Choosing the right exterior paint color is hard- here's our before home color.

Just in case no one else has mentioned it today….

….you are a rock star.

Yes.  You.  The one drinking the coffee or the diet coke or eating the blueberry muffin or going all healthy with oatmeal this morning.

I asked for help picking out a paint color and YOU STOOD UP AND WERE COUNTED.


It was a really big decision.  Painting an entire house is A LOT OF PRESSURE.  I mean, let’s be straight.  I am going to look at that color for years and years and years to come.  I’m going to pull into the driveway and that color is going to say hello.  I’m going to wake up in the morning and that color is going to have coffee with me.

I didn’t want to get it wrong.

Just between you and me—I was nervous.  Like I was back in high school all over again wondering if someone was asking me to homecoming.  Just like that.  Except to the fiftieth power.

But then you showed up.  You represented.  You encouraged me and gave me suggestions even beyond the paint color (like with the shutters and the awnings and the roof and the front door) and it helped shape my vision. So, I took a big gulp and straightened my shoulders and braced myself and picked a color.

And now? The house is painted.


Want to see the house with its new look?

We narrowed the colors down to these six shades of grey.

Here’s where we started.

You can read all about the colors and the journey and way bigger swatches of the colors here.

I asked for help and you left 620 comments.

I read them each and every one.  And because every comment should count—I counted them.

Here’s the final tally:

Paint color number 1/SW 7746 Rushing River:  104 votes

Paint color number 2/SW 7655 Stamped Concrete:  230 votes

Paint color number 3/SW 7669 Summit Gray:  120 votes

Paint color number 4/SW 2849 Westchester Gray:  127 votes

Paint color number 5/SW 7067 Cityscape: 43 votes

Paint color number 6/SW 0077 Classic French Gray:  29 votes

(there are more votes than comments because some people voted twice).

Number 2 won.  But here’s the funny thing.  I didn’t paint the house number 2 because in random paint news, number 2 didn’t look like number 2 when I painted a giant swatch of it and looked at it during different times of the day.

It looked almost purple sometimes.

So I chose a different color instead.

Here's the new house color- doesn't it look great?

I chose the color that LOOKED like number two when it was painted.

Meet my new paint color.

Paint color number 1/SW 7746 Rushing River.

The contrast of the paint really makes all those beautiful moldings pop.  And look at the black against it.  SERIOUSLY.  It looks so fancy now.

I learned SO MUCH along the way with this painting journey.  I wanted to share.  I want to shout out my new painting knowledge from the wrought iron porch on the front of the house to help anyone else who is about to paint their house.  This is the post you will want to read and pin and save for the day you are choosing your own paint color for your house.

Here are my best tips to know when painting your house.

The new paint color is just enough of a change, without varying too much in different light.

1. Don’t just paint a tiny swatch

One of the readers suggested this and THEY ARE BRILLIANT.  A tiny swatch doesn’t do a paint color justice.  Not even close.  You need surface area when picking a color.  Paint a giant area and then live with it.

Hang out with coffee.

Check it out in the morning.

Check it out in the afternoon sun.

Check it out as the sun is setting.

Seriously, y’all.  That color changes like no tomorrow.  Look for the paint that looks best in all the lights.

I was going for number two.  Truly.  It was the perfect gray to me.  Until.  Until the afternoon sun turned it purple.

This shade of grey does a perfect job enhancing the door color and window trim.

2.  Look at the roof and the doors

I wanted a gray that enhanced the roof and the black doors.

See how both of the colors have similar undertones.

(total aside:  a reader suggested SW Tricorn Black for the door and it’s a beautiful black color).

(total aside number two:  thanks to you all, I nixed the awning idea in the front and I’m going with black shutters instead.  I’m adding two small black and white awnings over two windows in the back of the house).

Even taking a step back, the accents and door pop against the new grey.

3.  Make sure to paint a swatch of trim next to the paint color

I went with SW Extra White for the trim.

It helped to see how that color made the gray pop.

Some of the colors changed when placed next to white.

(total aside:  meet with your painters prior to painting and point out all the trim that needs to be painted your trim color, too).

Here's another look at the house- before we transformed it.


And the after- couldn't be happier with the end result.


4.  Ask a friend

I couldn’t have done this without you.

Not even close.

Not a single painted piece of wood.

Not a single piece of molding.

You encouraged me and made me laugh and chipped in with some other amazing paint colors I hadn’t thought of.


Here are a few of your suggestions:

SW 7018 Dovetail (beautiful gray)

SW 6258 Tricorn Black (amazing black for doors)

SW 7019 Gauntlet Gray (rich gray)

SW 7036 Accessible Beige (classic neutral khaki)

SW 7068 Grizzle Gray (dark, moody gray)

SW 7638 Jogging Path (this looks super similar to the color on the house)

SW 7674 Peppercorn (dark gray with a hint of midnight blue)

Remember to ask for input and advice when selecting your color.

