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Painting with the Historical Vancouver True Colours

Posted by: Heidi Nyline

There are houses that we get to work on that make me really happy that I do what I do. When I pulled into the driveway of this Maple Ridge home to do a colour consultation, I smiled from ear to ear. Iíll be honest though. I was also really nervous. This is a big Queen Anne style home with lots of details and getting the colours wrong could have been disastrous.

heritage house colors

The homeowners, Tom and Laura, had bought the house a few years ago when they fell in love with the house, its amazing yard and the swing on the front porch. The original owner built the house with all the character of a Queen Anne home and there were tiny details everywhere.

heritage house painting
Who wouldn't enjoy an evening in the summer on this swing?

Laura and I discussed the options for colour narrowed it down to either going with a heritage colour scheme to play up the Queen Anne character of the house or to a fresh and bright scheme to help counter all of the shade from the many tall trees surrounding the house. I suggested to Laura that she look at how the inside of their home was decorated to give her direction on which was the best way to go.

Laura's husband was reluctant to paint the oak front door. Benjamin Moore Hastings Red (VC-30) convinced him to take the leap. 

They decided to look at a heritage colour palette. This was my first time in using the Historical Vancouver True Colours palette. Introduced in 2003 by the Vancouver Heritage Foundation and Benjamin Moore, the Historical Vancouver True Colours palette is a collection of 35 colours that reflect the history and buildings of Vancouver from 1888 to 1928.

After - The wrap around porch is just beautiful.

The colours are rich and deep and what I found most surprising about them how bold they appeared even on a sample colour card. Not what I would have expected from house colours that were a 100 plus years old.

When Laura and I were looking at colours and trying to decide which green to go with, Pendrell Verdigris (VC-22) seemed such a pretty green. I pointed out to Laura that a Queen Anne styled house was like a house wearing a party dress and it should be in a pretty colour. Pendrell Verdigris fit the bill perfectly.

After - The front door and entrance is so inviting.

We tested a number of creams. In the end we chose Oxford Ivory (VC-1) for the trim. It was the softest and least yellow of the creams but was still rich enough to hold up beside the rich green of Pendrell Verdigris.

After - The red details tie in the brick chimney and the red roof.

For the darker green trim we actually went out of the Historical Vancouver True Colours and went with Benjamin Moore Caldwell Green (HC-124). It offered less contrast than we using one of the darker greens in the Vancouver palette and we really wanted the focus to be on the cream trim.

After - It's all in the details

By far, the most beautiful colour we used was the red we chose as the accent colour. We went with Hastings Red (VC-30) and it is the most amazing red I have ever used on a home. It is simply stunning. I suspect we will be painting many front doors this colour in the future. Finally, for a small pop of extra colour we used Benjamin Moore Stuart Gold (HC-10) above the second floor windows.

Little details make this house pop.We even painted the adirondack chairs Hastings Red.

So a week later, after a ton of prep work (an absolute necessity to make a house like this really shine) and a lot of cutting in by our hard working crew, this house was finished. Success for me is when a homeowner pulls into their driveway and thinks, "Wow, I love my house".


I have no doubts about the fact that this was a successful project.

Posted by: Kelly
Really beautiful! Great choice of colors. You should try to get published, maybe start with local newspaper? Great job!
Posted by: Jil
Stunningly beautiful Heidi, These colours are true to the heritage of the home, work well together and I love how the detail now shows up so much more than before. Your clients must be thrilled! Congrats.
Posted by: Chris
Heidi, well done! A house wearing a party dress! I love it, and that house is ready to party! Beautiful work and excellent color choices, the homeowners were certainly fortunate to have you and your company care for their home!

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