Does Your House Need Shutters?

July 23, 2007 § 163 Comments

If light fixtures are the cuff links of the house, shutters must be a nice silk tie– a great way to add a little more coordinating color to the “outfit.” But sometimes a tie is not necessary and the same goes for shutters.

If your house is a classic colonial with six-over-six, double-hung windows, it is very typical to use shutters, often black. However, if you have a very dark-colored house with cream trim, you may want to skip shutters altogether. Also true for homes that have a lot of stonework or other architectural elements that take the focus off the windows. And contemporary homes with casement windows or odd-sized, mismatched windows usually have no shutters.

One more thing about shutters: If your house has windows with odd placement — too close to the corners, etc. — then forget  the shutters. It doesn’t make any sense to use one shutter on one side of the window and none on the other side (I’ve seen it!).

Take a look at your house and look around the neighborhood. Does your house need shutters? Maybe not.

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§ 163 Responses to Does Your House Need Shutters?

  • virg says:

    help, help….oh, where to begin and my painter is coming tomorrow!!!

    I am seeking advice on color coordination on my one half old deep red brick (sm) house and color of upper wood (presently beige).
    My roof is 3-D deep reds which nicely match old red brick.
    My front door is Chinese red (for good luck)…
    I am bored with the light beige which I’ve had for years. Can you suggest specific grey/tan for upper wood. I was considering dark, dark (almost black) green for new shutters. Any suggestions would be helpful. I am trying to keep in mind that in the spring I will replace gray sidewalk with flagstone (grayish tones I am guessing)…My neighborhood is electic in style and yet remain totally traditional in color (thank you Williamsburg, Va.)…
    Forever grateful, virg

  • bmeglis says:

    Hi Virg,

    Have you tried the grout color yet? I bet it’s the grey/tan you’re looking for. Hard to tell without a photo. But I would go with that. You’ve got the red door already and the red roof. With the red brick, you’re in need of a neutral and the grout color will pull the whole house together.

    Check Ben Moore Historical Colors for your grout color match. It may in fact be there.

    Good luck.

    -Barbara
    Your Home & Color Coach

  • Marlen Hoben says:

    Howdy, I live in a 2 story colonial dark brown brick front with a black roof the garage doors are white.can I paint my shutters black and get a white front entrance door the trim around the house is white but the side sidding is grey,How will black shutters and a white front door look?

  • bmeglis says:

    Hi Marlen,

    First, I love the black shutters idea. You can go ahead with that right away. As for the white door, I rarely see white doors as they tend to collect finger prints and other grime right around the door handle. Or scuffs from trying to unlock the door. You might experiment with some poster board and see if a warmer color on the door might be nice. Even tan or light grey might be better than white. See what you think.

    -Barbara
    Your Home & Color Coach

  • Chris says:

    Hello Barbara!

    Thank you in advance for any advice :)

    We are considering purchasing this house, is is a large house with lots of rooms for us, and our son, and twins which are on the way. One thing we wonder about is, although it looks very nice, it looks, to us at least, just more massive than anything. We would like to add some contrast, color, style, elegance — but are at a loss as to what might work. We are not crazy about the trim, but it seems like a big undertaking to change that. But we really do not know. Again, any help appreciated! Here is the picture,

    http://www.pixlmediaservices.com/house.jpg

    Best regards,

    Chris

  • bmeglis says:

    Hi Chris,

    It’s a beautiful house. The trim color really stands out though, especially around the front door. I’m not sure I like that framing treatment as it makes the front door look a little small for the house. A trim color that’s closer to the grout color or at least a little taupier might work better with that color brick.

    The other thing that stands out is the landscaping. It looks like a brand new house as the foundation plantings are all very small and the arrangement is symmetrical. And purple. When you get the chance, I would mix up the foundation plantings a bit with some taller varieties like flowering trees mixed in with the smaller shrubs. That way, the foundation plantings are more in scale with the house.

    Good luck

    -Barbara
    Your Home & Color Coach

  • Chris says:

    Thanks Barbara!

    The trim around the door is stone, I know it’s hard to tell in the photo — do you think a different door color maybe would help?… we certainly see your point. And, you wouldn’t put shutters on a house like this, or would you? Thx for the landscaping points too :)

  • bmeglis says:

    Hi Chris,

    Right now the door seems dark and small and kind of hidden in the shadow of the door trim. You could certainly try lightening or brightening the door to either the trim color or maybe the brick color. There’s a shadow over the door that makes the black door really recede and get lost. Changing the door color would help that.

    You CAN put shutters on the house, at least on the smaller standard windows. Black would certainly dress up the house even more. Not necessary with this style of brick though.

    And are the lanterns on either side of the door the largest size? They could stand to be larger (if possible…).

    These are ALL fine points. The house is absolutely gorgeous as it is. Congratulations!!

    -Barbara
    Your Home & Color Coach

  • Claudine says:

    Hi, I have a small house that has light grey siding (like the other million houses in the neighborhood) and burgandy shutters and door. SNORE. Anyway, I’m having an extension put on (the house is a small cottage type house) and I’d love to put a new front door on the house. Which had me wondering–what color should the door be? Should I do wood or should I paint it? I really like the idea of a dark door.. black or navy. I could paint the shutters to match but do I need shutters at all? It seems like they slap them everywhere. Anyway, here’s my house:
    http://www.claudinemj.com/houserenovations%20024sm.jpg

    Any advice is appreciated..

    Claudine :)

  • bmeglis says:

    Hi Claudine,

    Thanks for the photo. No, you don’t really need shutters because your windows are quite large and the shutters on them are pretty small relative to the windows, that is. I think it would lighten your house up to just bag the shutters and focus on the front door color.

    Black would be dressy, but with your house color, you can have virtually any color for the front door. One style suggestion: paint the trim around the little windows in the door the same color as the door. Painting the trim white makes those little windows stand out too much.

    Hope that helps.

    -Barbara
    Your Home & Color Coach

  • Claudine says:

    Your response is SO appreciated! Thanks! Do you think that the windows should be framed out at all or can they stay the way they are. I’m happy to snatch the shutters down. I also didn’t think about the white trim around the door windows. I wish it were warmer out or I’d be painting it RIGHT now! hahahaha

    Best, Claudine

  • Sheila says:

    I have just purchased a 1970′s brick rancher. The color of the brick is brown with earthy tones. All of the trim, garage doors, front porch, and front door is painted dark brown. It is very dreary looking. The porch is a wrap around porch and extends across the front, down one side and across the back. The floor of the porch, the handrails, as well as the columns are all dark brown. I was thinking of painting the handrails and columns a cream color but what color would look good on the wood floor of the porch? Thanks for any advice.

  • bmeglis says:

    Hi Sheila,

    You might consider switching not only your handrails and columns but also your entire house trim to a cream or taupe to lighten up the house a bit. Keep the doors and porch floor brown.

    Hope that helps.

    -Barbara
    Your Home & Color Coach

  • Chris says:

    Hello again Barbara!

    We added shutters, and put new lighting all around the home, and in doing so increased the front door lights’ size per your suggestion :) So I am just sending a picture I took this morning, thought you might like to see it. Here it is:

    http://www.pixlmediaservices.com/housefeb.jpg

    (and here is the previous pic:

    http://www.pixlmediaservices.com/house.jpg )

    These lights put off a lot of light — we’ll need a dimmer (though the snow probably has something to do with their brightness right now too)! We don’t think they are too big, but I thought I’d just ask for your thoughts please…

    We can’t wait to put in white flowering plants and other landscaping in the spring!

    Thank you, and best regards,

    Chris

  • bmeglis says:

    Hi Chris,

    Wow, absolutely stunning! Congratulations.

    As for the lights being too bright, just lower the wattage and get frosted bulbs. I don’t think you’ll need a dimmer if you do that.

    Also you’ll want to check out energy efficient lightbulbs. They’re improving them in terms of color. They’re not quite as green-looking as they used to be. But they’re still fluorescent so they can’t go on dimmers anyway. That’s the downside to all this energy efficiency. Some of the aesthetics are taking a hit. But we’ll work around that somehow.

    Your house looks gorgeous. Enjoy!

    -Barbara
    Your Home & Color Coach

  • Drew says:

    Barbara,

    Selling my house. I’m not happy with the green shutters and black door. Thinking of painting the shutters black and definately hanging a new door. Door: Metal with half window and maybe an arch. Not sure of the color. What do you suggest???? Please help!!!! Lost!!!!!!

    Picture: http://www.msnusers.com/m6k9oou27ed9ggnbjq7g1qebr3/documents.msnw?fc_p=%2FPictures&fc_a=0

    I hope you’ll be able to open the picture.

    Thanks!!!!!

    Drew

  • bmeglis says:

    Hi Drew,

    I wasn’t able to see your photo (it’s in a restricted area). Can you put a non-msn photo link directly into this blog and I’ll check it out. Sounds like going from green to black shutters is a good idea at the very least.

    -Barbara
    Your Home & Color Coach

  • Connie says:

    I have a Brick house and am about to replace the siding on the dormers and front entrance of the house. Currently white siding with black shutters. I am planning on a Bone color siding which would match the grout among the bricks. I am looking at VERY DARK Green raised panel shutters. Would that look OK with the Brick?
    Thanks for your help.
    Connie

  • bmeglis says:

    Hi Connie,

    Absolutely gorgeous!! You’re all set.

