4 Exterior Paint Colors That Will Enhance Your Home’s Curb Appeal

The visual appearance of the exterior of your home is extremely important to your resale value and curb appeal. Oftentimes, homeowners are so worried about the interior of their house that they forget to give proper attention and care to the outside.

A fresh exterior is one of the quickest and most cost-effective ways to boost your home’s curb appeal. Although some of us like our home to be noticed, it’s important that the color and appearance blends in with neighborhood. I’m going to share with you what experts rank as the top four home exterior color schemes that will help you sell your house and boost your curb appeal.

1. Shades of Green & Brown

Various shades of green and brown are great because they’re colors found in nature that easily blend in with surrounding landscape. In established neighborhoods, it’s suggested that the darker of shade the better. If you want to incorporate a little more color then it’s advised to mix in some red with your shades of green and brown.

 

In order to liven up your home the right way, This Old House suggests selecting colors that are opposite each other on a color wheel (i.e. green and red). Be sure to tone down the colors and avoid using pure red and green. Otherwise, you risk your house looking like Christmas all year round. Tone down the effect by adding similar amounts of gray to both colors.

Earthy hues mixed with rich brown tones is one of the best ways to win with brown. Bring in some light brown and tan elements to brighten up the overall appearance. Another option is to use lighter shades for your siding and trim and paint your garage doors a darker brown.

A traditional mossy green can be accented by a misty gray trim for a warm and welcoming look. If you prefer incorporating a wood exterior, then you should consider using green for the trim instead of the siding. Picking out a shade of green can be tough, so we’ll let you in on which Gardenista picked as the top nine shades of green paint.

2. Light & Dark Blue

If you choose to enhance your curb appeal using blue then select either light or deep shades of the color. Gray and off-white are a few of the recommended accents you can use for your trim and doors. Blue is one of those colors that just illuminates a feeling of calmness. No other hue out there promotes Zen-like emotions like the color blue. It’s said that the psychological effect of the color blue is less pronounced on the exterior versus in a room, therefore, it’s suggested you bring in elements of white and green which will help make it look cool and crisp.

Since blue isn’t rooted in an earth color, it can be a little daring to use. That’s why it’s advised you stick to light and dark shades of blue on your exterior. Grayish shades of blue are a bit safer because they’re similar to that of slate, which is very pleasing to the senses. At the end of the day, your goal should be to create a canvas that’s visually appealing and well-maintained. According to the pros, you can’t go wrong with using primary colors and gray.

3. Neutral Hues

Once again, neutral hues work because they blend in with the natural surroundings. A few options you may want to look into are, a warm taupe, gray hues and cream. A neutral palette presents you with the perfect opportunity to bring in a pop of color to your front door or shutters. The one nice thing about choosing a neutral exterior is that you can guarantee it’s going to look classy and timeless.

When picking out paint colors, remember that perception of color is all relative. I recently came across a good example to help you understand this better. “If you put a mid-value color, such as tan, next to pure white, it will look beige. But if you put it next to dark green, it will look off-white.” Keep this in mind when choosing colors, main and trim (Reader’s digest).

4. White & Black

To achieve a traditional and classic exterior, you should stick with white or off-white as your main emphasis and incorporate black accents. I also love the idea of bringing elements of wood into this scheme, as shown in the example above. It’s all about securing clean lines and perfecting the details with a white and black color scheme.

Shutters bring a whole new level of possibilities to the outside of your home. They create an entire new dimension of color and style for you to work with and highlight. Black shutters deliver a contrast like no other to a white backdrop. Installing black iron light fixtures is another way to add charm and charisma to a traditional exterior.

Home Improvement Project Organization Tips

We’ve all done it. You’re in a hurry to dig into a home improvement project or kitchen set project, so you barrel off to the hardware store, home center, or lumberyard without first taking inventory of exactly what you need. Multiple trips later to the hardware store, home center, or lumberyard, the job is completed, but you’re exhausted. The idea with the list that follows is that it forces you to think through every step of the job. In doing so, you’ll be more likely to do the job efficiently. You’ll eliminate unnecessary trips to the hardware store, or even to the toolshed or workshop.

Preparation

Much like anything in life, preparation is key. The more you plan ahead, the smoother your project should be. Below are the steps you should take before every home remodeling project.

