Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Another Difficult Color Choice: Vote for Exterior Shutters.

The shutter company is waiting for me to choose a color.
I've tried and tried.
They sent several samples, but nothing worked with my front
door color, SW Urbane Bronze. A gray-green was hopeful,
but it would mean repainting the door.
I tried BM's Stratton Blue, and it was so awful, I
didn't take a picture. So, blue was taken off the table.
I also tried BM's Gettysburg Gray, which was beautiful, but
a bit blue-gray, and I'd have to repaint the front door.
Not a biggie, but I love Urbane Bronze with the color of the bricks,
SW's Tennessee Limestone, a muted, creamy gray.
For the shutter color, I decided to play it safe and stick with SW's Urbane palette and tried
Intellectual Gray (lighter) and Anonymous (darker).
Well. This should be a slam dunk, right?

I'd collected a few inspiration photos from Pinterest.


Here's Dr. Will's inspiration photo, mainly for
the front porch re-do.
I like muted colors, myself.

After I saw this photo in Veranda (and on Pinterest--see below), I
began a campaign for white shutters,but it didn't work.
"It's a little pale, honey," Will said.
"Ewww," Bandy said.
I think it's gorgeous.

Of course, the house in Veranda has a lovely slate roof and the bricks are much lighter than mine.
The doors are white, too. I dearly love it.

Another beautiful tone-on-tone house.

My heart sped up when I saw a Georgian make-over at Southern Living.
Here's the before picture. 
 And the after.

The bricks were whitewashed, and trim colors were chosen to highlight
the slate roof. Pratt and Lambert's "Artichoke" was used as
an accent for the shutters beside the front door. The shutter colors are Pratt and Lambert's Lambswool.
"Lambswool" is calm and pretty against the limewashed bricks.

Long ago, I'd gotten bids for limewashing, and it was way more
expensive than painting. I don't regret the decision to paint.
However, choosing a shutter color has been a kicker. We're getting
operable shutters, and if the color is wrong, I'm stuck. It's not
like repainting a room -- or ordering a bathroom vanity.
The company, Timberlane, will paint the shutters. They're part of the
Endurian line and won't need to be repainted in my lifetime.
So whatever color I pick will stay.
"Anonymous" is on SW's Shoji White/Urbane Bronze color strip.
But it really doesn't work with my bricks.

The lighter color will be too anemic for most, but
the darker color just doesn't thrill me.
So far, I've only gone through several dozen paint pots. And I
haven't found the Goldilocks Zone.

In sunlight:


And in shade:

What's your vote?
A. The darker, SW Anonymous
B. The lighter, SW Intellectual Gray
C. Try crisp white
D. Keep the SW Anonymous and paint  your door white/cream (trim color)
E. Ditch the Shoji strip and start over.


  1. Replies
    1. I told Tyler today that I hoped you would vote! Thank you!

    2. Def. Lighter of two, or try black.

  2. Definitely lighter, it looks warm and rich to me.

  3. I vote D - or consider having your shutters the same Urban Bronze to match door and tie the brick in nicely.

    Sorry to throw another idea to you.

    ANYTHING you do will be lovely, your home is forgeous, Michael.

    GL hugs coming your way.

    1. I remember dithering about gray vs darker gray for shutters on our present home, and now, I never notice them! I need to pick one and move on.

  4. I am torn between B and C, but I think I would choose B. The crisp white might take away from the columns. I think A is too comber.

    1. I know. I've already got 3 different white trim colors going on. lol

  5. Here's the great thing... either you choose will look fabulous. I adore your colors Michael Lee!!!! But if it were up to me... Anonymous! Lighter looks fresher!

  6. Hi Michael Lee! Oh, this is fun. I guess I'm a crazy as I like the darker gray. What would the shutters look like painted the same color as your door? No matter, your new home is going to be eye popping!
    Hope you had a wonderful Mother's Day.
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia ;)

    1. I have even thought of painting the door glossy black, European Paints, as Pretty Pink Tulips did.

  7. Have you thought of painting them Urbane Bronze? The door seems tall and thin in the large porch area, maybe that is the angle of the shot. It might make it seem wider. I think the door color is very nice with the bricks.