    -Barbara
    Your Home & Color Coach

  • Erin says:

    I have a creamish-yellow brick house with wood siding on the top. Hospital scrub, or electrical box green is the current paint color. We are going to re-roof and I like the natural timber color tamko roof. What do you suggest for new paint color? I am thinking about doing shutters, and new light fixtures… any suggestions will really be helpful. I don’t have a website to post a picture.

  • Suzie says:

    Barabara,
    We are thinking of changing our shutters, and possibly our front doors/s to black. Currently, we live in a small Dutch Colonial. We have beige aluminum siding, which chocolate brown trim , and additional white inner trim around the windows. The shutters would go only on the two upper, front windows over our porch. The porch has choc. brown floor, white wooden railings and columns. The shingles on the roof/s are black brown mixture. Our main concern is the shutters, but are also wondering if we would need to tie it in with the front door (in the porch, and not real obviously seen from street.)
    Your opinion would be so helpful. Here’s our link:
    http://viewmorepics.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=user.editAlbumPhotos&albumID=1834499&MyToken=fd43c717-a679-4fd2-8852-cd91f1ecc14a

    Thanks,
    Suzie

  • bmeglis says:

    Hi Erin,

    I suggest something either in the green family (like BM Louisburg green) or a nice rusty red. Both of those colors look spectacular with the natural timber color roof. If you go with those dark colors, you may not even need shutters. But for light fixtures, you can go with bronze.

    See what you think.

    -Barbara
    Your Home & Color Coach

  • bmeglis says:

    Hi Suzie,

    I couldn’t access your myspace page but I think I get the picture. I think the black shutters would be fine and would serve to dress up the house. My thought is that you might want to lighten up the chocolate brown trim to something a little closer to your house color, just to simplify the look a bit. As for the front door, black is great, even though it’s not seen from the street. It’s a formal entry. You’ll love it.

    Hope that helps.

    -Barbara
    Your Home & Color Coach

  • Suzie says:

    Barbara,
    I’m sorry about the picture…thought I’d give it a shot since I don’t have a website. Thank you for your advice. It definitly helps having an opinion from an experienced person, such as yourself.

    Warm Regards,
    Suzie

  • Andy says:

    Hi,

    Wow, I stumbled across your site and am excited to talk with you. I would greatly appreciate any advice from you.

    I have a 1928 New England house with older, multi shade red brick bottom with greyish grout, white aluminum sided above. New replacement white vinyl windows show up the oxidized white siding trim which could use a painting. Roof is brand new Tamko multi rust-reds/greens/greys. The door is oval-shaped-wooden painted bright red. Shutters (front-only) are painted matching bright red, but now faded to rusty-orange and in need of paint.

    The house sits on Main Drag and everyone knows it as the “cute white house with the red shutters and matching red door” (compared to every other house on the street having black or dark brown shutters). The house looks like a modest-sized, two-story cottage form the street, with a pointed false-gable to add character. Down in back, the sloping driveway leads to the walkout basement, 4-story building totaling 3,000sft, including the new full-raised-attic-dormer. We are thinking of adding shutters all-round the house as nearby houses look great that did that. Given the added expense anyways, perhaps now is the time to think about changing shutter colors???. I was hoping to get away with just brightening up the oxidized white window trim as the white siding looks pretty presentable. Sorry for the long description.
    Andy
    West Hartford, CT

  • bmeglis says:

    Hi Andy,

    A couple of choices come to mind. Although many main streets in New England are lined with all black shutters (and that is a very good option), perhaps you want to be a little bit different. If that’s the case, consider a very dark green. Since your roof has green in it, the shutters will tie the roof in with the house and will compliment the brick nicely without looking Christmasy.

    Also, if you keep the red door, make sure it’s a red that’s actually in your brick and not a tomato red. Choosing a rusty red from your brick will tie the door to the brick and make the whole house something even the neighbors will be proud of.

    Hope that helps.

    -Barbara
    Your Home & Color Coach

  • Andy says:

    Barbara,

    Wow, what a coincidence! I forgot to add that there is one different house two doors up……a more majestic-looking tudor with brick below & tan above. It has dark green shutters and very dark red door. The brown roof seems to work nicely with the tan upper, but not much help from the shutters or door. Still, it is a very nice house.

    Thank you so much for your suggestions about my white house. Green shutters are a stock item, which means I won’t have to paint white ones or pay for specials. Regarding the brick colors, my reds are really a mixture in the rust family as you suspected, with a sparse sprinkling of blacks.

    I’d like to send you a photo, but not sure where to send it.
    Thanks,
    Andy

  • bmeglis says:

    Hi Andy,

    Here is a good place to insert a photo link. Would love to see your project.

    -Barbara
    Your Home & Color Coach

  • Cathy says:

    I have a clay color house, and believe I need to put shutters on the first floor windows, to make them stand out better.
    My roof is a weather brown with grey. Other then green what colors should I use?

  • Kat says:

    Hi, Barbara

    Our home is Virginia wood mold brick. We pulled off horrible faded green plastic shutters when we bought it two years ago. Recently, we painted the trim a putty color with a grayish cast (the mortar is gray), which is a big improvement over thr stark white it was before. I am ordering raised panel wood composite shutters that are very heavy and are installed with hinges and pins and will have shutter dogs. I had planned on black shutters, but when we painted the back decks a dark brown, the effect was nice.

    The customer rep. of the shutter company says they rarely paint shutters black anymore, that dark brown is the new black. What do you think? We’re trying to update the house but don’t want it to look like we were just trying to update the house, if you know what I mean….a classic look might be better. I’m confused!

  • Kat says:

    sorry, here is link to house photo!

  • bmeglis says:

    Hi Cathy,

    You can’t go wrong with pulling a shutter color out of the roof so both dark brown and dark charcoal will work. (Cream trim would be nice.)

    But you might also consider a sand-colored shutter that would give the house a softer/Southwest style look.

    See what you think.

    -Barbara
    Your Home & Color Coach

  • bmeglis says:

    Hi Kat,

    I’m not sure your house even needs shutters — it looks terrific without them — but since your brick is so dark, I would still go with the black. I just don’t think you’ll get enough contrast with dark brown. Personally I don’t think black could ever go out of style, but brown might. And with such a classic house in Virginia, I would err on the side of old tradition.

    Hope that helps.

    -Barbara
    Your Home & Color Coach

  • Joy says:

    Hi Barbara,

    Thank you for all you do in helping us.

    I have 4 windows across the front of my country style house. 2 on each side of the front door. I want to put shutters on the windows. However, they are too close together.(22in. apart) So, my question is, can I put one shutter on one side of the left window and one shutter on the right side of the right window? Would that be tacky? Also, our house is buttery yellow with cream trim. Would black be okay as an accent with a red door? I hope I am making sense. ;) Thank you,

    Joy

  • bmeglis says:

    Hi Joy,

    Have you looked at custom shutters because I think you can get narrow ones that will fit in that space. I saw some on a house the other day and you don’t even notice the width unless you compare them with another house. They look great.

    Just a thought.

    If the windows butt up against each other you can do one shutter on one side and one on the other, but with a 22″ space between them, I wouldn’t do that. Check on-line for shutters in a size that will fit your space.

    Your house color and trim sound fine. Black is an excellent accent color (black shutters) for a buttery yellow house as is a red door. Smashing!!

    Good luck!

    -Barbara
    Your Home & Color Coach

  • Beth says:

    Dear Barbara, i couldn’t find where i posted my comment so i am posting it again in the right spot! sorry!!

    What color shutters and window trim should i choose for my currently plain colonial?

    My house has newer white vinyl sidinig, older Brick base around bottom of house from 1904, the front door is a crafstman dark walnut wood. the roof is a light gray. I was thinking a merlot maybe to accent the brick? but i was stumped on a color to coordinate with that. i also have four brick columns on the front of the porch. Any ideas? also i just have the white siding on the outside of the window trim. I will be replacing the windows next year and need a color combo for window trim to accent the shutters. help!!!! Any other color combos you may have i will definitely consider!

    here is a partial view of my house.

    http://www.slide.com/s/gMVQIKuQuD9fBADHeyebdSk8D4ma1QMC?sk=0&cy=gn&th=0

    Thank you so much for your time
    Beth

  • bmeglis says:

    Hi Beth,

    I got both of your posts but have had a busy weekend. Sorry for the delay.

    I like your merlot idea as long as it’s in the brick. Sounds like it will be. Black will also work for shutters. I know it may sound boring, but here in New England, it’s the most classic combination. And it allows for all kinds of color in accessories, landscaping, wreaths, lawn furniture, etc.

    Whatever color trim you have currently around the roof and porch you could use for around your window. Hard to see, but it looks like a light grey. That would work. It’s nice to have a little contrast between trim and white siding, just for a little definition. Otherwise the house is completely white with shutters kind of floating on the windows. I would get white windows, of course.

    Hope that helps.

