The more you know about how other factors can change color the better your chances of finding a color you will be pleased with for your home.

PS: If you enjoyed learning about light, I think you'll also like my last post Color Lesson: Defining Colors

0Comments