Simply Sage and Selecting Exterior Paint Colors

After several weeks of research (and self-doubt), I think I’ve decided on a color for the house’s siding and stucco (I say I have decided because the husband is colorblind and is, sadly, no help in this matter).

Exterior and interior colors of turn-of-the-century bungalows are those we’d consider “of the earth”: browns, greens, reds, and blues. Need evidence? Take a quick glance through the old-school paint brochures below where you’ll find such colors as Golden Yellow and Pea Green and Bungalow Brown.

We might also note that none of these paint companies suggests white as a color for the body of an Arts and Crafts home; white is featured as a trim color only. That means the exterior of our bungalow, surrounded almost entirely by white stucco, is in dire need of a makeover.

Truth be told, we may not paint the white stucco immediately. But because the contractor is adding siding to the dormers, both existing and new, and that siding ultimately needs to match whatever color we’ll paint the stucco, we are being forced to plan ahead.

So without further ado, here’s what we’re thinking: for the stucco and siding, Simply Sage (Behr), described as “green-gray” on the pamphlet, and for the trim, Vintage Linen (Behr). The trim on the windows below is Vintage Linen, not the gray color on the porch’s railing and columns; we’ll have no gray accents.


Sure, this could change next week. Or tomorrow. But for now, we’re going with the already-established red brick base and brown roof, a Simply Sage body, and Vintage Linen accents.

Virtually every piece of advice I’ve read on selecting exterior paint colors counsels me to match the brick- or stonework to the opposite color on the color wheel. The two colors will complement each other, they tell me. Reddish brick goes with greenish paint, they assure. I guess we’ll find out soon enough…