House Colors

Upon first glance, Kev and I both felt like one of the things we’d (eventually) like to change about our new house are the exterior paint colors. Or should I say- color. Right now, the whole thing is pretty much completely covered in one single shade of tan. The body, the trim, the underskirt, the railings, the doors…heck, even the actual windows are tan.

This is where I squirm a little, thinking to myself- “Self: what if someone reading this has an all tan house, too?” If so, please know that this is totally a personal preference thing. Kev and I seem to be drawn to blue/green/grays and a little more variation between design elements when it comes to exterior palettes- but we fully understand that some folks are more comfortable with neutrals and a tone on tone look. I definitely don’t think there’s a right or wrong when it comes to any of this stuff. It just boils down to what colors make your heart sing!

That said, Kev and I have found that choosing exterior paint colors can be super tricky and quite intimidating. Fortunately, there are several homes in our neighborhood that we can draw color inspiration from this time around. As a matter of fact, there’s a house on our street that may already be sporting the very colors we’ll end up using on our place. Check it out:

The body color is called Distant Mountain. It’s a very pale blue/green/gray. The trim and underskirt color is a creamy off-white called Cameo. The front door color is Artisan Brown. They’re all Glidden colors.

I (quickly) used Photoshop to see what that palette would (sort of ) look like on our house.

PS- I’m not chained to the back door color. I just kind of threw it in there to see what a different color looked like there.

Painting the exterior of our house will definitely not happen for a while though. Lots of walls to paint inside the house first!

House Colors - Part Two
Our New House - Second Floor

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  1. Judy says

    I really appreciate that you refrain from “demonizing” a particular color. It puts me off when designers do that. I think there are no bad colors, it’s all how you combine them, what you do with them, and what speaks to you.

  2. Barbara Martinez says

    We used Pittsburg Paints Balsam for the outside of our house. It’s similar to the one you’ve shown but maybe a little bit deeper. It’s a blue-green with a touch of silver. I love it.

  3. Angela says

    The tone-on-tone is definitely to mimic a historic house. Up here in MA you see it a lot…I have the same issue ( I much prefer a contrast in trim to siding so that the corner boards & window sash stand out against the siding), only rather than all tan, I have all RED!! Cute when there’s snow everywhere (picture a Christmas card!) but a bit too much the rest of the time! I hope to paint the exterior in the next couple years, too!

  4. Elizabeth L says

    We just added a back porch and painted the ceiling blue- love it! Whatever you all pick will look great, you all have great taste!! Enjoy the process!!

  5. Peggy says

    …just love the grey/white look – what a beautiful neighborhood. The front of the house looks like the house I grew up in – just love that everything old is new again!

  6. says

    Our house was tan on tan too when we bought it. Now it’s a happy sunshiney yellow! I can’t wait to see what you choose. It will be beautiful!

  7. Sue S. says

    Layla, congratulations on your new house! Love your blog and daily emails. Do you know who is the manufacturer of your door with the 4 panes of glass? I love it! I’m in the process of updating my doors and I’ve never seen this one. Thanks. Sue

  8. says

    When we bought our house. the entire house, inside and out was what I now call “old man tan” with a touch of darker brown trim. It was awful. A couple years ago we finally painted our little cottage beautiful colors and its amazing how many of our neighbors came to tell us how happy it makes them to see it.

  9. says

    White railings and porch posts would be a great change! I can see your house looking awesome in a darker blue also. Maybe not navy, but a rich marine blue/teal color? With gray for the lowest parts? Definitely need a light blue ceiling on the porch. Love that! :) I’m so excited for you guys. The thing I’m loving the most about your new house so far is all the great interior trim, moulding, and doors! Nice.

  10. karen says

    I would also start by giving a big punch of color to the doors first and maybe the shutters, too, to tone down the tan and add character and color. The tan isn’t bad, but, it’s just A LOT OF TAN. Once you add all of your awesome design accessories, the tan may not scream at you so loudly.

  11. says

    Ha! I knew you were planning on painting the exterior. I was thinking an off white with dark shutters would look great. The only thing about white is it gets so dirty so fast. I just repainted my trim white last week and it’s already dirty! The body of my house is painted a medium blue-gray and it’s held up well. When it was a dark gray I noticed it would look faded in spots from the sun. Medium paint colors are nice because it’s less maintenance, but I love white for your house. Just be sure to invest in a pressure washer!

  12. gena says

    I am so gald to see this post….I am building a similar house and I am really having a hard time choosing paint colors, my builder suggested a dark grey but I was thinking the same as you..the outside of my house which must match the outside, the inside of my house is white kitchen trim and darker wood floors. I really wanted a lighter grey for the outside of our house and I love your color choices and everyones suggestions. I am having trouble finding the color antique marble…is that from sherwin williams?