I’m so happy you are here.

I’m so happy you are sitting next to me.

I literally cannot even.

And now?

We have tons more to discuss.

What type of shutters?  And what style of awnings? And should I go with brass or silver for the front door hardware? And how in the world are we going to fix those brick steps?

I think I need to make more sweet tea. 🙂

PS  I wanted to give a GIANT SHOUT OUT to Sherwin-Williams.  I am a brand ambassador with them and they provided the primer, paint and trim paint for the house.  I’m so happy that they did (but you know I would have chosen Sherwin-Williams anyway).  I’ve been using them for 15 years and I wouldn’t trust the paint on my house to anyone else. 🙂

Want to know how to decorate your home for free?
Click here to get my FIVE BEST secrets.


  1. Image for Rust Rust

    Wow! Super impressive! The house with the original color was just another house it looks so very proud like a peacock showing off it's finery. Love your color choice!

  2. Image for Lisa Lisa

    Kari Ann, Did you paint vinyl or wood? I'm wanting to paint my house that is vinyl. Thank you. Love your new color. I was a voter of #2. :)

  3. Image for Carrie Carrie

    WOW....what a difference. I can imagine the smile on your face when you pull in the driveway, or walk outside to greet friends. As for the steps~ Add the distraction of BIG beautiful planters. Add in touches of silver or gold (which ever you go with for the hardware...) and yes to Black Shutters....a nice colonial style. Hefty to match the scale of the windows, says Mrs. Obvious. :) And, because I love purple, could you add just a tiny drop or two in your flower bed or planters? Thanks. But most of all, what I love? Being along for this incredible journey and enjoying the excitement and energy I feel radiating out of you!

    1. Image for Debbie Debbie

      I totally agree with Carrie. Also, I wanted to thank you so much for taking us on your journey. You are an amazing decorator and author. I look forward to each new post. Your new (old) home is beautiful and I can't wait to see what you do next.

  4. Image for Barbara Barbara

    I love Sherwin Williams too! Our builder's painter only uses it, so that's what we chose from and so glad we did. We also asked a "paint expert" who is a decorator to help with the decisions- she's a SW expert too. Good move on our part- she nailed it. LOVE your new color and home. Can't wait to see the evolving inside:) Enjoy your journey!

  5. Image for Anne-Marie Anne-Marie

    I love louvered shutters (yes, I looked it up in the dictionary ...) but I don't know if it would go with your house or your taste .... P.S. Don't forget to put plants in those jars on either side of your front steps (and all over the place) !

  6. Image for Erika Erika

    Beautiful choice! Just Gorgeous. For what it's worth, I like it without shutters. The house has beautiful classic lines with the columns and iron and doesn't need the extra embellishments. Just my 2 cents

  7. Image for Terri Terri

    Beautiful! Your readers knocked it out of the ballpark with great suggestions! So happy for you and yours on your return "home". There's nothing better in life than being with your people. Truly!

  8. Image for Judi Judi

    Love the new paint on your “new” home, Karianne! It really made a huge difference in curb appeal. Wishing you many years of joy in your “new” home! Are you back in the “Great State?”

  9. Image for Catherine Catherine

    It's goreous! My husband was a brick mason for years and now is a salesman for Glen-Gery. Wish we lived closer because he could probably give you some great advice for your porch.

  10. Image for Janice Byrd Janice Byrd

    I personally don't like shutters that obviously don't fit the windows. In your case, real workable shutters would not be possible. Maybe on the back they would? There are "tropical shutters" which hinge on the top and look like awnings when they are raised. However, I think that would be overpowering on all the front windows,

  11. Image for Sherry Sanders Sherry Sanders

    Love the color you chose. I would use silver fixtures of some sort since I don't like gold with grays for some reason. But I am sure whatever you decide will be stunning. Because you are sharing your house redo with us I feel like I am moving in with you. :>))))

  12. Image for Lynn Mosher Lynn Mosher

    AWE-SOME!!! You picked good, girl! Your house is now smiling and says, "Welcome home, Little Miss Sunshine!" The house looks so much better. And to finish? If it were me, I'd get rid of the brick. That's the first thing I see when I look at your photo. I would maybe use gray stone. And brass for the hardware. Shutters? I don't know. I'm trying to imagine the windows black instead. If you do shutters, panelled definitely. Louvered would conflict with the siding. Not sure how it would look but here's a thought: But whatever you do, it will be awesome! :D

  13. Image for Teresa Gonzales Teresa Gonzales

    Beautiful! I think gray and beige are the hardest colors as they really do change with the light on them! Your home looks beautiful!

