Color Schemes

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Good Houses Spoiled by Bad Painting

The Wrong and the Right Colors to Put on a House

[This is an original article from a 1914 Ladies Home Journal article. We don't know yet how many years LHJ published "Good Houses Spoiled by Bad Painting" but when we find them, we'll put them up. The house styles show the current trends, but the attitude seems to remain the same: The goal was to paint one's home to attain some refinement and dignity. Ed.]

1914 Bad paint scheme

This shows how wrong colors will spoil the whole appearance of a house. The ugly yellow does not harmonize with the other colors. The upper story has a detached appearance because the wood trimmings are too strongly emphasized.

1914 Good paint scheme

Now that there is no offensive color the effect is very pleasing. The warm soft brown of the woodwork seems to bind the two stories together instead of separating them. The house has an inviting appearance lacking in the other picture.

1914 bad paint scheme

Both colors used on this house are of ugly shades. The use of two dark colors on Colonial work is a mistake because it gives little of the contrast between lights and shadows upon which Colonial architecture depends for effectiveness.

1914 Good paint scheme

The stength of this design is in its general proportions and in the arrangement of openings. To bring this out warmly contrasting colors are necessary, uing white or some very light yellow tone on the trimmings and a darker color on the body.

1914 bad paint scheme

Careful thought should be given to the whole scheme of painting when selecting the bricks for a house. Accepting the red of the brickwork as it is here, why paint the rest of the house with ugly colors that do not harmonize with it?

1914 good paint scheme

Marked contrasts in color are undesirable here because the design has much of it charm in variety of line. The soft grays of the shingles and trim harmonize with the brickwork. The house now has an appearance of quiet refinement.

1914 Bad paint scheme

Aside form unpleasant colors here is also show a wrong use of vivid contrasts. The corner pilasters appear to be the only — and inadequate — support of the cornice and roof, the walls merely a filling in. The porch seems a separate structure.

1914 Good paint scheme

Here the houses appears to be a solid structure. The cornice is supported by the whole wall, the pilasters merely accenting the corners. The whole effect is that of dignified simplicity — the keynote of successful Colonial design.

SOURCE: --. "Good Houses Spoiled by Bad Painting." Ladies Home Journal, 1914.

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