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Exterior siding/color question (greens/browns)

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Aug 01, 2013, 02:45 PM
Exterior siding/color question (greens/browns)
I'm in the process of selecting a vinyl siding color for my house and it's down to Alside Coastal Sage and Mastic Scottish Thistle. My concern with the Coastal Sage is that it's a little too seafoam, and my concern with the Scottish Thistle is that it's not quite green enough, and a little too gray.

My question relates to the Scottish Thistle option, and color theory. Here are some homes with the Scottish Thistle siding for reference:


We would be going with a cream/light almond colored trim, and dark brown shutters and front gate. Is there a shade of brown that would bring out the green tones of the Scottish Thistle more?

More of a dull brown? One with more red in it? I have this really dark brown that has an almost purple tinge to it that's nifty, would that do the trick?

Thank you!
Aug 01, 2013, 06:00 PM
I really like the color of the Scottish Thistle.
My problem is that almond trim and brown shutters will make it look muddy, not sharp like in the pictures.
A picture of your house (as it exists) would help. Shutters on sample #3 would not work.
Brown shutters would just draw more attention to the fact that shutters won't work.
Pic, please?
Aug 01, 2013, 06:07 PM
Here is the house. Everything is being redone except the roof. So the ugly gate and garage door will be redone, and the trim around the window won't be so thick and board/batten shutters will be added.
Aug 01, 2013, 06:53 PM
Brown roof. I see where you're coming from.
Hmmm. Let me think about this.
But now that I've seen the house, shutters would even be more wrong. They won't add anything IMHO, and where would they sit with the drain pipe, if it's staying where it is? I'd make sure to color match some exterior paint to the siding and paint that sucker so it doesn't stand out.
Actually I like the brown trim. Google sage house with almond trim or brown trim and see what out there. I found some really cute colors, even one with plum trim.
Still having trouble with the almond....
BYW, welcome to the boards!

This message has been edited. Last edited by: jaysmom49,
Aug 01, 2013, 07:22 PM
All the gutters and everything are getting reworked too - all the exterior except the roof. The downspouts will be rerouted and the gutters and downspouts will be the creamy color. So, here are some sage green houses that have creamy trim:


To give you an idea of what I'm going for. I'm a definitely on the shutters. Just wanting to know which shade of brown will bring out the green tone of the Scottish Thistle more.

Like I mentioned, I did find a very dark brown that has a hint of purple hue to it that really appeals to me (when I washed off the brush after painting a sample on a piece of wood, it looked kind of purpley in the sink). I don't think my HOA would go for an actual plum.

But most of all I want to really bring out the green tones in the Scottish Thistle if that's the siding color we end up choosing, and I don't know enough about color theory to know what will accomplish that.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: HGTVAdmin,
Aug 01, 2013, 08:42 PM
Welcome, Jill!

Your question is about color theory. In reality, color theory doesn't have a whole lot to do with a certain shade of brown bringing out the green in Scottish Thistle. What will bring out the green is the type of light you have in your part of the country, as well as your surroundings. You have the trees that will help by reflecting green against the house. I can't speak to the light because I don't have all of the information.

It's funny that you came here now. We are in the process of painting our house in a very similar color to Scottish Thistle. I'll show you a picture showing the old light beigy color at the bottom and the new Pewter Gray at the top. The color isn't true because the sun is behind the trees, but you get the idea.

Aug 01, 2013, 08:45 PM
I also snapped a couple of pics of the front that show some things I want to mention in another post. Note the surrounding woods.

Aug 01, 2013, 08:46 PM
This one shows the color at it's truest. I can take more in the morning light if you like.

Aug 01, 2013, 09:00 PM
I've actually really disliked crisp white when I've seen it as an accent to the sage green colors and am really drawn to the creams. Meldin, I LOVE that shade of green! I also love the light fixtures next to your garage, I'm considering something similar (of course I have a running list of about 10 different styles that I like).
Aug 01, 2013, 09:11 PM
It looks a bit blue, but it's definitely green-gray. Shadows will do that.

I want to address your want of cream trim. I was right there last fall when we had the roof, soffits, fascia and gutters done. I decided not only to keep the dark brown I had had for the past 18 years, but make it even darker. The cream wasn't going to do the house any favors, especially in a wooded setting. I think the same is true of your house. Dark brown is the way for you to go.