  14. Image for Terri Terri

    ummmmmmmm........ Gorgeous!!! So perfect and classic!!!!! Love how it looks so great with the black door and the roof!!!!!!!! this is so exciting !!!

  15. Image for kddomingue kddomingue

    I'm glad that #1 looked like the #2 swatch once it was on the house! The color is just right and it seriously looks like what I pictured in my mind's eye! Shutters. Can you do a mock up of the house in one of those Photoshop type things? With and without shutters? I keep trying to picture the house with shutters and it ends up being too busy in my mental image....especially with plantation shutters. Colonial style shutters instead? Hardware. Brass, pewter or brushed nickle would look good. Photoshop that too!

    1. Image for KariAnne Wood KariAnne Wood

      Oh--that's a good idea! I'll photoshop the shutters in to help decide. I was going with awnings---but after reading some of the comments I changed my mind. :) I'm putting them on two lower windows in the back. Happy day friend! karianne

  16. Image for jillian jillian

    LOL...I was one who made that suggestion, but to be fair we do own a commercial painting business. So glad you looked at the paint in different lights The black shutters are going to knock your socks off. It will bring the whole thing to life, like beautiful accessories on a simple dress....great job!

    1. Image for KariAnne Wood KariAnne Wood

      Jillian, YOU ARE BRILLIANT!!!!!!!!! You totally changed the entire trajectory of where I was going! I literally cannot thank you enough! It made such a difference! Happy day friend! karianne

  17. Image for judy judy

    Hi KariAnne I LOVE your new paint color (was my #1 favorite) and love the whole look of your house. You must be getting so many compliments from your neighbors. I am a lover of shutters, but as I look at your house, I'm wondering if you have enough room between your second story windows for so many shutters. My fear is that it will start to look too busy and you will cover up so much of your paint color. It looks as though you'll only have a foot to 18" between the shutters of the center window and the 2 side windows. Maybe you have more room then it looks from the pictures. Our house is very similar to yours and I have used shutters, but our second story center window is a palladian, so we didn't use shutters on it.

  18. Image for Janice Janice

    It's beautiful!!!! What a wonderful color. It looks so welcoming. As if to say, Hey, I smell coffee, so come on in and sit awhile.

  19. Image for Linda V Linda V

    It's beautiful! Great choice! I also think it looks great the way it is. You have so many large windows and they're stunning. Shutters are awesome but I personally like them only if they're the size that could possibly do the shutter's job and close to protect the windows. I know you didn't ask my opinion on that so I'm sorry for butting in. You have impeccable tastes and if will be beautiful no matter what.

  20. Image for Susan Susan

    Sherwin-Williams for sure. I will only use Cashmere for the inside walls of anything, and we just painted our red barn and it has been twelve years since we have done so. first time rolled on, this time brushed on, much to the non happy husband, Until it was finished, then he could see my reasoning. Since we are in our 70's it will be the last time I have to paint such red barn. Kids get to do it next time. Good choices KariAnne.

  21. Image for judy judy

    Hi Karianne I just commented on your beautiful paint color and I hope this next comment isn't out of line. I took another look at the pictures and realized your front porch runs almost the full length of your house. What a great feature! I know everything takes time and you just got finished painting. Any chance you have plans to change the landscape eventually to show off your great front porch?

    1. Image for KariAnne Wood KariAnne Wood

      Judy, YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS. That landscaping needs help. :) Somehow you miss how amazing the front porch is! We are changing all that, too. :) Thank you so much for your sweet comment! Happy day friend! karianne

  22. Image for Rebecca P. Rebecca P.

    Your house is beautiful! It's saying, "Look at me! Don't I look stunning in my new color!" I love Sherwin-Williams paint. I've tried other brands, but they just can't compare to S-W for quality, durability and color choices. I've been using it for 50 years! With so many windows, you may not need shutters, although they do add a finishing touch. I can't wait to follow your journey in your house. I've had so much fun living in the house I grew up in that my grandfather built. Every room has a story and lots of memories!

  23. Image for Sherry M Sherry M

    Gorgeous, Rock Star! And..your front door is the same color as mine! I knew we would be twins when I sat by you! I'm here for the journey!

  24. Image for JudyCinNC JudyCinNC

    Hurrah for Rushing River - I loved that color, my #1 pick, the first time I saw it. I am not a big grey fan, but if you wanted a grey then Rushing River is a wonderful pick. It looks warmly grey and inviting all at the same time. I love the house and the black shutters will be the lipstick on this beauty. JudyCinNC

  25. Image for Kathleen Kathleen

    Beauriful choice, and it's so good you spotted those purple undertones. It's kind of like choosing foundation for our face! I wear a cool selection, and never would have guessed that ... Beautiful now, but adding black.shutters will be the icing on the cake. I SO wish i'd taken more time and used a sample larger than 1"x2" ... !!! Funny how just a little trim & one side of a garage can have such an impact when the "cement color grey" turns green! Love taking this "walk" with you!

