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. 

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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

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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.

 

            

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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

 

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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."

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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.

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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.

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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

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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
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

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
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.

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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.

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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! 

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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."

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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

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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.

Sincerely,

Kate Smith
DaVinci Roofscapes Color Expert

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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! 

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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.

 

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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

 

 

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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.

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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!

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