  • Gather information, preferably from more than one source.
  • Identify the processes involved (see list below).
  • Identify tools needed.
  • Make a sketch or a plan of the project.
  • Prepare and protect the work area.
  • Bring tools to the work area.
  • Bring materials to the work area.

Materials

Every project needs tools and materials. Believe us, they make a world of a difference.

  • Make a list of all materials needed.
  • Divide the list into what you have and what you need to buy.

From Start to Finish

No matter what type of project you are undertaking, there is a set of steps one must go through. While each step will largely depend on your project, most projects processes will have to go through the following steps:

  • Carpentry
  • Cleanup (dust and debris removal)
  • Demolition
  • Drywall installation, taping, and finishing
  • Earth moving
  • Electrical
  • Finishing (staining, varnish, etc.)
  • Flooring
  • Masonry
  • Metal fabrication (welding, brazing, riveting)
  • Painting
  • Plumbing
  • Roofing
  • Sheetmetal work
  • Surface preparation (cleaning, grinding, sanding)
  • Tile
  • Woodworking

Example Project

You want to install a wood post set in concrete by the edge of your driveway. The post will have a sign with your house’s number and your family’s name on it. For the sake of simplicity, let’s say that you already have had the sign made and the bracket it will hang from. Let’s also say that the concrete that the post will be set in will be flush to the ground, so there’s no need to build a form or be concerned about fancy concrete finishing.

Preparation

  1. Gather information: If needed, look up how to install a post and concrete footing.
  2. Identify the processes and their sequence: The job involves surface preparation, earth moving, carpentry (placing the post in the hole and bracing it), masonry, painting, and then carpentry once more (attaching the sign bracket to the post). Another option is to prepare the post and sign and install the completed assembly in the hole with the concrete around it.
  3. Identify the materials needed: Post, bagged concrete, screws to attach the sign bracket to the post, sandpaper to smooth the post, primer and paint.
  4. Identify tools for each process (below):
  5. Carpentry: Square, pencil, saw, sawhorses, tape measure, safety glasses, extension cord, level (to plumb the post), drill, drill bits, screwdriver bits or screwdriver.
  6. Cleanup: Brooms and shop vacuum.
  7. Earth moving: Pick, prybar, shovel, wheelbarrow and rake.
  8. Masonry: Wheelbarrow, water hose, hoe or shovel for mixing concrete and concrete finishing float.
  9. Painting: Brush or roller, paint pot or roller tray, roller cover, paint stirring stick, rags and screwdriver to open paint can.
  10. Surface preparation: Sandpaper, hand-sanding block or sander and dust mask.
  11. Make a sketch or a plan of the project: Draw out the post and how far into the ground it goes. Determine the volume of concrete in its footing.
  12. Prepare and protect the work area: Not much is needed here unless a shrub needs to be moved.
  13. Bring tools to the work area: Get together your tools. Place them in the wheelbarrow.
  14. Bring materials to the work area: Park the car or truck in a convenient location to unload the materials and bring them directly to the work area.

Materials

  1. Post, sandpaper, primer, paint, screws, scrap lumber, and nails for bracing post in position, grass seed or grass-patch repair kit.

Processes (listed alphabetically; the sequence will depend on the job)

Carpentry

  1. Set up in garage. Prepare your tools and extension cord.
  2. Measure post, mark it, and cut it to length. (Is that circular saw blade in good condition, or should you buy a new one?)
  3. Mark the location of the sign on the post.
  4. Drill pilot holes in the post for the sign bracket screws.
  5. Attach bracket to post.

Cleanup (dust and debris removal)

  1. Sweep up sawdust and dispose of it or use a shop vacuum.
  2. Clean concrete from wheelbarrow and tools.
  3. Clean paint from tools.
  4. Store leftover cans of paint.
  5. Dispose of debris (rags, spent roller, paint cans).
  6. Rock and soil have to go somewhere. Where?

Earth moving 

  1. Dig post hole to adequate depth.
  2. Smooth soil around post before applying grass seed.

Masonry

  1. Position garden hose.
  2. Tear open concrete bags and mix concrete in wheelbarrow.
  3. Position post in hole, brace it, plumb it, and place concrete around it.
  4. Smooth concrete at base of post using the float.