  26. Image for Kathy Hughed Kathy Hughed

    Beautiful! You were wise in your choice of color and company. My painter said SW makes the best exterior paint. A painter would know. This is so much fun for all of us!

  27. Image for Pamela Pamela

    I have to laugh at myself. When I first saw the title on painting your house my first thought was "please, not gray, I hate gray." Then I clicked on over. I must admit I think it what the perfect choice for your home. Gray suits the style of your home and the contrasting bright white trim and black accents makes it elegant. Good choice, and the advice to paint a large swath of any color under consideration and living with it in different light is excellent.

  28. Image for Deb Wostmann Deb Wostmann

    Gorgeous. Your home looks like it let a big sigh of happiness out being all dressed up again! Shutters will be the icing on the cake.

  29. Image for Kris Kris

    I think the ladder adds a style statement. ;) So .... love the color... #1, who knew??? I've never painted the outdoor area of a house but when we painted our living room, I lived with swatches of different colors taped all over for weeks, I swear, so I could see how it looked in different lighting. I'm thinking that you DO need a pop of black somewhere on your house, but not with shutters. I don't know if that means awnings or maybe some sort of trim over the bottom 2 windows or what. Or maybe I don't know what I'm talking about. Yeah, that's probably it. Anyway ... amazing progress so far, KariAnne!

  30. Image for Fonda Fonda

    Please...No shutters. It will ruin the integrity of the style of the house. Besides, I don't know where you would squeeze them in. Fake shutters would look silly, and there isn't enough room on the house for real shutters. No shutters, please!

  31. Image for Patv Patv

    Love your choice, I liked the darker paint as i figured it would change with the different light during the day. I just had my new home interior painted SW 6378 crisp linen, I love how it changes as the outside and interior lighting changes. Can't go wrong with SW!!!

  32. Image for Patty Patty

    KariAnne, please remember..... “There is beauty in simplicity.” Your home is a classic beauty! She does not need shutters. Just a little brass on the door. After all, every girl needs a tiny touch of bling. Good Luck!

  33. Image for Sue Sue

    I am not a fan of gray but, I must admit, it is just right for your house. So many grays look cold but this does not. I wonder if the amount of black that shutters would add would be too much. What would you do about the shutters nearest the front door? If you are doing shutters, they need to look like they would really completely cover the windows if they were closed. Paneled would be my choice as would silver-colored hardware. As someone else said, "goldy-color" doesn't look as good with gray, in my opinion. So glad you decided to go with striped awnings in back and not in front. They will be fun but too casual for the front of your gorgeous home! Steps -- unless you are going to remove and go with wood (not a good choice), I'd get them pointed up really well and put planters with green plants down each side. Love it that you have all these opinions and you can take and leave whatever you want. I'm excited about going on this adventure with you. I've always dreamed of re-doing the 1895 house I grew up in. That probably won't happen now as I'm 67 and all my family lives several hours away. So ... I'm living vicariously through you. Maybe we (all your followers) can come over for a slumber party when you are at the appropriate stage for that! ;-) Blessings to you and your family! Your family is so fortunate to be near loved ones again and y'all will be a tremendous blessing to them! You are welcome to drop in here anytime. I always have iced tea ready and I have limes in the frig now.

  34. Image for Sue Sue

    Oh I love your house and the new color! I have used Sherman Williams paint for over 50 years now! My father-in-law owned a hardware store in our little town, and he ONLY sold Sherman Williams paints. I am a firm believer as well. I love your stories and cannot wait to follow along with your journey in your home. I love that this is your childhood home. I have longed to purchase my childhood home as well and move back. Wonderful memories and it will be so much fun to watch the progress on the house!

  35. Image for Suzie Suzie

    Your house looks beautiful. As for the steps, what about a lovely mortar wash? Check out what the homeowners of @ our coastal farmhouse did with their fireplace surround and stove surround. It is really pretty. Their bricks were older, reclaimed bricks. As for the hardware, either silver or what about nickel? Nickel would be pretty, as it picks up different hues. 😊 I am sure whatever you choose will be pretty.

  36. Image for Beverly Blatz Beverly Blatz

    Regarding the hardware - go with what makes your heart sing. All the finishes come and go in cycles, so pick what you love, and love what you pick!

  37. Image for christy christy

    Looks beautiful - can't wait to see what else you do! I have just one suggestion - that you prune the tree on the right to be similar to the one on the left. Your street view will be better framed to show your lovely home.

