color wheels spinning in the taupe-y mud

So the dreaded email came this week from the builder: What colors do we want to paint the house?


We have (fairly) strong opinions about lots of things (don't get me started on ventilation fans...), but color isn't one of them. Our default is 1930s International Style white ([pounding on the table:] "Paint the whole damn thing WHITE!!!"). But admiring the cantilevered carport the other day from the street made me realize that perhaps the garage shouldn't be white. A white garage will camouflage the cantilever. We want that cantilever to pop! And if the garage is not white, then the corresponding elements on the house (also in Hardie) should be the same color.

But then there's the dreaded question: "What color of not white?"

We asked the architect for his opinion, and he said he leaned (in general) toward taupe-y colors. To be honest, I wasn't quite sure what color taupe corresponded to. According to Wikipedia, taupe corresponds to the color of a certain (kinda cuddly looking) mole in England:

The bride's response? "I'm not sure I want our house to be the color of a mole." To be fair, this isn't what the architect meant (when I asked him what taupe meant, he referred to earth tones; no mention of small burrowing mammals [although small burrowing mammals are, by definition, earthy]).

Last week, whilst catching up with things on Houzz, I came across (and saved) this color combination:

I kinda like these colorist chosen colors. So perhaps the garage and, in turn, the rest of the Hardie on the house could be painted something along the lines of that Silver Mist (a much sexier name than "Government Grey", yes?). The Usonian Expert really wants the front-right volume that houses the office, upper bedroom and bathroom, and kitchen to not be white (his really wanting is making me nervous painting it white...). So perhaps that could be Baby's Breath or Silver Mist at half mast (half the intensity [as it turns out, Baby's Breath is half of Silver Mist in CMYK space...]). We also have to choose a color for the soffits (underneath the eaves), of which paintable soffits only exist on the south side of the house and the garage, so perhaps we could go a little goofy and slop some Glacier Blue (or Glacier Blue at half mast) on there (puts a little ice on what we originally called "the icehaus"). As it turns out the limestone cladding on the front is probably going to approach the color of Spring Bud.

We'll need to choose a color for the fence as well. Healing Aloe? That would cover everything on that color palette!

Here's where those colors would go with the unmarked elements being white:

and here they are side by side:

Not particularly daring, but also not going to steal the show from the architecture.

And Mr. Talpa europaea seems to approve!

Thoughts and ideas appreciated...


  1. 1. I've always imagined the house all-white, and I'm having trouble imagining the colors from the aerial view. Can you color me up some elevations?

    2. My initial thought is that, if you want to paint the garage a different color to let the cantilever shine, that doesn't lock you in to the same color on all the other Hardie. Why not one color for the garage (One Shade of Grey looks good to me) and another (white) for the house?

    3. What part of the mole's fingernails look cuddly?!

  2. 1. Good idea on the elevations. Will try and do today!

    2. True, we won't go to jail if the garage is a different color than the house (at least we don't think so...), but for visual continuity and sending the clear message that the garage wasn't a disconnected afterthought, having a direct tie-in with the house is preferred (an architect could answer this better, but I get it...).

    3. Cuddly as the sensitive side of Wolverine.