21 August 2009

Exterior Color: Noe Valley Victorian

Beautiful Victorian details celebrated with six colors and gold leaf!

Before:  Pink and Cute!
This Victorian in San Francisco's Noe Valley could not help being a bit cute. The Stick-Eastlake Cottage had been painted about 15 years ago using the pink colors from the magnificent hortensia blooming in its front entry.

When it came time to repaint, the owners asked me to design something a bit more grown-up.

Choosing a Color: I ask my clients to drive around town and photograph houses of similar style whose paint schemes appealed to them. Every one they chose was green! So we started with green. The color scheme I devised for this house uses six colors, all from from Benjamin Moore's Historic Color range, with 23 karat gold leaf on the buttons and pediment ornaments.

Managing contrast: This palette is as much about contrast as it is about color. One technique being employed here is the use of what I call a "secondary trim" color, which in this case is about 30% darker in value than the main trim color, and is used to support features like brackets and window columns, and to create a break between the main body color of the house and the more vibrant accent colors of the window sashes and insets.

after- green, gold, and ivory
Know when to say when: The custom garage door was simplified from three colors to one, and painted the same as the body color, so as not to compete for attention from the main part of the facade. The front door, which had been whimsically painted with four different colors, now sports a more European look in a solid glossy teal with polished hardware and gold leaf details, leading the eye right to the entrance.

After: the Victorian cottage as stately home

click on any image to view larger

Expert Painting by San Francisco Local Color Painting
paint:  Benjamin Moore Historic Colors

Color Consulting by Lynne Rutter 415-282-8820

This project has been featured in the June 2015 issue of Old House Journal.  After nearly  8 years, this is still one of my most talked about color designs.
At this time I can say that the basic colors for this scheme are Louisberg Green and Standish White by Benjamin Moore.  You will notice in the OHJ article several other uses of Louisberg Green and see how very different that color can look depending on the environment, orientation and accent colors.