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The Purple House on the Corner

Posted by: Heidi Nyline

If I didn't know better, I would think purple is becoming the new popular choice for house colours in my neighbourhood. They seem to be popping up everywhere. The more of these houses I see though, the more I am becoming convinced this is not a trend, but a series of homeowners all making the same mistake.

That mistake is in not understanding undertones. It is most painfully obvious when I drive by this purple house in my neighbourhood.

I seriously doubt there are very many homeowners that set out to paint their house purple. 

What more likely happened is the homeowner decided they wanted a blue house but mistakenly chose a blue with a purple undertone. The problem is compounded when it is combined with brown trim like this house because the reddy-brown trim highlights the purple undertones. It is pretty evident the undertone of the blue is red. What makes it worse is that the stone doesn't relate in any way to the colour of the house.

If you are going to set out to paint your house purple, you really gotta go for it. Here are two perfect examples of perfectly purple houses.

Two Vancouver heritage houses. Exterior painting by Warline Painting.

Painting the exterior of your house is a big job and one I firmly believe is best left to professional painters, like Warline. Choosing the right colour for your house is just as important as hiring the right painter. Natural light and the sheer size of a house mean that any undertone in the colours you choose will be very evident. I read somewhere that an undertone will rise to the surface. That is very true. 

Getting the colour wrong doesn't only happen when trying to find the perfect blue either. I also see it a lot on grey houses where the homeowner has chosen a grey with a purple undertone to it. Pair it against the wrong trim colour and you quickly have the lavender or periwinkle house on the corner. Those colours can work on a house but the colour has to match the character of the house. Like this house below.

The trend in exterior house colour right now is grey. Understanding the undertones of grey and being able to identify them is crucial when choosing exterior house colours. Here is a perfect example of how to get a blue grey right.

So how do you make sure you donít have the purple house on the block? Well for one, properly sample your colour choice on your house before you commit to the colour. You canít pick a house colour based on a two-inch paint chip. And second, seriously consider hiring a colour consultant to help you choose colour.

Painting the exterior of your house is a big investment and choosing the wrong colour will likely be a mistake you have to live with for a number of years.

Posted by: Gary L. Myers
The top photo needs color refinement in color tones. The color values fight each other. Lets have a dominate color value with a passive color value, then this house will pop.

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