Look closely at the inspiration pics you posted. What makes the cream work is the more open space (not so heavily treed), as well as the fact that the houses are nowhere near the style of yours. You have to consider all of these factors in making your decision. Heck, mine is closer in style and cream wouldn't work!

Now let's talk a little about shutters. I know you're committed to the idea. Jaysmom is absolutely correct in saying that shutters are wrong on your house. The first consideration is style. The style of your house was never meant to have shutters and never should. Another thing about shutters is that they should look like they could close. That means they should be half the size of the window per side. That's not possible with your window. If it were it would look downright silly.

Do you see the wide trim around my windows? We just added that. Granted, it's not as wide as the trim you have. Narrow yours down like you plan to, and that will be enough to update the look of your window.

If you want to bring in a third color the front door is the place to do it. If you pick a showstopper of a color you won't need shutters!

I don't mean this to squash your plans. I truly think it's the best course. It would be a shame to do such a spendy project only to have it turn out nothing like you picture it in your mind. If you were my client I would tell you the same things.

Good luck with your project, whichever way you choose to do it!
Aug 01, 2013, 09:14 PM
Jill, I was being my long-winded self while you were posting! As you can see, your dilemma spoke to me.

Yes, white would be very yuk! Stick around. We'l get you through this!
Aug 01, 2013, 09:36 PM
Thank you for taking the time to type up such a thoughtful response, meldin! For what it's worth, a couple of things...we just did a bunch of tree removal.

Also in this development there are about 5 house models so there are a lot of this style house, and some of them have shutters. I think it looks quite nice. I think the ones like mine, without them, just feel like they're sort of hulking and missing something, some nice extra detail, you know? I could be wrong, but ever since I bought the place 3 years ago I've envisioned shutters so it's kind of a paradigm shift to consider skipping them.

Also, the house is a little unusual in the way it's laid out. There's a breezeway between the garage and the main house, so the "front door" is actually on the side, so it won't make a visual impact on the front of the house. We're intending to accomplish that with the front gate though. I don't know, though, I feel like just a gate by itself without something else to give it context (i.e. shutters) would look weird.

Ooh, I just remembered I have this picture saved that is also close to the overall color scheme I have in mind (maybe a little bit different brown):

That's actually a comparable amount of trees that we currently have, and that big window in the front definitely wouldn't be covered by those shutters, and I think that house looks awesome.

I apologize if I'm coming off as a bit hardheaded here, I just have a pretty specific idea in my head and it's been in there for a really long time. I'm just struggling with the minor color tweaks and the idea of totally changing directions makes me a little panicky. But I promise I will think it over. Smile
Aug 01, 2013, 10:02 PM
You certainly have an advantage over me! There are no other houses like mine in my neighborhood. I have never seen another like it anywhere. I'm on my own.

Good for you that you get to see what others have done with your plan. Now that you have the visual and like it, go for it! Your house, your rules. Smile

I still like the Scottish Thistle. Of course, If you look at my tartan avatar you would say I'm a bit biased!

Removing trees makes a big difference. Do other houses like yours have light trim? I can't picture it because of your long, low roofline. I may be getting the wrong impression because I can't see the upper part much at all.

Keep us posted on your progress! I don't get here much, so feel free to PM me if I don't show up. I want to see this through!
Aug 01, 2013, 10:17 PM
Yes, a lot of them do have lighter trim, especially the ones that have been renovated more recently. Ours is all original 1971 garbage. Dented aluminum siding, just all very outdated and in bad shape. It's just an eyesore. I appreciate all your feedback and chatting with you! I will keep you up to date. Smile
Aug 01, 2013, 10:52 PM
My biggest problem is with the shade of brown. To me I feel you really need the darkest possible shade of brown to highlight the sage green. I know you prefer the cream to white, so the necessity of the deepest brown seems even more necessary.
If the brown with the deep purple hue is really dark, that might work just fine. The worst that can happen is that you are not happy with your choice when it is partially done, and will change it. Happens all the time.
Just my 2 cents...
Aug 02, 2013, 09:35 AM
Yes that shade of brown is really very dark, it's the very darkest brown I could find - almost black.