This section is from the book "Your Home And Its Decoration", by The Sherwin-Williams Company. See also: Nell Hill's Feather Your Nest: It's All in the Details.
The selection of finish for the exterior of the house must necessarily be influenced by the architectural form of the building, the structural materials from which it is built, and its environment and setting.
Many of the modern small houses are built of cement or stucco. The lovely natural gray color this shows is sometimes perfect, and with it, the wood trim of the half-timbered English effect, which is often used, should be stained in dim weathered gray, brown, or moss-green tones, such as might be naturally induced by time or exposure to weather conditions. Other colors may be given the cement by the application of the special paint referred to above. The soft tan color, which is almost cafe au lait, is a particularly agreeable color for such walls. This is the shade shown in the old Spanish churches built in California from the great adobe bricks, and originally coated with white, which the mellowing effect of time and weather has wrought to the soft beautiful tan.
Plate IX. Many of the Modern Small Houses are Built of Cement or Stucco.
Plate X. Common Materials Have Been Most Effectually Used.
The combination of stained shingle and painted siding is a very usual one in the vernacular small house. The paint for the trim is frequently light in color and should never be applied to the corner boards, if these are used in the design, as it serves but to outline and emphasize the dimensions of the house, and has a decided tendency to make it appear smaller than it really is.
Where stain and paint are to be used, good color combinations are made with two shades of brown for the shingle and siding, the shingled upper portion of the body of the house showing the darkest tone, the shingles of the roof to be stained moss green, and the trim of ivory white completes a harmonious exterior; or dark green for the body of the house, shingles, and siding, gray or brown stain for the roof, again using the ivory trim. A rich, dark red for the walls, dark moss-green for the roof stain, with dark green trim, is a good combination where the foundation of the house is of gray stone or brick, and the same general tone is repeated in the color of the porch floor.
These suggested combinations of color will be found suitable to the bungalow and shore cottage also.
Where a light color is made necessary by the architectural style of the house, or to enhance its apparent size, colonial yellow, light or ash gray, pure or ivory white, are all acceptable selections. This treatment is chiefly desirable where a house has a setting of green trees and well-kept lawn.
Where the outside shutters are a feature of the house, as they often are, these should be painted a clean, rich green, like the leaves of the trees, or if the house be colonial yellow or light gray, the shutters may properly be of white like the trim.
Complete color specifications for each plate will be found in Chapter XX (Specifications For The Illustrations).
Plate XI. Where Boulders and Field Stone are Plentiful.