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Colors for a Cottage

Submit an Entry: House Color Questions

By Suzanne

Colors for a Cottage

Grey shake-shingle cottage with a green roof. Click the photo for a larger view.

My House:

I just purchased a small, neglected 1920's-era shake shingle "cottage-esque" house. The shake is painted a dark grey; the eaves, windows and the enclosed front porch are painted white. There are dark green accents here and there. The roof is a pastel green shingle, and the foundation is tan.

My Project:

The roof has seen better days. I would like to replace the old 3-tab green shingle with architectural shingles. I hate the green roof, especially with the grey shake. I think the grey of the house limits the colors I can choose for roof color, so I'm considering giving the whole house an exterior makeover.

I'm having trouble visualizing my makeover. I could really use some suggestions. The house is small, so I think going lighter with the exterior paint will make it seem bigger. The porch is also quite prominent. I don't want the house to stick out like a sore thumb, but I keep coming back to ho hum safe colors like taupe. Looking for a middle ground.


  • Do you have any suggestions for exterior paint and trim colors. Once I decide on the shake color, the roof color will be easier to decide.
  • Am I correct that a lighter color will make the house appear larger? I recently saw a barnyard red shake cottage with dark trim that was lovely, but it might be a bit too overwhelming for my home.

Jackie Craven, About.com Architecture, says:

One of the joys with a small house is you can go bold with your colors if you'd like. And, although lighter colors can make a house look larger, dark colors can be quite striking, especially if combined with white trim and a brightly painted door. Here are a few interesting color combinations:

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