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Choosing An Exterior House Color Scheme


Hey friends! How was your weekend? Hope you enjoyed it and got some R&R!

Last year we put off painting our house, but now there’s no getting around that it has to be done. We have to have a lot of rotted-and-woodpecker-eaten trim replaced, as well as the trim around the front door which is literally falling off the house, and the clapboards are chipping and just an overall hot mess after many New England winters.

We actually like the color that the previous owners had the house painted – Benjamin Moore’s Cromwell Gray – but you know I can’t resist tweaking the color in some way.

Cromwell Gray

A year ago I posted a photo on Instagram when I was thinking of having our then-16 year old son paint it over the summer and I loved the suggestions I got on colors:  “Amherst Gray”, “dark blue”, “yellow”, “charcoal almost black”, “deep coral almost pumpkin”……..all suggestions that I think would look great with our house if it was in the middle of nowhere, but check out the colors of the houses that are around us (my approximation, I didn’t actually go door-to-door asking my neighbors what color their houses are :)). The red, yellow and slate blue-charcoal are across the street and we are between the blue and pale blue-grey on the right.

Neighbors House Colors 5120x1024


The houses in close proximity to ours are definitely a consideration, as well as our tan-ish roof color. We just had the roof assessed and found out we can get away with it for a few more years (woohoo!) so that automatically cancels out a whole host of colors that would look better with a grey or black roof like my hands-down favorite New England combination, classic white with black shutters and doors.

I was a little under the weather last week and while I was couch bound, I played a bit with a fun little app on the Benjamin Moore website called Paint Your Room Online where you upload a photo, highlight areas of a space and then choose paint colors to try out. It’s tons of fun for color addicts like me!

Paint Your Room Online 1011x574.png

{On the BM website, click Explore Color in the nav bar, then choose Paint Your Room Online from the options on the side. You have to create an account to use the app.}

I spent eons trying out all sorts of colors and here’s what I came up with.

Are you ready for the dramatic virtual before and after??????????

On the left – the original color, and on the right, the dramatic new color!!!!!



The online tool is great if you are trying out an altogether different color and need help to visualize what it could look like, but going from one gray-beige to another, it doesn’t quite have that same drama.

But here’s the thing!!! You know how it is – there are millions of shades and tones, and how many of us have chosen a paint color that is JUST NOT RIGHT???

That’s why my painting mantra is this:

Sample – Sample – Sample!!!

My top three contenders (in indirect morning light on a sunny day):


The winner for us is Rockport Gray, a greige that is slightly cooler than the other two.

The BIG DECISION doesn’t seem to be that big of a difference from the original house color until you see the sample patches I have on EVERY side of the house 🙂



Here is the official plan for colors….you’re laughing at me right now aren’t you? Because it looks exactly like what’s already on the house???? BUT!!! Did I mention the black shutters that are going to completely change up the look??????????? Now you are excited aren’t you?!!!

House Color Palette 4159x3596

The house color will be a subtle change but I am looking forward to it!! In addition to paint we’re also planning to change up the style of our front door trim and have the crumbling steps re-done in the fall,  but that’s a story for another day.

I’m off to work on the gravel patio & fire pit project and will share my progress on that later this week. Stop by tomorrow for My Five Favorites, this month we’re talking fabric!!

Enjoy the day friends and thanks for visiting.

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Tuesday 7th of June 2016

Love the Rockport Gray! and the black shutters will be an amazing addition. Your landscaping and big, mature trees are so, so beautiful! Gorgeous home.


Wednesday 8th of June 2016

Thank you Becky! Big mature trees is an understatement.....we already had to remove about 30 of them because our whole yard was a forest! We love them though, even though we have neighbors all around us we have a ton of privacy thanks to the trees.


Tuesday 7th of June 2016

Rockport Gray would have been my pick too! And the black shutters are going to be a game changer for sure!

Shelley | Crazy Wonderful

Tuesday 7th of June 2016

I like the original color on your house, but think the the Rockport Gray is going to look gorgeous with those black shutters! Nothing like a fresh coat of paint!

cassie @ primitive & proper

Monday 6th of June 2016

HOORAY! i picked rockport gray in my head and hoped it was the winner!