    -Barbara.
    Your Home & Color Coach

  • Beth says:

    Thank you so much for your time and thoughts. Im not exactly sure if the merlot is in the brick. :0 The trim around the porch and roof is just white. very plain! i know the picture is taken far away. As far as the black shutters go. My neighbor across the street has the black shutters :( Do you have any other color ideas as for the shutters or window trim? i may also change the balisters to the white pvc railing because the porch is just treated lumber. not sure if i can paint that. it needs some livening up for sure.

  • bmeglis says:

    Hi Beth,

    It sounds like the trim is already in place and it’s white. That’s fine. Okay, here’s an alternative for you. How about painting your porch floor dark brown (you already have a dark wood door) and your shutters dark brown as well (the new black). That color combo will warm up the house and compliment the brick. And yes, replacing the treated lumber with anything will be terrific. Natural cedar would also work.

    Hope that helps.

    -Barbara
    Your Home & Color Coach

  • Kat says:

    Barbara, we finally decided on Historic Charleston Green, which is 7 parts black to one part green. It usually looks black but doesn’t have rthat inky look. We also added corbels under the porch overhang, and that was a nice change.

    Brown shutters? What was I thinking??? Thank you for your help!

    [IMG]http://i185.photobucket.com/albums/x186/kswl/House/DSCN1683-1.jpg[/IMG]

  • bmeglis says:

    Hi Kat,

    Here’s your house photo. It looks absolutely spectacular with the Historic Charleston Green shutters. Thanks for the tip!

    http://i185.photobucket.com/albums/x186/kswl/House/DSCN1683-1.jpg

    Barbara
    Your Home & Color Coach

  • Nermal says:

    Barbara:
    Hi! I stumbed onto this websit by accident and it is brilliant! I’m hoping that you can help. We live in a half brick, half siding bi-level built in 1960 that, with each, renovation project, we are trying to force traditional style onto. The brick is red with a white wash over it, creating a pinkish hue. The siding and trim are white. Currently, the shutters at a soft burgundy. A neighbor has suggested the Benjamin Moore color Dakota Woods Green for our shutters and Fresh Clay for the front door (should we wish to have the front door in a different color). Does this combination sound like a good one? Do you have any other suggestions? We don’t currently have plans to replace or paint the siding and I’d like to leave at least the window trim white since the second floor windows have been wrapped and/or replaced. The roof is asphalt “weathered wood” and has both gray and brown tones in it. We just took out the 45 year-old plants in front of the house, so with new landscaping, the house looks pretty naked and odd in a neighborhood with so much mature foliage. Also, I am thinking about replacing the louvered shutters currently on the house with raised panel to match the front door. A good idea?

  • bmeglis says:

    Hi Nermal,

    Green is often a nice shutter color for brick as it’s a complimentary color to the pink/red and makes both brick and shutters “pop.” I generally go with black shutters for “pink” brick as it tends to minimize the pinkish color (I like black because it’s dressy but since your house is only half brick, you can stand a bit more color on your shutters). I do like the Dakota Woods green that your neighbor picked out. Nice and dark and earthy. Also the Fresh Clay is a great door color for brick. Very warm and has a pink base so it will go. I suggest getting a sample can of each color and checking them out.

    Not to worry about the white windows. They’re fine. And matching shutter style to front door will pull the whole look together.

    Good luck.

    -Barbara
    Your Home & Color Coach

    • ursula says:

      thanks for the advice Im also thinking of buying a home with light pinkish brick, do you think that black shutters will also look good with light pink? I admit Im not very fond of the color but perhaps this would improve it..

      • bmeglis says:

        Hi Ursula,

        Black shutters will look smashing against the light pink brink. Go for it!

        -Barbara
        Your Home & Color Coach

  • Nermal says:

    Barbara -

    Thank you for your feedback! I already have a can of the green and will get a sample shutter painted soon. Do you prefer the look of louvered shutters on the second floor and raised panel on the first (which I’m told is more historically accurate) or does it not matter since my house is not of “historic” style? Also, would English Manor work for the front door (as an accent against the Dakota Woods green) as well or is that too brown? And, finally, would I paint the door on the same side of the house as the two garage doors in the red or green color?

    By the way, how would I send a picture of my house to you?

  • Nermal says:

    Barbara:

    I hope you can view this and it is helpful!
    http://home.comcast.net/~ewrl/site/?/photos/

  • bmeglis says:

    Hi Nermal,

    Thanks for sending the photos. If you’re going for a really traditional look for the house, I suggest using the english manor for both shutters (all raised-panel) and front door. The effect is similar to using black shutters and black door on a brick colonial. Very traditional. Very classic. But with your roof and brick color, the dark rich brown is just that — dark and rich. And it looks great.

    The green is okay but in seeing your house, I would prefer
    keeping a monochromatic color scheme. A little more elegant.

    See what you think.

    -Barbara
    Your Home & Color Coach

  • Janet says:

    Barbara HELP!!! We live in a old red brick house. I have several things going on and am totally unsure about what to do on any of them! First we have brown windows (don’t ask me why they put in brown… but it is what it is) and have a brown metal roof. We have ripped the front porch off the house and are planning to have that replaced in the next 4-6 weeks. My problem is that the builder wants to use a white aluminum on the porch rails and a gray compressed decking board. Then my husband wants to come in and put awning up… I am just torn about a color… and I don’t know if the white will look ok with so much brown already in place or maybe it will give a fresh appearance to the front of the house. Then there are the shutters that right now are a nice FADED brown… I’m sick of brown… I was thinking a teal or forest green. Please help give me some direction! Thanks!

  • Janet says:

    sorry not aluminum railing… but vinyl

  • bmeglis says:

    Hi Janet,

    With brown as your trim color, you have no precedent for white on the porch. Am I right? No white trim anywhere else? I suggest if you’re going with vinyl, that you actually do black railings. It should look like wrought iron, which is perfect for your house. The gray decking board is okay. But the white is going to stand out like an added-on porch, which of course is what it is. But you want the porch to look like it was built with the house and not added on when white vinyl became all the rage.

    As for the shutters, dark green would be perfectly fine on your brick house.

    Send a photo if I can be more helpful.

    -Barbara
    Your Home & Color Coach

  • Janet says:

    I’ll shoot you a picture probably tomorrow. Its raining here today. The porch will be a 20×8 on the front. What about the awning on top of the porch. Black for that too to go with the railings? Also… remember the roof is a brown metal… is that all going to look ok?? I like the dark green for the shutters too.

    Thank you so much for your help! Janet

  • bmeglis says:

    Hi Janet,

    I’ll wait for the photo but I wanted to tell you that the awning should match the roof color, not the railings, so brown would be better than black. I said black for the railings only because it’s so much better than white. If there are other colors available for the same price, you can do brown. But black should be just fine.

    -Barbara
    Your Home & Color Coach

  • Janet says:

    So… you think that black railings and a brown (metal) awing would be ok??

  • bmeglis says:

    Hi Janet,

    Yes, black goes with everything. You’ll hardly notice the difference from the curb. White would really stand out — all you’d see would be the porch. This way, the porch will blend in with the brick and you’ll notice the whole house, not just the porch.

    If you can, get the railings as thin as possible to simulate a wrought iron railing. Nothing too heavy.

    -Barbara
    Your Home & Color Coach

  • Janet says:

    I agree with you totally about the white! I was horrified when I was told it was going to be white. Thank goodness we are about 6 weeks out from this starting. We are looking at a black vinyl railing now. The post would be black also up to the awning. I just wish I had a computerized way of looking at our house first with the addition before we get it all up! hehe! You say though that you think the grey decking boards will be ok?? That would be the steps also.

  • bmeglis says:

    Hi Janet,

    Yes, the grey steps and decking boards should be fine. Wish I were there to help you through the decisions. Send a photo if you can, and I’ll be more specific. Just insert a photo link into this reply box or send it to my email address:

    bmeglis@yourhomeandcolorcoach.com

    -Barbara
    Your Home & Color Coach

  • Janet says:

    I was trying to figure out how to get the photo in! I took one the other day, but it was too dark. I’ll get you one over the weekend! Thanks Barbara! ~Janet~

  • Janet says:

    Here is a link! Hope it works! Question… we have priced the black vinyl and it is 2 x’s the cost of the white! Since we are on a budget would white be that awful?? Can it be painted?? Or if we did the white would I still go with the dark green shutters?? I know you are thinking this girl has issues! hehehe! Thanks for your help Barbara!

    Janet

    http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=37481&l=b1d51&id=505866414

  • bmeglis says:

    Hi Janet,

    Thanks for the photo. I suggest ditching the shutter idea altogether. With such prominent brown trim around the windows, you really don’t need more color there. And your brick and grout are quite colorful as is. I think green might be over the top.

    As for the porch railing color, I found some white on the inside of your carport so there is some precedence for white on your house. I would just go ahead with it. Also, your brown roof looks quite light in the photo (from sky reflection probably) so the white won’t look quite as prominent as I had envisioned.

    To soften the white railing when it is installed, consider putting some bushes and other plantings around the porch perimeter. That will work fine.

    -Barbara
    Your Home & Color Coach

  • Janet says:

    Barbara… I love you!! You have solved all my problems! I wondered how the shutter-less look would be too! I just hope there isn’t a faded look when we remove them!! Muah!! I’ll send you pictures when we are completed!! This site rocks and I am so glad I googled you! ~Janet~!