    1. I have several pots of UB, and it's worth trying, for sure. Thanks.

  8. I could always paint the doors Intellectual Gray.

  9. Sorry, Michael. I posted the FB comment, I didn't scroll down far enough to see your options. I just came up with the UB idea on my own. I'll do better next time. :)

    Cathy T

  10. I didn't have UB as an option. Thanks for thinking of it, Cathy!

  11. Right away I was thinking, why not the same color as the door? That would be my vote, BUT, is you want lighter, I would choose the Intellectual Gray. Can't wait to see what you do, it is always RIGHT!!!! XO, pinky

  12. I prefer the Anonymous. I love that rich dark gray.

  13. Michael,

    I think whatever you decide will look fabulous. My vote, however, is for "B" - the lighter color.


  14. I would choose B, hands down...perfection

    Graphic Designer in Atlanta, GA for 40 years

  15. I will echo the others: Either will be fabulous...BUT I seem to be a wee bit partial to the lighter one. Your taste is terrific, as apparently is Dr. Will's and Bandy's. Can't wait to see! Lori Lucas

  16. Michael Lee, I vote for B though it's going to look stunning which ever you go with. I like the lighter color with the door and the white columns ~ beautiful southern look. '-)

  17. Why in the world don't you hire Maria Killam of "Colour Me Happy?" (www.mariakillam.com). She's a colour expert extraordinaire and can help you make all these decisions very clear in a snap and you would never second guess colour and undertones again. She's the best and has helped me immensely.

  18. My vote is for the lighter color. The subtlety speaks to me.

  19. I vote A. I think B&C doesn't provide enough contrast. Good luck!

  20. Yes, hire Maria Killim and you won't go wrong w/color ever again! She does exteriors and interiors so I'm sure could be invaluable to you.

  21. Either way you go it will look beautiful but I especially like the lighter color.

  22. I agree with the ladies who voted for the lighter shade. I was thinking the darker color, until I saw your inspiration pictures with lighter shades of shutters -- so beautiful! Maria Killam is great, but then so are your readers! :)

  23. My vote is for the lighter color. I originally thought the darker shade would work best, but then I saw your inspiration photos and loved the light colored houses with the light colored shutters! Beautiful and peaceful looking! Maria Killam is great, but then again, so are your readers! I'm quite jealous that you have access to all these opinions! :)+

  24. Hard choice, but I choose B. It will add a bit of elegance.

  25. I like B. Subtle. You want to look at the house and see it as a whole, not look at a house and see the shutters. :-)

  26. I definitely vote for 'A'. I love the color Urbane Bronze - your door looks perfect in it, and I think the other colors are too 'washed out' and don't have enough color against your light brick. I like the monochromatic look inside the house, with wall and trim colors closely matching in light colors, but on the outside, with a large house such as yours, I think you need a little contrast and some color against the light brick......

  27. A. Darker! B gets lost against the brick color. The contrast is much better with A.

  28. I'm just here to cheer you on. What ever you decide will be wonderful.

  29. B. Have you tried SW Analytical Gray? I have it in my house. It has green undertones.

  30. I personally like contrast so I'd go with the darker BUT it seems like you have your heart set already on the lighter. And as someone has said above, I like the look from your inspiration photos too!

  31. I vote for A. I like the darker contrast. The lighter blends too much, but you have to live with it. Good luck!!

  32. I love your Pinterest inspiration. I"m not a decorator, but I like the lighter, but I"m sure both would work, and really resemble your inspiration.

  33. I love the lighter color, Intellectual Gray. Your front door color is beautiful. I might have to get a small pot of that color from SW for test on my door. Your style is awesome.

  34. Awesome.. is your urbane bronze door sheen... gloss or semi-gloss?