  38. Image for Carolyn Driskill Carolyn Driskill

    Does anyone know if the trend is to paint the brick on your house!! I've noticed lately so many homes are painted and they aren't old homes! So many in Paducah ! Just curious for your thoughts!

  39. Image for Deana Ann Deana Ann

    Very nice, Karianne! I can't wait to see your beautiful house smile again with your decorating/renovating ideas. :)

  40. Image for Jeanie Jeanie

    Awesome choice!!! It made a world of difference from "blah I fade into the background home" to "I'm here and ready to be queen of the block!"

  41. Image for Angie Angie

    Wow! I love your pictures because I can feel what it's like to approach your home while driving down the street. Home run! We are set to close on a house in November and it is an eye sore. Dark Brown metal roof and awnings, pale yellow paint and dark brown brick. I have no idea what we are going to do. My niece titled it something gross and my sister tried to remedy her reference by calling chocolate covered banana. 😂I'm trying not to give it too much thought until we close. Best wishes on your new chapter!

  42. Image for Karla Ritchey Karla Ritchey

    Hi Karianne, Love your choice of paint colors and I'm super excited to be fortunate enough to drive by your house everyday. Stop by the shoppe and we can discuss using Annie Sloan Chalk Paint® to change to look of your red brick front steps to a fabulous look...super easy too!!! I hope to see you soon...know you are super busy!!! xoxo Karla

  43. Image for Susi Susi

    Karianne, I am soooooo thrilled that you are back home! I drive down your street nearly every day , and I've been watching the transformation. I was so blessed to be your mom's Realtor when she sold it a few years ago. A sad but necessary change for her. We were thankful. And we cried together. Your Mom is an amazing woman, as you are! That house was meant to have you and your family there. And it's getting beautiful new clothes and an exciting new life, and it will light up that street and that neighborhood! Congratulations to all of you! I'm so happy for you! And of course the colors you chose are perfect!

  44. Image for Mary Crozier Mary Crozier

    So happy that you are happy with it....I love it. Very elegant. Just a quick comment and you know how much I love you....the vent on the roof....unfortunately my eye kept going to it. I don't know if at some point in the future that could be a dormer? or maybe painted the roof color? Maybe it's just me but I have never been a fan of any equipment on the roof but we need those things. Maybe it just needs a different front instead of the louvers? I did a restoration once and had something like that on the roof. I will need to go back and look at pictures to see what I did to minimize it. It is truly a beautiful house and now you get to make it a home.

  45. Image for Shelley Shelley

    Oh, I have so many comments! First of all, I LOVE your new color! Beautiful transformation! It's so funny, I was reading this post and when I looked at your color choices, I looked at #2 and thought, " That one could go purple"! And the reason? I've done that myself! I painted my new stable grey and loved it until a neighbor, probably thinking she was paying a compliment, said she loved the new color because it almost looked pink in the evenings. 🙁 Lesson learned, she was right! My last comment is I think no shutters. Too often shutters do not look like they could possibly function-- like they could not close to cover the window. A single shutter on either side of a double window is a usual offender, as are shutters that are too narrow for the window or obviously nailed to the body of the house! I'm loving your renovation-- great work!

  46. Image for beverly e beverly e

    Beautiful color choice! Since you asked... I think dark charcoal gray round top awnings on the two downstairs windows would dress it up without competing with the black door and iron work. Kinda like a subtle eyebrow pencil :). Just give that brick a good pressure washing. The brick is part of its "character". If anything, maybe a light mortar wash to blend the colors a bit. And considering the era and style of the house, classic brass hardware. The silvers would look washed out, in my opinion. Just listen to the house, it'll tell you what to do. Photoshop is your friend...

  47. Image for Cindy Cindy

    I too, like some others, aren't sure about the shutters! The house look twice as classy now with the perfect gray! It has beautiful lines and the iron work stands out more. I would definitely photo shop some shutters in and maybe live without them for a while before you decide. I like the pop of red from the bricks on the steps! I would just give them a pressure wash and make any repairs necessary for now. I am also a fan of SW paints! Been using them for over 30 yrs!

  48. Image for Nancy Nancy

    Ohmygosh! I love it so much. The power of paint is amazing. Another true testament that a can of paint can change the world...or at least your view of it. :) Nancy

  49. Image for Carol@BlueskyatHome Carol@BlueskyatHome

    KariAnne, it is amazing how light at different times of day can completely change the color of a paint. You have to try BIG swatches of paint for an exterior and check it out at morning, noon and evening. It looks great and you'll be so happy with the result for years to come.

