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New Siding for an Arts & Crafts Home

Submit an Entry: House Color Questions

By gamegrrl

New Siding for an Arts & Crafts Home

Toledo Foursquare - 2005. Click the photo for a larger view.

New Siding for an Arts & Crafts Home

Toledo Foursquare - ca. 1937. Click the photo for a larger view.

My House:

Our house is a 1909 Foursquare with Arts & Crafts touches inside. It's located in Toledo, Ohio.

The shingles are Owens-Corning "Brownwood".

The house is currently covered in wide, white aluminum siding. Trim is all white or dark red. The house originally had shakes on part of upper portion, but I don't like the "two kinds of siding" (shakes and traditional clapboard) look.

I don't want a huge visual disconnect between the exterior and interior. We've stripped and refinished all the beautiful oak woodwork and revealed the hardwood floors.

My Project:

The shingles mentioned are the new roof that's going on. The new roof is, hopefully, going on this spring. We did a portion of the roof (over the kitchen bump out, as it leaked where it met the house), and the remainder of the roof will match that.

We plan to go with vinyl siding (because of cost, and low upkeep), and do not want the house to be white. We really like "nature colors," and particularly milk chocolate or similar as the main color for the house.

On this chart, I like Sage and Dusk.

I grew up in an area where all the houses were white or brick with dark trim and shutters. I've recently read that dark trim makes a place look smaller, which I don't want to do. I've seen some three and four color exterior combos with light trim and some dark colors on detailing which looked pretty nice.

We have some cool architectural detailing, and I'd like that to pop without looking out of place.

The house exterior, except the roof, will have to wait until next year. But we need to figure this out asap, as we are working on the garage right now, and would like the house and garage to match.


  • I'm pretty sold on the light to medium chocolately brown for the main walls of the house, and would like trim advice. I am open to different suggestions for the primary color, but will need convincing.
  • There is brick on the lower front of the house (below the porch), as well as below the siding all around the house. Some has been painted white and some red. Ick. Don't know what to do with that.
  • Lost as to what should be done with the nice, wide concrete steps up the front porch, as well as the "sidearms", or whatever they're called :-)

Comment on This Home and read what others have written.

Jackie Craven, About.com Architecture, says:

Congratulations of restoring the woodwork in your Arts & Crafts foursquare house. It's a lovely home and really does deserve the best. For the exterior of an Arts & Crafts home, browns and other earth colors are always an attractive and historically appropriate choice. Here are a several examples of brown color schemes: I'm concerned, however, that you will quickly regret installing vinyl siding. Even the best quality vinyl will look out of place on your wonderful house. As an alternative, you might consider easy-to-maintain cedar siding stained a natural brown. Another affordable alternative is fiber cement siding, which closely resembles natural wood. Of course, fiber cement and cedar shingles are just two of many exterior siding options. There's also the possibility that when you remove the old aluminum siding, you'll find the original siding still intact. In that lucky case, you can save a great deal of money simply by scraping and painting.

Comment on This Home and read what others have written.

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