Fran’s Color Conundrum

When we heard Fran’s cry for help with her brick rancher’s exterior color scheme, we pulled out our paint chips and got down to business. Here’s her letter:

Earlier this year I purchased a small rancher with some aesthetically challenged orange brick… and bright white trim to boot! I am ready to get started on my curb appeal, but am stumped when it comes to choosing colors to tone down this brick. The brick and the roof are about the same color. The roof has a little more brown in it. Those are the two things that are “fixed”, so the new palette has to revolve around them. I lean towards sophisticated colors; nothing that looks like it came from a crayon box.  My style is mostly traditional with a modern flair (to keep things from getting too stuffy).  Colors I like: neutrals, reds, greens.  Colors I wouldn’t consider: pastels, blue, purple, orange, or anything garish. Oh and I love the idea of a red door. I know you guys will come up with something fabulous so I’m going to hit “send” and leave this in your capable hands. Thanks!  – Fran

Everyone knows we have a soft spot when it comes to brick ranchers, so without further ado, three current and classic color schemes that will add instant curb appeal and inviting ambiance to Fran’s facade:

Here’s the paint palette breakdown.

In all of the schemes above you’ll notice the same two colors in the bottom of each pile- the brownish-red tone that represents the brick, and the paler brown color that represents the roof. But when it comes to the color of the shutters, the door, and even the trim and the area around the front door, we pulled about a million paint swatches to pin down the perfect complements to the brick and the roof to add classic style and curb appeal for miles.

1.The first scheme involves a creamy tan tone (Glidden’s Cream Tan) for the shutters and a warm golden tone with a hint of green for the door (Glidden’s Monogram Gold). We’d then suggest that Fran get her local Home Depot to mix half a gallon of Cream Tan and then add half a gallon of white paint (to create a much paler version of the Cream Tan) for the trim around the house, the pillars by the door, and the existing white area around the door. By adding these neutral yet warm golden accent colors, the warm undertones in both the brick and the roof will be complemented and Fran’s home will instantly look warmer and more inviting. And that great gray-green front door (with yellow undertones to complement the rest of our scheme) will definitely draw people in all the way from the curb.

2. Our second color scheme involves a fabulously classic neutral tan tone (Glidden’s Sand White) for the shutters (which again can be cut with 50% white paint to create the paler tan for the trim and the door surround) and a glossy red hue for the front door that shouts “come on in” (Valspar’s Fabulous Red). We love a red door on a brick rancher, and of all the reds (and trust us there are about a gazillion) nothing compares to Valspar’s Fabulous Red, which is so brilliant and crisp that it could never blend in with Fran’s brick facade (a definite front door no-no). And although swapping out all the white in the “before” above for a neutral tan seems like a subtle change, Fran will instantly realize just how much warmth and elegance it will add for a much more timeless feeling- and of course that red door is the cherry on the sundae.

3. This palette is full of subtle green undertones which will really work well with the orange and red undertones in the brick and the roof thanks to the ol’ rule of complementary colors (green is across the color wheel from red, so they both really balance each other out). For the shutters we’d suggest a gorgeous greeny tan tone with a hint of gold (Glidden’s Brocade Cream) which is absolutely gorgeous in person- Fran really has to grab each and every paint swatch to really appreciate them- our rendering above does them no justice! Then bringing a bolder golden-green over to the front door will create a definite focal point from the curb and add dimension and charm to spare (try Glidden’s Pennyroyal). Cutting the Brocade Cream with 50% more white paint will again create the perfect pale golden tan for the trim, the pillars by the door, and the front door surround for an overall feeling of warmth and elegance that will really counterbalance all the red-orange undertones in the roof and the brick.

So there you have it. Three fun and fresh ways for Fran to totally transform her exterior in a snap. We can’t wait to hear what you guys think- especially you Fran!






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