  50. Image for Sherry Sherry

    I love your paint choices! The house looks gorgeous! Who knew shutters would get so much attention on here?? Do what you like-you don’t go astray often!!

  51. Image for Michele (Finch Rest) Michele (Finch Rest)

    LOL- I actually GASPED when I saw your reveal, KA! I looks INCREDIBLE! It's absolutely perfect. WOW! Well done - it's an amazing color choice!

  52. Image for Cecilia Cecilia

    Oh yay! You went with my favorite ( I didn't vote because I came in late to the party - wedding and all - but I love that color! It's warm and inviting). The house looks amazing! Go with tradional shutters, in black. And brass hardware! (Total aside: why is it easier to tell someone else what to do than figure it out for yourself? I have no trouble making decisions for others but get bogged down when it's for me) It looks so beautiful, KariAnne! Hugs, Cecilia

  53. Image for Celeste Celeste

    Ha! This is a lesson to go with your gut. I commented that I would choose #1, but I thought you would prefer #2, so that was my vote. Well golly if I wasn't on the right track to begin with! I love the new color and light others I can hardly wait to see it with some beautiful flowers.

  54. Image for Carrie Purkis Carrie Purkis

    came out beautiful! can't wait to see it with the shutters added, as well as how it looks in different seasons. enjoy!

  55. Image for Lynne Lynne

    Love it! Even though I pick no. 2. I'm so glad you went for no 1 and didn't go any darker. It looks so beautiful with the other trim. I wonder where all your 620 color helpers come from. I'm from Cockatoo, Victoria, Australia, but feel like I'm just around the corner from you! Lynne

  56. Image for Lynne Lynne

    "picked" no 2. I agree with Cecilia, love helping other choose but have a lot of angst choosing things for myself. Lynne

  57. Image for Kathy Kathy

    Love the color you picked! I agree that it looks stately. I think the shutters would take up a lot of space and you wouldn't see the gray as well. How about a pediment above each of the lower windows? It would definitely give it an elegant look without all the fuss of the shutters. You can try to photoshop that also to see how it would look. I know you like black doors but I also like the cranberry shade with gray. Painting the door that shade may give it a pop with the gray and white and would carry the brick on the porch up onto the house. So happy for your move but I am missing the farmhouse terribly!

  58. Image for Sue Sue

    Hi Karianne, your house is gorgeous. We had our front brick steps tore out and rebuilt. What a great improvement as they were trying to crumble. I had a terrific idea in the middle of the night ( yes the middle of the night) . What if the people who buy Thistlewood end up selling it to one of your kiddos as their childhood home. Wouldn't that be ironic?

  59. Image for Mimi Matthews Mimi Matthews

    Well, it's just gorgeous. But you do know that if you put shutters on all five windows, then that's the color you will see mostly from the front, right? I wonder if it's appropriate to only put shutters on the bottom two windows since they are different from the top three anyway. Hmmm, something to think about. I love shutters, but I think they will cover your pretty paint color. And HOW IN THE WORLD did you get that huge house painted soooo fast??!! Must have been an army at work!

  60. Image for Sharon Sharon

    Wow! Beautiful! I missed out on the paint poll but as I was reading the post before I saw the results, I fell in love with the first swatch and was happy to see that one on your beautiful house. Ok, now let me add my two about white washing the red brick steps or using the German schmer (I’m pretty 100% sure I misspelled schmer) either technique would soften the red..then I would get HUGE black square planters to set on the porch columns with either boxwood topiary or another tall slender plant...tall but I think gold hardware would be gorgeous.... Whatever you decide I’m sure will look fabulous! So glad you are back in Texas...I live in Frisco not sure what part y’all are in but hope it’s wonderful for your lovely family....

  61. Image for Michelle B Michelle B

    Wow. What a difference. It looks spectacular! Enjoying this journey with you as you reclaim and make this beautiful house your home again.

  62. Image for Judy Rogers Judy Rogers

    So elegant, I am a fan of the gray movement in home decorating. Your final choice was a great one. Not sure about the brick steps but brushed silver would be my choice for the hardware for that beautiful black door. You achieved a very sophisticated, polished look for your home.

  63. Image for sandi sandi

    Well, it is perfect! I can't believe anyone has not suggested this already but why not do wooden window boxes on the 3 upper windows only---either black or dark gray? Those would be easy to change out if you tire of them (like throw pillows) without a huge investment. OK, so I am European in my heart (lived 43 yrs there) and window boxes are in our DNA. I would plant the boxes w/white flowers & green vines. You could also add somethings in that same color to the porch---bench maybe? We painted our porch (cement floor) & had it screened in in the back---home depot has a very dark gray that we used---how about that for your bricks? If you don't like it then you can live w/it for a while & tear them out later. You have too much on your plate now--but I love our painted concrete in the dark gray. (Hint: don't use the textured paint it is too hard to keep clean). You could also use white bench on the front porch. Can't wait to see what you do!