  13. says

    I have a 1933 A&C Bungalow and it needs a paint job, but I almost (almost!)think sometimes I just want to vinyl side the thing. That is how much I hate keeping up the paint job! It’s a tough decision to decide on another color because it’s such a big investment. Time and money. I was thinking grey, black, cream combo. IDK:/

  14. says

    Layla, love the house! Question, it seems very big for only a two bedroom? Looking forward to all the changes.

  15. Amy says

    I think it’s cool the way you can see what it would look like in a different color. I wish I knew how to do that!

  16. says

    First thing I thought when I saw the photo of the house the other day was…oh…they are going to HAVE to paint that. It is drab….drab…drab. Great looking house…it will come alive with new paint colors.

  17. Lisa K. says

    I am so excited that you are blogging more frequently now that you have a new house! :-) Your blog is the first one I check during my computer time and I’m looking forward to all the updates on your new cottage. Your style is so fresh and everything you do is just a “yes” & “amen”!


  18. Tracy says

    Congratulations on your new home! It’s absolutely lovely.

    I often dream of a front door painted tiffany blue…oh to dream….
    I’m a condo dweller so that won’t be happening for me anytime soon! lol

    Your ceiling though is just screaming for a blue……maybe Tiffany Blue!

    Whatever you decide, I can bet on anything, it will be gorgeous!

    xoxo Tracy

  19. says

    How exciting! I can’t wait to see what all you’re going to do with this wonderful home! BTW I live right down the street from you, well kinda, I’m between Prattville and Montgomery!

  20. jolieanne says

    I know I am not alone when it comes anxiously waiting for a few photos of the inside of your new home! Even if it is not your style right now it will be fun to see inside! I moved into a new house and no one had ever lived in it before so I had to change a lot.
    But it wasn’t too bad since there was no wallpaper or carpet.
    But the kitchen tile was so 1990’s looking 2 different colors
    one was a border of chocolate brown tile! Love it now, just as you
    will, too! I loved the way you had lovingly created your last home’s interior.

    • Layla says

      Hi! Thanks for visiting today! 😀 You can actually see pics of the inside of the house if you hit the “older” posts link at the bottom of this post. Lots of work to do to personalize it, but we’re looking forward to it! :-)

  21. Ter'e Crow Lindsay says

    What color are the houses on either side of you?????
    Watch your mail……………..I am sending you 10 of my families OLD, tried and true recipes! Enjoy!!!!!!
    Welcome to your new home!!!!!!!

  22. Sandra Hughes says

    The new place is adorable. It instantly reminded me of a favorite historical place we visited. Abraham Lincoln’s home in Springfield Illinois. So embrace that tan til your ready for that add on. I think a nice deep barn red side entry door would look wonderful. I thought you all would take the old house approach again but I love the fact that its newer. We need ideas on how to add character to a modern house.

  23. Tanya says

    Love this and the greeny colour options you shared. Either will be perfect. I’d love to see a floor plan of your new home…. Please! Xx

  24. Lorrie says

    I just painted my door a shade darker than a robin’s egg blue and I love it. We have linen siding and dark brown shutters.

  25. says

    Paint colors are fun, but always difficult to choose (at least for me). lol

    I am not a ‘tan’ person, but then every new home being built in our area is painted some shade of tan or brown. Why any builder in Oregon would paint a house those colors is beyond me.

    Have fun choosing (and ultimately deciding)!

  26. Kate says

    I really like your house just as it is! It looks restful, peaceful and very welcoming. If you want change, maybe, the shutters, doors, and porch ceilings to start. The exterior looks great! The plants, brick wall, etc. Have fun!

  27. KerryQ says

    Put me in the tan camp. I love that tone-on-tone look. Of course I’m writing this in a 1780 Greek revival home. (that’s white with Exeter green shutters-go figure)

  28. says

    I recently update my cottage kitchen. I have tried all sorts of paint and colors wanting to keep the cottage look. Asmtimewent on I realized that no paint would cover te damaged wood. So I decided to move from my light color choices to a darker Taupe. The cabinets look amazing and I think they still fit with my cottage themed home.

  29. Cathy Mercer says

    Our house is white on white basically. We are considering painting it a slightly warm color and we love the color that you’ve posted here. My question is about the trim on your house. Is it all wood, and paintable. We have alot of the metal covering over our trim, which I hear isn’t paintable, or at least it won’t last. Wondering how house house will look with the warm distant mountain color, but very white trim. Will they compete? Any thoughts? THanks so much, and yes very intimidating process!

    • Layla says

      Hi Cathy!
      I’m SO not sure about exterior colors! I will definitely be consulting with a professional painter when it comes to painting this place- LOL! 😀