  • Karen says:

    Hi. I stumbled upon your wedsite and am also in a undecided situation. I have a house that is one story and has white steel siding. We have recently put up burgandy shutters and a burgandy door. We are now needing our house painted and I am considering changing the white house color. Can you give me any suggestions as to what colors would look good using the burgandy shutters and door? All suggestions would greatly be appreciated.

  • bmeglis says:

    Hi Karen,

    Consider a warm caramel color that will look fabulous with the burgundy. Much warmer than the white. Look at Ben Moore’s Roxbury caramel (HC-42).

    -Barbara
    Your Home & Color Coach

  • Janet says:

    Hi Barbara! I thought I would update you on my house! We finally have the bottom half on… sat on it last night and enjoyed the crickets and cool breeze! It will be about 5 weeks (sadly) though before they can come to put up the awning and then the construction crew will be back to do the vinyl. You will notice too in the pictures that the shutters have been removed! It was as huge improvement! Thanks so much for the suggestion! I’ll keep you posted on the progress!
    Janet

    http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=37481&l=b1d51&id=505866414

  • Nikki says:

    Hi Barbara,

    I would like to change something about the exterior color palate of my home. My house is a 1950′s style ranch with a large set of three windows in the center of the facade. The front door is on one side and a smaller bedroom window is on the other side. My house is brick. The brick is sort of an orange color. The roof has dark brown shingles. The gutters are painted dark brown. The fascia, soffits ,and trim around the windows are white. The combination of orange, brown and white just doesn’t work for me. The house currently has shutters that are painted white with a brown edge. The roof slopes down and is quite a prominent feature. In a few years I will probably need a new roof and I plan on going with a dark gray. However, I need to do something now because it seriously lacks curb appeal. Please help!

  • Heidi says:

    Hi there
    I am trying to find a color scheme for my Bi-Level house. The bottom half is orange/brown mix brick and the upper half is a vinyl siding, the color is sort of a beige/taupe with a hint of green in it (not sure what color it is)
    Right now I have the trim, painted almost oyster color. And my shutters and garage door, front door is a dk purple. My hubby is ready for a change.
    I ahve absolutely No Idea what color to go with. I am looking for something classy/unusual/unique. I do not want to look like the neighbors. And yet, they all have red, brown, green, blue.
    I was wondering if you might have any suggestions? I still like purple, and was even thinking of going with a plum raisin or even leaning more towards a black cherry.
    I am open for any suggestions!
    Thanks
    Heidi

  • bmeglis says:

    Hi Nikki (#63),

    Okay, there’s not a lot we can change here before the new roof goes on, but you might consider painting your shutters a dark chocolate brown. I know you’re not crazy about the orange/white/brown color scheme, but dark shutters will add some elegance to your house and I think that will help. Also, the gutter’s downspout should match the house, not the roof. You don’t want to see it as a design feature.

    You might also consider painting your front door a darker version of your brick, a nice dark rich orangey red. That will also give the house some punch, especially with your white trim.

    The rest is accessories and landscaping. Make sure you have updated your plants and shrubs around the entryway. Adding an accent color there will help too. How about a teal or olive green pot on the front step.

    See if that helps you.

    -Barbara
    Your Home & Color Coach

  • bmeglis says:

    Hi Heidi (#64),

    I like the plum raisin idea for your accent color. It has both the brown of the brick and the purple that you like and it’s a very complex color. People will probably stop by your house and ask what color it is. Just make sure it’s a little more brown than purple. You can always use purple for accessories and flowers.

    Hope that helps.

    -Barbara
    Your Home & Color Coach

  • George says:

    Hi Barbara,
    Our home is a typical white vinyl sided colonial farmhouse with front porch. The shutters & front door are a light colonial faded blue (some people call it greenish).
    Any color ideas for shutters/front door? My neighbor has the EXACT same house across the street with light gray, black shutters & red door. We would love black shutters as well, however, isn’t black & white overdone? Would love something New England!
    Diana

  • bmeglis says:

    Hi Diana/George (#67),

    If you’re looking for something new Englandy, then by all means, go with black shutters. Here in New England, they’re everywhere, and they look spectacular with a white house. No problem there. We have rows of white houses with black shutters on the main street.

    But where you can really make your statement is with the front door. Here’s your chance to step outside the traditional and make your house a knock-out. Anything from a dark rich orange to golden yellow to a rich Greek-ocean blue to just about any color that you like. Just make sure it’s a dark value of the hue/color that you choose. That way it will look rich and historic.

    Get your inspiration from whatever you’ve planted out front and don’t forget to give your lawn furniture a fresh paint job. Perhaps in a coordinating color with your door. Or even the same — that will work too.

    Hope that inspires you.

    -Barbara
    Your Home & Color Coach

  • Louise says:

    Hi,

    I came across your website and really like how you are helping people make difficult choices regarding their homes. I hope you can help me too. We would like to build a center hall colonial home with beige/tan cedar or cedar look vinyl siding and either forest green (dark green) or midnight blue (navy blue) shutters. What do you think of either of these combinations? Should we be looking at any other colors for shutters?. We want a natural look for the siding so we are certain it will be a beige or tan color, but are not sure about the color for the shutters. We will like a contemporary looking home and so perhaps the colors should be contemporary as well. Please let me know what you think.

    Thanks,
    Louise

  • bmeglis says:

    Hi Louise (#69),

    With the beige/tan cedar siding, you have lots of options for shutters. Black (my personal favorite) is a traditional (timeless) choice for shutters. It’s like adding a little black to your living room decor. It just makes all the colors look better. But it is traditional.

    If you’re looking for a more contemporary color scheme, consider dark eggplant (a very dark purple). Certainly either the dark green or navy will also work but they’re a little more conventional too. Don’t forget that you can really make your house look contemporary with the front door color. That allows you to keep more conventional shutters and really punch up the front entry.

    Not sure I helped, but you’re on the right track anyway. Good luck with your new home.

    -Barbara
    Your Home & Color Coach

  • CATHLEEN MEKEEL says:

    I have a custom colonial built in 1969. The siding is light tan sometimes it looks a light green tint when looking in the shade, not sure if its the shade. The roof is black. The windows crank open from the bottom, double stacked, portionate to regular double hung windows. There is a porch with double front doors with a light tan brick posts and tan brick under house siding. The house trim, window trim and door are all the same color. The house is just boring. I was thinking of putting black shutters on the windows with cream trim around the windows and cream color double garage. However, what about a black front door and black garage? Help, what do you suggest.

    Thanks for your help!

    Cathleen

  • CATHLEEN says:

    I forgot to add the house AND trim, window trim, doors and garage are all the same color, TAN. Right now there is no shutters. It needs some pop!

  • bmeglis says:

    Hi Cathleen (#71,72),

    I like your garage door color in relation to your house color. I think I would leave that as it is. But I like the idea of cream trim and black shutters. and maybe an additional black wrought iron light somewhere (I see the lamp post already).

    Because everything is tan (and black), I would punch up the front double doors — they sound like quite a feature. Look at the dark rusty reds (on the orange side) for your doors.

    Also at least in the photo, the front doors are hard to see. If you haven’t already, consider trimming those front hedges way back so that there is a clear path right up to the front door.

    Hope that helps.

    -Barbara
    Your Home & Color Coach

  • CATHLEEN says:

    Barbara:

    Thank you so much for your speedy response! I changed the landscaping but didn’t have an updated picture to send, that was actually the picture that was used for selling as I just purchased the home in January. I couldn’t wait to get rid of those bushes! They were removed from both sides of the walk-way and smaller landscaping plants put in.

    I like your suggestion color choice for the front doors too.

    Thank you so much. Cathleen

  • Star says:

    Just purchased our first home upon separating from the Air Force. I have read all of this with much excitement and I wonder if you can help us? We need to choose a shutter color ( and front door color) and style to look good with the house as it is because it will be a couple of years before we can afford to replace the white aluminum siding with a more stylishly colored vinyl and can change the door and shutters again at that time. We cant decide.
    We would be very thankful for any help! Does it help to know that there is white vinyl fencing on both sides of the front yard? And that the carport is painted white underneath (this can be changed this year, if it needs to match shutters) eventually it will also be vinyl sided or painted to match the siding.

    http://i45.photobucket.com/albums/f98/jstarh/100_7521.jpg
    http://i45.photobucket.com/albums/f98/jstarh/100_7537.jpg

  • Star says:

    I should also add, the house is in western KY. It is a mixed bag of houses on our street of styles and colors, most built in the 60′s and 70′s. We love board and batten style shutters and would like stained wood ones. But not sure how it would look. We like the rustic yet classy look BUT inside our house is painted in soft whites greys and blues, and greens and we have ebony stained hardwood floors throughout. And the furniture is black or very dark and very modern. I have plans for edible landscaping out front: blueberry bushes, raspberries, rhubarb, herbs and useful flowers, but also hollyhocks and lilac bushes, think english garden style with sitting nooks. Yes I know, quiet the clash but we enjoy going from one style to another depending on our modd, just dont want to devalue the property!