  64. Image for Deb Kelley Deb Kelley

    LOVE....LOVE......LOVE it Karianne! It looks absolutely amazing!!! I can hardly wait to see the inside. I am sure it will be stunningly beautiful. Everything you do is stunningly beautiful. By the way, did I say that I LOVE the color. Ummm...... maybe. Yes!!!! ;-) Deb

  65. Image for Mary Mary

    It looks very nice! I love the white trim with it! I like silver, or brushed nickel because I think it complements the gray color of the house! I find that brass tarnishes or turns funky looking over time. Anyway, that's my comment!

  66. Image for Jeannie McBride Jeannie McBride

    Love, love, love! I normally like shutters, but I'm with the "no shutter" people this time. IMO your house is perfect without them. I think brushed nickel hardware would look great. But I always love what you choose. Just got your book today. Have some other things I have to finish, but can't wait to read it. Looking forward to your next project.

  67. Image for Sarah Sarah

    I only discovered your blog recently and now look forward to each instalment! Unfortunately I didn't vote but was rooting for No 1 or 2 so I think your choice is perfect. And by the way I love the brick steps just as they are :)

  68. Image for mdn mdn

    Lovely, just lovely! Appreciate that y'all painted the downspouts so that they disappear into the façade. (Do my eyes deceive, or did you reroof, too? Or is that only the light?) As did someone else, I wonder about the roof vent: maybe painting it the same color as the house will recede it a bit...and/or also shingling the top part of it to match the roof? But if not, the cost of a new dormer seems not to be warranted and the shape and size fit your house. Do like someone's idea of having flower boxes on the top it's also concurred that there isn't ample room to install real shutters. Tho, maybe only the two outer window pairs? (Perhaps a box on middle two windows could "fight" with railing?) Anyway, what a nice way to add color and/or seasonal décor, eh? Or would summer heat in Texas negate those buds? Would paint urns black. OK - re bricks - before you do a mortar wash (AKA German Smear), how about repointing and using black or really dark grey mortar? Then, if you still feel further updating of brick is needed, then a very light German Smear using the black or dark grey mortar. (The white mortar seems to pull one's eyes from the house.) Oh, and pls. go for the ever classic brass for door hardware - don't feel it'll compete with the paint and trim. Maybe someday, more of a statement door knocker? Speaking of the front door hardware, am considering replacing at least my deadbolt with a safer, new technologically driven model. If you guys do that, would you mind sharing the considerations and decisions you made along the way and why? Everything's lookin' good, girl! Anxious to see the kitchen update, too. Pls. don't wear yourselves too thin in the process!

  69. Image for Jan Fusco Jan Fusco

    It looks fabulous! I love it. Although I voted for number 2 I love number 1. You're right about the light changing the color. In one of your pictures above the color around the front door area actually looks sort of tan and the rest looks gray. I can't wait for the other updates.

  70. Image for Michelle Michelle

    This comment is full of love: I love the paint color you chose, I love that you got so many great suggestions, I love the idea of black and white awnings, I love the idea of black shutters, and I love how the house just looks happier! Can't wait to see what happens with those classic brick steps and what you do with the inside!!

  71. Image for Beth from Iowa Beth from Iowa

    Well DONE👏👏👏💕!!!! Just wondering - my brother lives in Minnesota and tells me that in his old neighborhood (house built in 1880) MANY bats live in the house shutters - at twilight they emerge from their homes and swoop along the streets. I happen to like bats and would not mind the occasional visitor but could this be a problem in your area? Maybe they would not take up residence if you installed shutters that were actually opened and closed?

  72. Image for Denise Cox Denise Cox

    Even though this was not my color choice I really like how it turned out! Quite pretty,,,, 😄. As for the hardware, I would go with brass since you stated you noted a shade of khaki in the new color. But, since it's classified as a grey color, perhaps silver tone would be best. Another thought... perhaps you should wait until the shutters etc., are completed to see how it all pulls together before you put the hardware on... it may or may not make a difference as to what you select.... ie. color, style, etc., .just a suggestion.... 😉

  73. Image for Susan Holt Susan Holt

    I have been so sad that you have moved that I haven't left a comment until now. :( I'm hoping the girls are doing well, and that you all have adjusted to your new home. I enjoyed the brief time that you lived in "my neighborhood"! PS LOVE the house color!!

  74. Image for Lanita Anderson Lanita Anderson

    You are the looks AMAZING!!! I love, love how it turned out and look forward to seeing the other changes, improvements, as well. Blessings my friend.....

