Bonnie Krims Architectural Color Consulting

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Newsletter: Winter 2019

Winter Neutrals

Classic Neutrals for Homes

It’s winter and most of us are taking a break from exterior painting out of necessity. Are you planning to paint your house in the spring? If so, now is a good time to think about color choices.

It seems that exterior paint color trends are leaning toward classic neutrals, including rich, deep dark grays, slate blues and charcoals. I’m don’t necessarily follow trends when it comes to architectural color design especially when certain style houses (i.e., craftsman style, Tudor) lend themselves to a variety of other color palettes, however, I do appreciate the beauty and safety of neutrals.

Classic Cottage

This little house got an instant update with a rich, dark body color, a new door, and some interesting brackets. Stark white trim creates a crisp, clean look and strong contrast. I especially love the white molding that runs horizontally around the house at the midline. It gives the structure more dimension. Now the house has a real presence.

Sophisticated In Town

This in-town stunner is sporting Ben Moore’s No. 1608, “Ashland Slate.” It’s daring to go dark, but it’s worth the risk.

Wellesley Victorian

Some recent Wellesley clients wanted a gray/blue color for their 1915 Victorian. They requested that it feel earthy and without stereotypical Victorian “whimsy.” The only pop of color is the red on the front door. Now, the home feels updated and refreshed.

Winter Work In Progress

My clients wanted their suburban home to have a “lake house” look. It is, in fact adjacent to a lake, but most of the other homes in the neighborhood are fairly traditional. The challenge was to create the look and feel of a retreat, while making sure the home still looked integrated into its surroundings, including the neighboring homes.

The client chose classic neutrals, both light and dark. It is still a work in progress... Here are the “Before” and “In Process” photos. Stay tuned for the “After” photo!

Advice for Classic Neutrals

Is a neutral palette the best choice for your house? If so, here are a few colors to consider.

  • “Black Pepper” is a deep gray/blue. It is a great choice for someone who knows that they want a dark blue house, but not too blue or dull a gray. “Black Pepper” is a great compromise.
  • Benjamin Moore’s “Soot” is a dark, charcoal/blue/black, which looks beautiful on ranch and mid-century contemporary style homes.
  • Beach houses are especially well suited to gray and white paint colors. In the warmer grays, “Shoreline” or “Gray Huskie” are perfect choices.
  • Classic, neutral farmhouse style calls for a light white or off-white. Or, a very dark color for a more dramatic effect, a richer, more saturated color. Here are a couple of my favorites: “Swiss Coffee” and “Wrought Iron.”

Classic Neutrals for Interiors

All of the colors I suggested for exteriors work equally as well for your interiors. For a simple, clean and peaceful look like the rooms you see here, use “Swiss Coffee” and “Shoreline.”

Interior: Swiss Coffee

Interior: Shoreline

“Soot” is also a fantastic choice for interiors! Use on an accent wall or paint the whole room.

Interior: Soot

If you are ready to think about refreshing your home with paint colors, just let me know. I'd love to help!

Contact me here.

Best Wishes,


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Header photo by Thy Ha Mai