    Star

  • bmeglis says:

    Hi Star (#75,76),

    With your roof color and yellow brick, you already have a palette of colors so I might recommend skipping the shutters altogether. But instead, I would buy either big terra cotta pots for either side of the front window (that color will tie in with your roof) or wrought iron pots and create a couple of really tall arrangements. Eventually you can create an outdoor living space on that front porch by adding a couple of chairs and a table.

    As for the front door, I would pick a nice deep rusty red again to tie the roof in with the yellow brick.

    Hope that helps.

    -Barbara
    Your Home & Color Coach

  • Paige says:

    Hi Barbara,

    What a great resource your website is! I’m glad I stumbled upon it as you may be the perfect person to help us answer this question.

    We are in the process of purchasing a red brick Colonial revival. The front is rather plain-looking and the door and trim is currently light blue, which we don’t care much for. We’re considering painting all the trim around the door, window, and eaves white and painting the door black to go for a more classic look. Also, we’d like to put in black shutters to dress up the front, but the bottom two windows closest to the door don’t have enough room because of the light fixtures on either side of the door (which we’re also considering replacing with something larger). We’re thinking about just putting the shutters on the top windows and leaving the bottom as is. I photoshopped a prototype and it looked pretty good to my eye. Does that plan sound weird? What do you think of the color options? Current house shown in linked photo.

    http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3253/2743000408_110078c2b5_b.jpg

  • bmeglis says:

    Hi Paige (#78),

    Your color scheme sounds perfect. But I would try having the electrician move your front porch lights kind of down and in so you have room for at least narrow black shutters on all your windows. Since the windows on the front are all the same size and shape, having shutters on just the upstairs will look odd.

    But they do make narrower (than typical) shutters and they look fine. I think you’ll be happier with shutters on all the windows.

    Hope that helps.

    -Barbara
    Your Home & Color Coach

  • Paige says:

    Barbara,

    Thanks so much for the feedback! Moving the lights sounds like a great idea. We’ll definitely look into that option.

    Regards,
    Paige

  • Roberta says:

    Hello Barbara, I am stumped and so happy to have found you and your expertise! My husband and I are building our dream house after waiting 20+ years so I am almost afraid to make any decisions for fear of them being wrong. We are building a two-story similiar to Khov.com New Jersey model. We have selected Royal Croft Vintage Cream siding and it is almost done-love the soft buttery color although it does look much more yellow in the sun. We would like your suggestions for both a traditional and more contemporary color scheme for the shutter and front door. We also were considering adding pillistars and mantals on the front but are not sure because of the front porch. The front door is std door with 2 sidelights and we thought it may need more color around it to help it stand out under the porch? One house that we saw and thought was interesting had colonial green shutters, pillistars and mantals and a red/brown door. Oh, yes and the roof is similiar to weathered wood. Other colors we have considered were black, eggplant, and various shades of blue. Thanks so any advice!

  • bmeglis says:

    Hi Roberta (#81),

    I wasn’t able to locate the New Jersey model on that website, but I have a good idea what your house looks like from the others shown.

    A traditional scheme with the light yellow is white trim, black shutters and black door. A red door will also work beautifully with the black shutters and traditional scheme. Some people also like dark green for shutters. If you go in that direction, make sure your green has olive tones to go with the roof — nothing too “forest.”

    For a more contemporary color scheme, you might consider a very dark purple like dark basalt (2072-10) for the shutters and black raspberry (2072-20, both Ben Moore) for the door. Yellow and purple are complementary colors so that color scheme will really pop.

    See what you think.

    -Barbara
    Your Home & Color Coach

  • Rab says:

    Hi Barbara,

    Great site here!

    I’d like to get a reality check from you. My house is pale blue with cream trim, cream shutters, and a cream front door. It also has a porch with a medium gray floor.

    I plan on replacing the cream shutters with navy shutters and repainting the front door in navy as well.

    Would it be crazy to pain the porch floor in navy? I’m not sure I’ve ever seen that done and I’m wondering if there might be a good reason for that.

    Thanks!
    …rab

  • bmeglis says:

    Hi Rab (#83),

    Usually the floor is not meant to be a feature and, of course, it gets really dirty so gray and other “dirt-like” colors work really well for front porch floors. Navy blue will tie your floor into the shutters and front door and make all three of them the same in terms of impact. That’s okay, but not optimal. You might darken your floor to a darker blue-gray, but I would still give your door the top billing on your porch. Exception: If you plan to put a large outdoor sisal rug on the navy porch, that will work.

    Another idea is to go with an earthy color similar to your garden mulch. That would be warmer than gray but would still allow the navy blue to stand out.

    See what you think.

    -Barbara
    Your Home & Color Coach

  • Rab says:

    Great advice – I’ll go with the blue-gray for the porch floor. Thanks!

  • Gaile Berrones says:

    Hi Barbara,

    Not sure if this is really a color question, but, we have a traditional 2 story darker brick home. Every home in the subdivision has shutters and my husband would like to just take them all down (it’s very windy where we live so we are constantly finding a lost one here and there). The door, door trim, garage door, roof and shutter colors are all a light grey.
    The windows upstairs really have no adornment, while the ones on the bottom floor each have one triangular greyer brick above it. Do you think that if we took the shutters down, it would look unfinished or more of a federal style?

    Thank you!
    Gaile

  • Gaile Berrones says:

    I should add that that top floor windows barely have any room in between the shutters, and it looks pretty smushed.

    Gaile

  • bmeglis says:

    Hi Gaile (#86,87),

    I bet your particular house will look fine without the shutters especially if there’s not much space between the windows. Since your house is dark brick, it certainly doesn’t need shutters to add color. And if it saves the annoyance of keeping them on the house during a wind storm, then leave them off.

    We took our shutters off because of the wasp nests behind them and pretty soon everyone in the neighborhood followed suit. Maybe you’ll start a trend.

    -Barbara
    Your Home & Color Coach

  • kat110 says:

    I am so happy to have found this site. Our house is red brick with all brown trim and brown gutters. We have a little white above the garage. We really need advice on what color shutters and front door. We are stumped. I wanted red but not sure about that since the brick is red. So I was thinking black but not sure if it would go with the brown trim and gutters. We can’t change out the trim or gutters due to money so I’m stuck with the brown. Any help you can give me would be great.
    Kat110

  • kat110 says:

    I forgot to add a picture of the house. This was taken before we bought it so it looks really un-lived in. We have a lot of flowers, flower pots etc. so it looks a lot “homier” than in the picture, but it hopefully gives you an idea.
    http://i13.photobucket.com/albums/a256/tessruby/newhouse001.jpg

  • bmeglis says:

    Hi kat110 (#89),

    I’m not a huge fan of white shutters, but I think they might be a solution for you since half of your house is white siding and the other half is brick. If you put the white shutters on the brick windows only, they will tie in with the vertical white siding and balance out the house. Then you can go ahead with your brick red door color. Try Ben Moore’s Georgian brick (HC-50) as it’s brown enough to go with the trim and brick but red enough to stand out behind the screen door.

    Hope that helps.

    Oh, and if you haven’t already done it (you may have), you can replace the green front step carpeting with a nice rich dark brown and you’ll be amazed at the transformation. It really dresses up the house and pulls the colors together.

    -Barbara
    Your Home & Color Coach

  • kat110 says:

    Thank you so much. You gave us just the advice we needed. I’ve spent all evening painting our shutters white and our door a brick red. Looks fantastic and we will get our shutters up tomorrow.

    One of the first things we did when we moved in this house in July was rip out that green carpeting on the porch. We have left it plain cement but love the idea of dark brown. We never would have thought of that so thank you so much.

    Your time and thoughts are very appreciated.

  • Lydia says:

    Hi Barb! We really need your help. We own a 1920s brown brick home (t-shaped / roofline / 1 1/2 story). Actually, the brick only spans the front of the home. The rest is a light beige/barely yellowish siding (you can see it above the roofline of our front porch). Originally, the home was all wood siding (we think brown or red – as the only picture we have is black and white / used to be the stationmaster’s house), with double double-hung (2 double hungs side by side) windows with grills only on the top half. We added the shutters last summer and painted them the taupe/tan color you see in the picture. Welllll that worked out ok until we replaced our windows (identical in style to the originals). The home however, did not have shutters, but we think it looks cute with them (maybe we’re wrong?). Eventually, the house will be all siding (yeah! we don’t want the brown brick and the siding will need replacing anyway within the next ten years)…back to changing the windows! They are white and it all seems to clash horribly now! For the life of me I can’t figure out what color to paint the shutters now! Should we go black? It’s very much brown brick (with no hint of red – that I can see anyway). We are getting rid of the brown storm door you see in the picture and are going to replace it with a simple countryish screen door (not sure what color to paint it). We will also need to replace our actual front door. It’s seen better days. Should we go with a windowless door? 6-paned on the top? and of course, what color? next summer we will also be installing window boxes. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

    Thank you so much!

    Lydia and Scott

    http://picasaweb.google.com/lydia.lenne/Hiver2008#5184489912521973666

  • bmeglis says:

    Hi Lydia and Scott (#93),

    Your house is in transition, moving from the brown windows to white and from brick to siding, eventually. Part of the problem is that with the windows white and the trim still brown, the windows stick out too much. You might consider starting to move toward white trim for the house in anticipation of covering the brick with siding at some point. The white trim will tie in the white windows and will look great with the siding color (although there will be tons of contrast next to the brick — part of the transition process).

