The question I’m most frequently asked about Snowberry is … ‘what color is the front door?’
Not surprisingly, last year I found myself asking the same question on the Instagrams and blogs that I follow.
Before we talk about the paint colors, a word about Snowberry’s exterior. When we bought the house its original chunky, heavily textured shingles were still intact. Over time – nearly 70 years – the shingles had darkened and appeared almost black. You can take a tour of Snowberry before the renovation here and here.
In the spirit of maintaining the house’s original character, we decided early on to replace shingles with shingles. But the new shingles would be lighter in both style and color.
Searching for shingled home inspiration turns up a lot of Hampton style houses … cedar shingles faded to gray by salt air, white trim and Robin’s egg blue shutters and front doors. A beautiful color combination, but very coastal. Snowberry is a good 20 minutes from the ocean and a full-on coastal look isn’t quite right. Country cottage is more the goal.
I love the look of cedar shake. Natural cedar is light in color, if it were a hair color, I’d call it strawberry blonde. To avoid the inevitable fade to gray we decided to apply a clear stain. Sadly, even a clear coat deepens the color slightly, but the cedar must be protected, and this is unavoidable.
We used Cabot’s Clear Wood Protector.
You can see how the color deepened once the stain was applied.
With the exterior siding selected, we can move on to paint colors. White trim and a blue-green or blue-grey front door.
First the blue … three colors caught my eye over and over again.
- Benjamin Moore Wythe Blue
- Benjamin Moore Palladian Blue
- Benjamin Moore Philipsburg Blue
I guess I’m partial to Benjamin Moore. So, I ordered up pints of each color to try out on the front door.
And, the winner is … none of the above.
I chose Farrow & Ball Oval Room Blue.
Do you still read magazines? I do. Old habits die hard and while flipping through the pages of Traditional Home, Veranda, Architectural Digest and House Beautiful – wish I could remember which one – I came across Oval Room Blue. Not on a front door, but in an interior room. A very formal room. Hmmm … could it work for my informal country cottage front door? Yes, the answer is yes. I’ll tell you how I came to that conclusion when we discuss the interior color scheme. Coming soon.
In a nod to Southern tradition, I decided to paint the front porch ceiling with Oval Room Blue as well. I first did this – painted a porch ceiling blue – at our Fidalgo Island home and it changed my life. That’s an over dramatization. Suffice to say I love it.
Next up, a white paint for the exterior trim and vertical siding. I’d like to say I did a lot of research and narrowed it down to three choices. The truth is our painting contractor recommended three colors. At the time I was so busy with a gazillion other decisions, it was a relief to have these options laid out for me.
- BW Chantilly lace
- BW Simply White
- BM White Dove
White Dove is the winner. Once again, I wish I could say I went through a thorough, detailed decision making process. But I eye-balled it. Armed with a piece of cedar shake and a large swatch of Oval Room Blue, I placed a small swatch of each white option on top and White Dove looked right. Sometimes you have to go with your gut and guess what, it worked.
With the siding and paint colors decided, I turned my attention to other exterior details.
First up, we decided to purchase Bevolo exterior lighting. Bevolo, a New Orleans company known for their copper, gas lanterns now make an electric version of their beautiful, hand-made, lighting. I contacted Bevolo, sent them our architectural drawings and they recommended their Williamsburg fixture for the house and their traditional French Quarter lantern for our lamp post. After placing an order, manufacturing takes a good 4 weeks and another 7-10 days for shipping. Bevelo is a splurge for sure, but their pricing is not out of line given the quality and beauty of their product.
I’d been mulling the idea of copper gutters and downspouts, but after the Bevolo splurge I hesitated. We got quotes for traditional and copper. Traditional are about one quarter the cost. Nevertheless, we decided copper was the way to go and budget concessions would have to be made elsewhere. (Picture my husband rolling his eyes.)
Since we were all in on copper, we took it a step further and added copper chimney caps. And, the piece de resistance … a copper weathervane in the form of a squirrel. Our dogs’ nemesis.
Additional exterior ‘jewelry’ included window boxes and shutters on the side of the house visible from the street. Oops, I don’t have a photo.
And there you have it, six months of hand wringing reduced to a few paragraphs. Let’s review:
SNOWBERRY’S EXTERIOR DESIGN
Cedar Siding: Shakertown Western Red Cedar
Cedar Stain: Cabot Clear Wood Protector
Siding: Vertical V-Rustic Siding
Porch Ceiling: Bead Board
Cupola Topper: Squirrel Weathervane in natural copper
Shutters: Custom made by our builder
Front Door: T.M. Cobb 9-Lite Dutch Door
Siding & Trim Paint – BM White Dove OC-17
Front Door & Porch Ceiling Paint – Farrow & Ball Oval Room Blue No. 85
With the exterior design complete we can turn our attention to the interior color scheme. Where to begin. I’m kind of exhausted from reliving the exterior design process, so we’ll pick up where we left off next week.
And, you can see Snowberry’s newly planted front garden here.
As always, I appreciate your visit and I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.