Painting 

  1. Open can of primer and stir. Pour into paint pot or tray. Apply to post.
  2. Repeat with finish coat of paint.

Surface Preparation 

  1. Sand post smooth with progressively finer sandpaper.
  2. There you have it. As you can see, an incredible number of processes have taken place to do this tiny little job.

The Latest Kitchen Floor Trends You Must Know

The style of your kitchen floors can make or break the overall appearance of this most central room in your home. There are many components to consider as you contemplate replacing your old floors. Material, color, style and maintenance requirements should all be factored in during the decision making process.

There isn’t a right or wrong type of kitchen floor, but there are styles and trends that tend to be more popular, and for good reason. See the latest recommendations in kitchen flooring, so that when it comes time to replace your floors, you’re educated and confident enough to choose floors that are up-to-date and tasteful.

Black Leather Tile

Black leather tile is a newer trend that’s unique, but also very sleek. While these floors are nice looking, you should know that it takes more effort to care for them. The care instructions include mopping the floors with distilled water and vacuuming them with a soft bristle brush monthly. It’s also very important you clean up spills quickly, as to avoid stains and costly repairs.

Black floors are a respectable choice for the kitchen because it’s a color that’s easy to decorate around and hides dark dirt and stains. Black leather tile portrays a luxurious, high-end look, but don’t let that fool you. The floors are also comfortable to walk on.

Wood-Look Ceramic Tile & Laminate

If you’re looking for a durable and low-maintenance floor, then you might like this option. I’m talking about a ceramic tile in disguise. Ceramic and porcelain tile are being transformed to look like wood. If you’re worried about how well it’ll mimic wood in your kitchen, don’t be. The rich colors and detailed grains make it look very real.

Laminate is another popular direction to take if you’re going for a hardwood look without the cost. Amber Shay, VP of Design for Standard Pacific Homes’ (Denver) explains why it’s a common choice, “Laminate is a thin piece of wood on a core that’s made of something else. It creates structural stability, so you have less movement in the floor and it’s less expensive than solid hardwood.” They won’t be hard to find, flooring stores everywhere are equipped with ceramic and porcelain tile selections for just about any style home.

Wide-Plank Hardwood

Installing hardwood floors in the kitchen continues to be a favorable trend amongst homeowners. The updates in wood flooring include wider-planks, darker stains and a growing interest in gray tones. Technically speaking, “wide-plank” means installing boards that are wider than three inches, give or take about 1/4-inch.

Not only are the planks getting larger, but some designers are encouraging the use of multiple-sized planks. You might also start to see hardwood floors moving toward more exotic species, for example, hickory, cherry and walnut. There aren’t necessarily any earthshattering benefits to incorporating wide-plank floors in your home, but they’re aesthetically appealing and perfect for homeowners looking for a diverse style.

See our flooring cost guide for more information on various flooring types, materials and pricing.

Bamboo

Bamboo, it’s renewable, it’s beautiful and it’s Earth-friendly, pretty much music to the ears. It’s been said some early versions of the material were known to have shrinkage issues, but it’s gotten better over the years and hasn’t recently been a problem. Bamboo is great for homeowners who want to create a kitchen that’s cutting-edge and can appreciate a floor with style and durability.

You may not know, but bamboo is actually harder than many types of woods. It’s a comfortable and eco-chic surface that stands up well to water and foot traffic. Bamboo is produced in an array of colors and plank widths. If you’re considering this type of flooring for your kitchen, then I suggest educating yourself on the advantages, disadvantages, types and costs before moving forward.

Style & Flair

Long gone are the days of matchy-matchy and plain Jane style homes. Kitchen designs are changing and expanding all of the time, and this year’s no different. There are many ways you can add flair and sophistication to your kitchen, but below are some of the more striking possibilities.

  • Saltillo Tiles: These flooring tiles are used to create a Mediterranean-style kitchen. To accomplish this look, you’re encouraged to incorporate lively colors, rustic hardware and (of course) Saltillo tile flooring. This particular tile brings a warm, inviting look to the kitchen.
  • Terra-Cotta Tile: Select this tile if you’re going for an Old World Charm-style kitchen. It’s a beautiful and classic material that’ll add warmth and geometric interest to the room.
  • Natural Stone: This material is an expensive and high-end flooring option, but it’s absolutely stunning. Natural stone (including marble or travertine) is timeless, durable and easy to clean. Experts suggest using larger pieces which give you a seamless, impressive look and less grout to clean.