Exteriors and Rock
We live at the base of the mountains and a lot of people here do browns with lots of wood for their exteriors but that's never really been my style. I'm not a fan of stucco in general and have always preferred the look of siding. When I was a nanny in Massachusetts in 2001 I fell in love with the Cape Cod style with shaker shingles and blue and gray painted houses. I knew wood wouldn't weather very nicely here and I love blues and grays so I chose a paintable shaker shingle for the majority of the exterior. It's a hardiboard shingle that comes in 4 foot lengths with various patterns so it isn't too uniform width-wise but the bottom is even so it doesn't look like crooked teeth. There was a smooth option and a wood-texture option and we went with the texture.
I love contrast and color so I chose a bold dark blue for the majority of the house. It isn't everyone's cup of tea (luckily it's my house and not theirs and I love it so I don't care) but most people who have seen it love the pop of color. The blue is called Rainstorm from Sherwin Williams. Because it's so dark it will need to be painted more often than a lighter color but I love the deep rich shade so it's worth the more frequent painting to me. Almost all the trim and the board and baton in the gables is the same shade of white I used throughout the whole house, inside and out. It's Sherwin Williams Snowbound. The gray I chose for the garage doors and trim is the same dark gray I used throughout the house, too, and it's Sherwin Williams Peppercorn. If the lot and trees allowed it I would have put the garage around the side so we didn't have to see them but with our lot layout they kind of had to be in the front so to minimize their prominence we painted them gray and brought focus to the porch with lots of white trim and an orange front door. I loved the orange door we painted on the old farmhouse and chose a similar color for our front door here. It's Sherwin Williams Marquis Orange. Incidentally, the colors of our high school were orange and blue and, conveniently, the colors for the high school our kids will attend someday are orange and blue. A few friends from high school have joked with us about that and it was funny when we realized we couldn't get away from it. What can I say? Orange and blue are complimentary colors so of course they go well together and I don't mind the funny ties it has to our scholastic past and future. I've wanted a wide front door with windows since I was 14 or 15 so we had one made. We used one of the salvaged windows from the old farmhouse for the glass so it's wavy and bubbly.
Dan didn't want a big concrete front porch (and he wanted a sizable front porch) so we used Timber Tech decking for the porch and back deck. We liked the texture and color of Silver Maple in the Terrain collection so that's what we went with. The railing and spiral stairs were made by a welder Trulan usually works with and we added a wide cap to the top of the railing around the back decks. Naturally, within days of moving in my 3 year old thought it would be a great idea to pee off the upper deck. Luckily it cleaned up beautifully.
I wanted tile around the fireplace but Dan wouldn't go for it (exercising his veto power) so I found a rock with minimal color and shape variation and relatively low profile. The bench was done with hearthstones. I'm not crazy about rock so I wanted to keep it as minimal as Dan was willing.
Downstairs we decided to use the wood burning stove from the old farmhouse and we did the surround with rock and a painted wood mantle and framing and hearthstone floor. The rock I chose for that surround is a bit more rugged at Dan's request (he loves rockwork) and I liked it so much we decided to use it as a facade on the chimney, the foundation in the front to cover up ugly foundation, and around the porch so it doesn't look as much like a deck in the front and more like a substantial porch. I love the look it gives the house.