    As for the shutters, try black. It will tie in the roof and although there will be no contrast between brick and shutters (again due to the transition), the black against the creamy yellow with the white trim and windows will look spectacular.

    Try a black screen door with maybe the creamy yellow wood door behind it. That will tie in the shutters and the siding color. The brown brick will kind of be left as a texture to the yellow house. But brown goes with everything.

    See what you think..

    -Barbara
    Your Home & Color Coach

  • Anne Marie says:

    Hii Barbara,

    I have a “pink” brick colonial with light tan shutters and trim and a portico above the front door which has 2 side lights. The house has 5 large windows along the second floor and four large windows on the first with the front door in between. I want to paint the front door and shutters black, but am wondering what shade of black I should go with (green black, true black, gray black). Because there are so many windows, I am concerned that the black maybe too intense.

    I am not crazy about the tan trim, but I cannot afford to paint it right now. Also, the roof is gray in color but it does need to be replaced in the next year or two. What color roof would you suggest?

    Thanks for your help!

    Anne Marie

  • bmeglis says:

    Hi Anne Marie (#95),

    I suggest a soft charcoal black for your shutters. Nothing too inky. Then the shutters will look terrific with a future charcoal roof.

    When the time is right, you might want to lighten the trim to a cream or soft white to give more contrast with the brick.

    Hope that helps.

    -Barbara
    Your Home & Color Coach

  • Anne Marie says:

    Hi Barbara,

    Thanks for the great suggestions! I was wondering if you could recommend a particular soft charcoal black, as the sample I picked up looks a little too grey (Sherwin-Williams Iron Ore) especially next to my black front lights.

    Thanks,

    Anne Marie

  • bmeglis says:

    Hi Anne Marie (#97),

    Have a look at Black Magic (SW 6991). It’s blacker than the iron ore but not inky. I think that should work for you.

    -Barbara
    Your Home & Color Coach

  • Patti says:

    Hi~ I need some major color assistance with my 1958 ranch style home. We are in the process of giving the house some new curb appeal but I am stressed over colors. The pinkish colored block we have is so hard to work with. I am replacing our storm door and need help on determining the color scheme. Should we get a black trimmed door or white or something else. I also would like to add shutters; or do we not need them? If so maybe black. In addition we will be putting up new siding and trim, what color for that. Maybe the grout color between the blocks. We also plan on taking out the lattice work in the front (hides one window). I would really appreciate any help.
    pictures
    http://i97.photobucket.com/albums/l228/pag02/House/DSCF5135.jpg
    http://i97.photobucket.com/albums/l228/pag02/House/DSCF5134.jpg

    Thanks,
    Patti

    • bmeglis says:

      Hi Patti,

      You have a pink and gray color scheme between your stonework and your roof. I would capitalize on that as it can be very soft and attractive. Try a very light gray for your trim and a slightly darker but warm gray (not too blue) for the siding. You can keep white for your front door. As for shutters, I suggest a dark charcoal (not inky black) as you want the overall effect of your house to be subtle and soft and to highlight the variegation in the stone. I would use nickel as a metal for lights, etc. Go for the sophisticated subtle look and I think your house will be fine, especially after removing the grids out front.

      Hope that helps.

      -Barbara
      Your Home & Color Coach

  • Patti says:

    Thank you so much. I love your ideas; and that is exactly what I will be doing. I have lost many nights of sleep over my pink house issues.
    Thanks again.
    ~Patti

  • Douglas says:

    Hi Barbara

    We have a rose colored brick colonial home with cut tennessee field stone planters in the front (pinkish tones, not gray). We’re replacing the roof with charcoal arch shingles. The front door is also being replaced with a mahogany colored door with sidelites. The sidelights have black caming and the front stairs have black iron railings. The entry way door trim, windows, and a little siding above the garage are going to also be re-painted. Currently, we have planned for white (although I note in your blog that you have suggested perhaps tans to match the brick grout colors). What do you suggest? There is still time to choose something different for the shingles and door stain. My wife is thinking an earth tone green for the shutters, but I’m not convinced. Any advice is appreciated, but I’m looking for ideas ASAP. Thanks, douglas

    • bmeglis says:

      Hi Douglas,

      I like the idea of keeping white trim for house, doors, and windows, but you might consider a grout color for your garage siding, just to blend better with the brick. As for shutters, I would stick with dark charcoal or black to tie in the roof color with the black accents. With rose brick, I wouldn’t introduce another color like green. I would stick with the neutrals and black dresses up the house and makes it more traditional/formal. Then you can keep the dark mahogany door (and garage doors?). Very elegant.

      Good luck.

      -Barbara
      Your Home & Color Coach

  • Douglas says:

    Thanks Barbara for such a nice response. I have a lot more to consider. Douglas

  • whitney says:

    Wow—-I wish I would have found you months ago!
    Are you tired of answering shutter questions?
    We agonized over color choices for our house–we’ve gone with white and dark gray trim. (the green will all be gone soon)
    Do you think we should put shutters on the upper part of the house?
    The lower story is below street level.
    your input is so valued.
    Stop me before I do something crazy!
    I think I attached the photos
    :o)
    thank you thank you!

    • bmeglis says:

      Hi Whitney,

      I like the look with just the painted trim. It modernizes the house a bit and since all the windows are different anyway, I would see how you like it without the shutters for awhile. No real advantage to putting shutters on just a few of the windows. Nice paint job!

      -Barbara
      Your Home & Color Coach

  • Dave & Victoria says:

    Hello,
    We would like to paint our shutters and front door a different color and need some advice. The siding is vinyl and is what I would call alabastor in color. There is no brick or stone on the house. The shutters are green but not a hunter green – something the previous owner had mixed. The front door is brick color. I also need to paint the garage door because it is white and there is not enough contrast between the door color and siding color so it creates confusion when you try to figure out what color the house really is. It is a traditional two-story with a black roof. Any ideas on what would make our house ‘pop’? We are trying to avoid black because it seems so overused. I think the garage door should be painted to match the siding color…why bring attention to a garage door, right?

    Thanks for your help!

    • bmeglis says:

      Hi Dave & Victoria,

      How about the blue family? You could paint your shutters a dark, midnight blue and the front door a rich teal. Very current and a little unexpected for your style of house. And yes, I would maybe go one shade darker than your house color for the garage door. That will blend but give it some weight.

      See what you think.

      -Barbara
      Your Home & Color Coach

  • whitney says:

    Barbara, you are awesome! At the chance of pushing my luck, I offer you the other side of the house, which I sent two days ago— undergoing the same treatment as the front, losing the green, going with the gray. What to pain the patio though? All White with a lighter gray on the top board? And what about the supports? I cannot thank you enough!

    http://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/Y-zqFuMOBVY3eeEthsuwtw?authkey=aKmeS9gHEwo&feat=directlink

    • bmeglis says:

      Hi Whitney,

      I like the idea of white railing on deck and stairs with gray deck and stairs. Would do white trellis as well.

      Hope that helps.

      -Barbara
      Your Home & Color Coach

  • George says:

    Hi Barbara,

    Our house is white with blue shutters. We want to change the shutters & paint the door a third color. I was thinking black panel shutters with an avacado door??? But they do have paintable shutters so we could do any color really.
    Any suggestions?
    George

  • cassandra says:

    Hi, i’ve just replaced my roof with an architectural charcoal grey roof. there’s a small amount of siding on the front of the house that is beige. what color shutters and door would compliment this? i was thinking of a cranberry/burgandy color. what do you suggest?

  • Julie says:

    Hi, we have a colonial home with tan siding dark brown roof and the shutters are currently burgandy. I want to paint or replace the shutters with a different color. I really like the look of tan siding and black shutters but with my roof being brown would that look funny? Which color would you suggest? Also on the second level there is such a wide space between the two windows it really needs something to spruce it up. What do you suggest?

    Here’s a picture
    http://www2.snapfish.com/thumbnailshare/AlbumID=378180007/a=51340237_51340237/otsc=SHR/otsi=SALBlink/COBRAND_NAME=snapfish

    • bmeglis says:

      Hi Julie,

      I just suggested this to someone else (must be the night) but I would go with a dark eggplant for your shutters. It will give you the dark that you like (just like black) but with more color and some freshness. Don’t worry about the space between the windows. When the shutters are the gorgeous eggplant color, nobody will even see the space. Not a problem at all.

      Hope you like the idea.

      -Barbara
      Your Home & Color Coach

  • tw7424 says:

    We are replacing our light gray vinyl siding with the wider Hardie concrete/composite siding. We want to replace the shutters, which were charcoal gray (to match the front door) but have faded to a medium gray. We wanted to replace them with charcoal shutters, but they apparently are not made any more, so our choices are black, white, dark green, or cranberry. Any suggestions? We can certainly repaint the door. In fact, I was considering painting the door dark red, but think that dark red shutters would be a little much.
    Thanks.

    • bmeglis says:

      Hi tw7424,

      Sorry for the delay. Go with black shutters for a classic look! That’s easy.