  75. Image for Pam Griner Pam Griner

    Stunning!! Makes me want to leave work and go paint something...anything! Welll...maybe hire a painter while I supervise with a cupcake and coke in hand.

  76. Image for Kristi Kristi

    It couldn't be more perfect KariAnne! It's such a lovely warm grey and really does make those black + white details pop! We're just looking into painting our own house, so your advice couldn't be more perfectly timed! LOVE it!!!

  77. Image for Kim Banta Kim Banta

    YAAAAAY! I KNEW it! I knew it would change and I knew from experience that if you pick the one with a touch of brown in it that it will END UP looking like the real GRAY that you really want! I KNEW it! Yaaaay! It looks just as I imagined it! You have to be so happy, KariAnne!

  78. Image for Carol W. Carol W.

    Wonderful choice! And it looks so great now I think I would forget the shutters. And brass for the hardware. So classic for a beautifully classic house. Like pearls on a simple black dress,, beautiful!

  79. Image for Rebecca Turner Rebecca Turner

    Beautiful! Big improvement. Huge! The before color looked insipid, but the green...excuse me, "Rushing River" color looks so natural. Like the house belongs there, tucked beneath the trees. The black door looks great too, with the wrought iron rail above! I like the idea of black shutters, but...but are they going to fit? The windows on either side of the porch look placed kind of close, for shutters. You must be having loads of fun with a new/old house to refresh. Enjoy!

  80. Image for Shelley Shelley

    Since you asked, I vote no shutters and brass hardware. I’m amazed at how your Home appears larger with the new paint. Paint has magical powers, doesn’t it!?!

  81. Image for Julie Briones Julie Briones

    GORGEOUS! I would have thought that color would have been too muddy, but NO! It's beautiful! Did you do anything to the roof? Or is it just the camera settings/exposure being a bit different? Looks GREAT!

  82. Image for Onalyce Lane Onalyce Lane

    I was in town earlier this week and just happened to be driving by while they were painting and thought to myself doesn't she look so elegant and fancy!!!

  83. Image for Myra Myra

    Yay! That was the color I selected! I love warm colors with brownish undertones. I was concerned that #2 was too blue 🙌🏼

  84. Image for Deb Deb

    I'm glad you picked the color that I liked. That's the one where I commented that the black would look good next to it. I love picking out paint colors. I don't have to paint again because I didn't like the one I chose in the first place. Your house looks nice and fresh. I also use Sherwin-Williams paint all the time.

  85. Image for Sharon Paavola Sharon Paavola

    I like your home and the paint. I heard you on Kathi Lipp's podcast and decided to check out your blog. Is this your home in Kentucky? We are painting a darker Sherwin Williams grey exterior and going with teal front and garage doors and white trim. The house has been grey but the old brown color has absorbed it. We finished a new roof and solar panels last week. This will be our last paint job and I look forward to the "new' look.

  86. Image for Sasha Sasha

    Beautiful result! I can speak as a lifelong native of South Carolina and tell you, we love us some shutters! But, did you know that 99% of shutters on homes are not architecturally appropriate or correct? With a house as classically proportioned as yours I would take extra measures to buy and install shutters that are. The Old House Guy is an expert on historic homes and architectures and has a great article all about what shutters should be and what they should not be. Just my two cents, but if it were my house and I couldn't have shutters that were in line with what is architecturally and historically correct, I would rather go without. Your window moldings are substantial and attractive enough to remain bare if that were the case.

  87. Image for Donna Marie Donna Marie

    Well, well, well don't we all have an opinion? Well, so do I! No gold--it doesn't go with gray!!! No shutters--too much!!! Take out brick and enter concrete for durability! Enter pots and beautiful planters on said steps!!! and whatever else you choose... Lol

  88. Image for gehrig barbara gehrig barbara

    The house is perfect now.. No shutters and no awnings. They would ruin the architecture. Just got back from London where there were highly varnished black doors everywhere and every single one of them had beautiful, shiny, polished brass hardware. Nickel would just get lost on the black.

  89. Image for Gloria Gloria

    Beautiful house and color, inspired us to keep our old house color grey and just patch areas that need it now and instead paint the door and porch iron work black. Thank you. Though perfect as it is, Instead of awnings and shutters, might you consider a future expanded porch roof for sun shade and encouraging friends and relatives to sit a bit? Ours has wrought iron holding up the porch roof but a neighbor has columns like yours and it looks so inviting too, with porch fans and seating areas and greenery for privacy. We have a lot of rain in the snow belt by the Delaware River so it enables us to be outside regardless, I imagine it might work very well for too hot South sunny days also.

  90. Image for Shelly Mathes Shelly Mathes

    Oh boy, I just came across your house and your new paint color. Your home is beautiful, I love love this color.

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