August 7, 2012

Colour choice helps your home fit into neighbourhood

New, darker window frames are the inspiration for the exterior wall colour and some new shutters. This cream-coloured home needs contrast to stand up to darker neighbours.

Soft demeanour requires elements in deeper shades to balance with nearby red brick walls


I like the soft demeanour of this home, but an introduction of slightly darker elements would improve the balance with the neighbour’s stronger red wall. I chose a warmer tone of sand to replace the pinkish cream painted surface. On the same palette from the harmonized colour swatches, the next deeper shade was the choice for new shutters as well as the mouldings near the roof and porch area.

This same family of colours will derive from the even darker tint chosen for the new windows the resident intends to purchase. I’m not a fan of the skimpy-looking, colonial-style posts. Heftier square columns and railings made more sense and have better proportions. The tiny triangular shape on top of the otherwise gorgeous overhang also felt out of place. The wavy separation also had to go. A thick made-to-measure trellis as a psychological divider will be a subtle reminder of the criss-cross pattern of the future windows.

The blue recycling container on the porch floor shouldn’t be there. Instead, a couple of tall iron urns decorated with white annuals and cascading greenery along with a burst of oxblood paint on the red door would add presence to the focal point that is the porch. The dark grey and red paving blocks of the driveway and path will have to be straightened and levelled again.

All the lawn will be removed and the earth worked and amended with garden soil and compost. The existing weeping red bush on stem will migrate into another central bed near the smaller connecting walkway. In this same area, three randomly placed ornamental grasses will accompany the small tree. These mustn’t be planted too close to the little fellow so their respective foliage doesn’t mix together.

The contrasting colour association of the red pink Berberis, the green and white persevering leaves of the Euonymus as well as the yellow green foliage of the Filipendula perennials are a great support to the generous flowering of the Becky daisies and orange spring blooms of the rhododendron. In winter, this one’s year-round leaves turn red. Because of their similar earthy tones, rusty peach and brownish red foliage of Peach Flambé Heucheras will sympathize with the brick wall colours.

To soften the surface on the right, three vigorous Juniperus will be planted in a line. Now that the front property is without turf, exquisite ground cover will gladly blanket the newly exposed soil. Everlasting deep green, shiny leaves turning purple- red in the fall, tiny clusters of white, bell-like gems in summer and red fruit throughout winter are only a few of Vaccinium vitis-idaea’s strong points.

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