      -Barbara
      Your Home & Color Coach

  • Frank Alfano says:

    Hello,
    I own a small Cape Cod home that has white aluminum siding. It currently has green shutters, red front door, and brown roof. I’m looking to update my home and give it more appeal. What color shutters and front door would give it more appeal?

    Please advise and thanks for your assistance.

    Frank

    • bmeglis says:

      Hi Frank,

      How about pulling the brown down from the roof by painting the shutters something like Ben Moore’s Warm Tan (2162-30) and painting the front door a semi-gloss Cabernet (2116-30)? Then plant a lilac bush in the front yard and some purple irises. I guarantee that your neighbors will notice your updated color palette.

      -Barbara
      Your Home & Color Coach

  • Arielle says:

    Hi Julie-
    I was hoping that you could help me. We just bought this townhome and are lost at what colors to paint the front door and the shutters. The exterior of our home is a grey cement/brick material. The shutters and front door are currently dark brown. The townhome was built in the 60s so the kitchen is in the front. Because of this, the front windows are uneven. I was thinking from your other posts that we could keep the shutters just on the top windows of the townhome but remove the bottom shutters and extend the window border. Do you ideas for what color that this extended window border should be and what color we should paint the front door? Thanks so much, I appreciate it! :)

    • bmeglis says:

      Hi Arielle,

      That’s a good solution to your uneven window problem. But you don’t even have to put shutter color on the bottom windows. Just window trim will draw your eye up to the color on the shutters. I would paint the front door the same color as the shutters and bring a third color in with the accessories. Keeping the door and shutters the same will balance the color on the front of the house. If you want to switch out the brown, you could try navy blue, dark brick red, or a dark charcoal gray for shutters/door.

      Hope that works for you.

      -Barbara
      Your Home & Color Coach

  • help says:

    Need help–Wood door–uneven windows–no window left of door. no room for shutters bottom window. House looks lopsided. Wood door, beige garage door and skinny stoop steps and white grout on brick.
    Need something to punch it up.

    Ugly in Texas

    • bmeglis says:

      Hi Ugly in Texas,

      Okay, there’s a lot that you don’t like, but in that case, I suggest playing up the front entryway, skinny steps and all. Paint the risers on the steps white to attract attention and put nice shrubs on either side if there’s room. Don’t worry if there isn’t — just plant on one side then. Put a big pot of flowers by the front door if you want to leave it unpainted. Otherwise, choose a warm welcoming color like Ben Moore’s Affinity Caliente (AF-290). White trim is fine. You can paint your garage door either the Caliente or keep it beige to blend more with the brick. That’s fine.

      Hope that punches up your Texas home.

      -Barbara
      Your Home & Color Coach

  • VanWood says:

    Hi Barbara!

    My husband and I just bought our first home- because it was an excellent buy in a GREAT neighborhood. Unfortunately, It has nothing that we were hoping to get in terms of style. We really wanted something with “period character” such as craftsman or tudor elements . . . instead we got a 50′s style with white aluminum siding and black shutters! The house has no character, but it was a great first investment for us.

    It also doesn’t help that an older woman has lived there for 25 years- you have to see past that!

    Can you suggest color(s) for the front door, and/or shutters just to spice it up a little. Also, we will be changing the light fixture on the house, the house numbers, taking off the iron railings, and changing the lantern in the front yard.
    Keep in mind, it looks a lot better now that the foliage is green and the bushes, flowers are in bloom.

    Thanks so much!!

    Here is a link to the house:
    http://www.cbburnet.com/CustomModules/Property/PropertyDetail.aspx?SearchID=11190057&PropertyGUID=E6CDB4A5-058B-4DAC-A115-5E1579B61D16&TotalRows=1&CurrentPage=1&SortValue=0&LastResultsPage=1&IsSold=False

  • mitten vinyl says:

    That is very important section. Thanks.

  • Campbell says:

    Hi Barbara,

    I’m really hoping for some help with our newly purchased house. It is an old farmhouse from the 1800′s that had an addition done along with some plain white vinyl siding. The main entrance used is actually the back/side door with a deck that could also using some painting.

    http://picasaweb.google.ca/hforbes19/House

    The trim is currently painted purple/burgundy and the deck is a medium brown.

    I’m hoping adding some shutters to the original part of the house and repainting the door and trim on the addition (the small part of the house, where the deck is). As you can see, the roof is shingled black.

    I’m open to any and all suggestions! (i.e. shutters (yes or no?), repainting the trim, deck, door, etc. to match).

    Thanks!

    • bmeglis says:

      Hi Campbell,

      I like your placement of color around the windows. I would add shutters to the front of your house (whatever faces the road) at the very least. Obviously, there isn’t room to add shutters on all the windows and it’s not really necessary anyway. But shutters on the front will dress up the house. They can be black or your trim color (which can be just about anything on your old white farmhouse, but I do like the burgundy). I wouldn’t worry about matching the porch/deck to the trim color. Frankly it would be nice a warm gray so it doesn’t stand out quite so much and blends better with the house. Everything else looks good. Oh, you could use a couple of big old Adirondack chairs in the yard — the same trim color. And I hope you have a rope swing somewhere…

      -Barbara
      Your Home & Color Coach

  • VanWood says:

    Can you suggest color(s) for the front door, and/or shutters just to spice it up a little. Also, we will be changing the light fixture on the house, the house numbers, taking off the iron railings, and changing the lantern in the front yard.
    Keep in mind, it looks a lot better now that the foliage is green and the bushes, flowers are in bloom. We are going for a mid-century modern look on the inside . . .

    • bmeglis says:

      Hi VanWood,

      Since you like mid-century modern, you might consider removing the shutters altogether as well as the large flower box in the front. The windows are odd shapes and the shutters make the house look very traditional. You can then paint the window trim a light gray for some contrast and use silver tone metal for the lights, numbers, mailbox. If you get a chance to paint the siding, great, but white is fine. The flower box is very confining and you might want to expand your front garden into a more rounded or asymmetrical shape, again to make the house look less traditional (straight lines, square, etc).

      Add color with your landscape plans — you have wonderful color around the yard already. And paint the front door a nice accent color (a dark lilac would work with the silver accessories). But any color on white will work.

      See what you think.

      -Barbara
      Your Home & Color Coach

  • Nicole says:

    Hi Barbara

    I came across your website and I am hoping you will help. Our house is antique rose brick (slightly oversized). We have a new mahogany door with a black hammered iron entry set as well as black leaded glass caming in the vertical left and right door sidelights. The trim around the door and on the house is white. We’re having the house painted this week and thought Charleston Green might work well for both the shutters and the iron hand railing leading up the front porch stairs. We also thought we may want to paint the metal on the porch lights Charleston Green to match (currently a pinkish tan with milky glass). We really like Charleston Green. I note that you seem to prefer black for shutters on the rose brick homes. Do you feel painting in Charleston Green is a mistake? Would you paint the lights to match? Thank you! Nicole

    • bmeglis says:

      Hi Nicole,

      At the risk of having too much of a good thing, I would start by painting the shutters Charleston Green. That will look fine. As will a porch chair. As for all the metalwork? Not positive about that although I would paint the porch lights something else, either green or black. But I would pick the items that you want most noticed and use the green there. Not sure the front railing is the place for green. Black might be better.

      Start slowly as going all the way might take you over the edge. Send a photo if you’d like me to check more carefully.

      -Barbara
      Your Home & Color Coach

  • Nicole says:

    Hi Barbara

    I should note that our new roof is GAF Charcoal Black Shadow shingles and the front door threshhold is black. I’m not sure if any of this matters. Thank you so much for helping. Nicole

  • Linda Turner says:

    I purchased a new, small (1,400 sq. ft.) brick house four years ago. I initially thought the brick was gray, but it appears to be beige with rustic highlights. The garage has two six foot windows that face the west; they are not trimmed in brick or stone and need shutters. The trim, and attic siding are ivory or very pale yellow, the front door, garage door, and a single pole on the porch are white. The front door entry way is very small, no porch only large enough for the door. The roof is black. The front door and two other windows face north. The house is about 150 feet from the road on a slight hill. I have two acres as does everyone in this rural subdivision. The sidewalk and driveway are pebble stone concrete/brick. What color shutters?

    • bmeglis says:

      Hi Linda,

      Black shutters would give your house some presence. No question.

      -Barbara
      Your Home & Color Coach

  • Nicole says:

    Hi Barbara

    Thanks for your quick response. I am starting to think black for both the lights and the railing, but still Charleston Green for the shutters. The lights are actually entry way lights (so there is no porch). Any other ideas on how to anchor the Charleston Green shutters given there is no room for a chair? My husband suggested perhaps something above the door (e.g. our address), but I think this may make the entry area too busy.

    Photo link is below. The new roof is being installed next week.

    Thanks, Nicole

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/32126276@N05/?saved=1

    • bmeglis says:

      Hi Nicole,

      Thanks for sending the photos. I think you can go ahead and paint the lights and railing the Charleston Green (but I would start with the shutters and then move on to lights — leave the railing until you see how much green is on the front of the house). Charleston Green is dark and very pleasing so it may be fine to do the railing as well, but I would just wait on that.

      Very pretty entryway!

      -Barbara
      Your Home & Color Coach

  • Andre says:

    Hi there!

    I’m a shutter newbie and a bit of a color phobe and would appreciate a color suggeston for shutters (thinking of raised panel). My house is currently an all-white Dutch colonial revival. Trim, siding, door are all white. Roof consists of charcoal shingles.

    Not excited about black for shutters. Would a gray or dark green or maroon work? How about navy?

    Should the door be painted to match?

    Thanks so much!
    Andre

    • bmeglis says:

      Hi Andre,

      How about something like Ben Moore’s Newburg green (HC-158) or Kensington blue ( 840) for the shutters with a Cottage Red door? With a white house and neutral roof color, you can do just about anything. But pick a different color for the front door (diff. from shutter color).

      -Barbara
      Your Home & Color Coach
      Your Home & Color Coach

  • Tiffaney says:

    Hi Barbara,

    How wonderful to be able to go to your as a resource! We own a 2 story part brick and part siding (picture below). The issue I have is that the windows are dark brown/grey clad…and I really don’t like the look. I had considered painting the windows, but from what I understand it is not only costly, but also creates a maintenance issue.

    What colors may work with the current clad windows? Also, I really LOVE shutters and feel that this house desperately needs them. But, again, that dark trim around the windows is throwing me off.

    Any suggestions? Oh…and a suggestion for the color for the door will be helpful, as well. Thanks!

    Here is the link to the pictures of my house!

    http://picasaweb.google.com/jimiearl/20090413SaraSPicsApril2009?authkey=Gv1sRgCKyY4dDYn9n-Fg&feat=directlink

    Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!

    • bmeglis says:

      Hi Tiffaney,

      Try a brown that goes with your roof color for shutters on the upstairs windows. Take a look at Ben Moore’s Davenport Tan (HC-76) and see if that works. Georgian Brick (HC-50) would warm up your front door. I like your window trim — at least there’s some interesting contrast and not just builder’s white. Shutters on the second floor will balance the color on the lower half. I think you’ll be all set then. Oh, if you like the shutter color, you can paint your garage door the same.

      -Barbara
      Your Home & Color Coach

  • Jessica Marler says:

    Hi Barbara,

    I need your help please. We just bought a house 2 months ago and this spring we are really looking to do some things to the exterior of the house to spruce it up. The siding is beige with a green roof and we want to paint the shutters, front door and trim. I am not crazy about green shutters unless they are the almost black shutters that are still green but I don’t know how they will look. What do you think? Any ideas would be great!! I will try to send a pic. Do you have another email that I could forward it to?

    Thanks,

    Jessica

    • bmeglis says:

      Hi Jessica,

      Just sent you an email… you can use that account for sending a photo. I’m sure I can help you.

      -Barbara
      Your Home & Color Coach

  • Christina Taylor says:

    Hi! We are wanting to “spruce” up the exterior of our home a bit, would love a bold splash of color. House is tan, shingles are brown, and gutters and downspouts are dark brown, shutters are white. Please give us any suggestions for shutter/door colors, also, should there be shutters on the window where the brick is at? Is there an email I can forward the picture to?

    Thanks so much!
    Christina

  • Kristen says:

    Hello!

    My husband and I are in the process of buying our first house! It will be great with a little elbow grease, and one minor concern of mine, to be tackled once the big stuff is out of the way, are the outdoor colors. The house is red brick with reddish roof (some brown) and everything else is bright white (door, trim, shutters, gutters, garage door). Very monochromatic and blah. Any suggestions on how we can dress it up a bit?

    Here is a photo: http://s19.photobucket.com/albums/b168/mangeldbug/other/?action=view&current=house.jpg

    Thank you!
    Kristen

    • bmeglis says:

      Hi Kristen,

      Congratulations on buying your first house! It’s a nice one!

      Just a few touches will dress it up nicely. How about painting the garage door a warm neutral that will balance the prominent roof color and get you away from white. Take a look at Ben Moore’s Butte Rock (AC-8) or Nugget (AC-9) for a couple of options. The color should appear neutral next to the red of the roof (not too pink — if it does, go more toward a clear tan color). Then black shutters will add the finishing touch. Although I like to see a charcoal roof with black shutters, it’s okay to have a different roof color. The black shutters will still add a finished look to the house without adding another color to the palette.

      See what you think. And thank you again.

      -Barbara
      Your Home & Color Coach

  • Kristen says:

    Thank you Barbara. Your suggestions sound great. Just one follow-up: What about the window trim and front door? Leave it white or match it to the warm neutral of the garage door?

    Thanks again,
    Kristen

    • bmeglis says:

      Hi Kristen,

      Leave the window trim, front door and garage door trim, and fascia (along roof line) white for contrast. Then you can paint the front door the same as the garage door to tie the whole house together.

      Hope that clarifies.

      -Barbara
      Your Home & Color Coach

  • Venetia says:

    Hi Barbara,
    Hope you received the after photos. My little 1850′s Acadian house is in need of color. It is white and will have to stay white for a long time. (I will wash it..LOL) I would like your input on exterior colors.

    All the new wood needs color. Am concerned about front porch becoming “too busy” with a front door w/ shutters with new wide steps & an attic access door w/ steps.

    Also, the back porch.

    We have been communicating via your private email – but I thought others might want advice on an older Acadian home as well.
    Thank you for a great site,
    Peace today,
    Venetia

    • bmeglis says:

      Hi Venetia,

      My, you’ve been busy! Nice job!

      How about a dark Southern Regent Green (Ben Moore 2136-20) for your
      shutters, a Georgian Brick HC-50 for the front door, and Butte Rock AC-8
      for the porch floor.

      For the steps, I suggest painting the treads the same Butte Rock (any tan
      will do) and the risers the Georgian Brick. That effect really calls
      attention to the steps and the front door — you’ll love it!

      As for the attic stairs and door, I suggest white for both. Make sure it’s
      heavy-duty marine-grade paint for the steps so they’ll hold up to your
      Southern weather, but the white will make both blend in with the house and
      go away (almost) completely. If that’s too weird, paint the attic steps the same
      as the porch floor but paint the door white to blend in with the siding
      color.

      Same effect at the back of the house.

      I think you’re all set. See what you think of those colors.

      -Barbara
      Your Home & Color Coach

  • Kristen says:

    Thanks, that definitely did clear it up. Unfortunately that contract fell through due to noncompliance by the seller. But we are now very close to closing on a little yellow brick house. I was thinking of painting the shutters a very dark brown (almost black) and the door a deep red. Thanks for your help!

  • Venetia says:

    Hi Barbara,
    Thank you so much for your input. I was thinking of the dark green & dark red as well – but was at a loss for the steps & attic access areas. “Erasing them will most likely be just the thing.

    My handyman wants to stain the shutters – which would look rich – but the dark dark green will give the same effect.

    The tan or sand color for the porch floor & risers on the steps will be absolutely great.

    I appreciate your time.
    Peace today,
    Venetia

    • bmeglis says:

      Thank you, Venetia. I will post the Before photo and wait to see how it comes out. Good luck with your project!

      -Barbara
      Your Home & Color Coach

  • Melissa says:

    Hi, Barbara. Hope you are still answering this thread! We bought our new house about a year ago, and my husband and I debate whether to add shutters. We added the balustrade over the front door right when we moved it, which added a lot to the curb appeal, but the windows seem blank to me. We are stuck with the trim color, since the other three sides of the house are siding in that hue. I thought about doing black shutters… maybe a red door too? Too predictable? Too clashy with the brownish color of our brick?

    House photo:
    http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=4869842&l=264efd7889&id=595849846

    We live in coastal Virginia.

    Melissa

    • bmeglis says:

      Hi Melissa,

      Yes, you definitely need shutters and because of your brownish brick, I might try Tudor Brown (Ben Moore). Much better than black. Then for your door, take a look at Georgian Brick HC-50, which should look terrific surrounded by all that cream trim.

      Hope that helps.
      -Barbara
      Your Home & Color Coach

  • Sissy Spain says:

    Help! We are buying a just remodeled house. It is white vinyl siding, with a gray metal roof and black framed windows, and a black door. My question is, what color shutters should we put up? There are so many different colors that I don’t know what to do. Thanks so much!

    • bmeglis says:

      Hi Sissy,

      With black framed windows, you may not need shutters. But you do need color. If you really feel your windows are too blah even with the high-contrasting black frames, and if the window trim is white and matches the siding, then go for it and add some colored shutters. A dark rich cranberry red will work as long as you add some red in your landscaping and pots on the front steps.

      Hope that helps.
      -Barbara
      Your Home & Color Coach

  • Melissa says:

    Thanks so much for your input – maybe I can now persuade my husband on the shutters! Followup question – we went with black for the fixtures and address plaque because the front porch railings were already black. Mistake? Do black touches go OK with brown? Should we attempt to repaint the railings and fixtures? I don’t want to be too matchy-matchy.

    • bmeglis says:

      Hi Melissa,

      No need to paint your railings and fixtures. They will be fine black! (Black as an accent goes with everything…).
      As for the style of shutters, go by the style of your front door. If it’s a raised panel door (hard to tell in the photo), then a raised panel shutter will work just great.

      -Barbara
      Your Home & Color Coach

  • Melissa says:

    One more – what style of shutter would look best on this house?

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