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 1912 Ladies Home Journal article. Ed.]

1911 Brown House

No fewer than five colors are used on this house, and they do not harmonize. Nor does the mustard color wear well under climatic conditions. The entrance porch, painted white, has the appearance of being a structure separate from the house.

1911 LHJ Good House, Bad paint

Here is the same house which is painted in two colors and white. The effect is most harmonious—quiet and refined—as the colors blend with the surrounding foliage. The house has now become part of a charming picture.

1911 LHJ Bad Paint, Good House

This strong, raw color, so often used, causes the house to stand out in baldness, and holds the attention by its very ugliness. The lines of the design are good, but the eye does not at first appreciate them because of the color.

1911 House Paint Color

Look at the same house treated with colors which serve to make it harmonize with Nature. It looks refined and inviting. The good lines of the design are emphasized by the contrasting green and white. The house "fits" into its surroundings.

1911 House Painting

In this case the house looks as if the upper part had been actually stuck on. The house itself is simple and of very good lines, but the contrasting vivid paints give it an appearance of ugliness which is quite offensive to the observer.

1911 House Color

Now see how quiet and refined is this same house. You get the sense that the house is well balanced, and, because of the soft coloring, it has taken on a cheerful, hospitable aspect which is lacking in the other picture.

1911 House Color

Why need there be such ugly contrast of colors between the first and second stories that spoils so many good houses? This scheme of painting gives a house the appearance of having been built in sections and then put together.

1911 House Color

See how much more harmonious is this effect, which has been obtained by using one color for the house and one for the roof. How much better the windows look in the second story. Now the house looks as if it was one building.

SOURCE: --. "Good Houses Spoiled by Bad Painting." Ladies Home Journal, 1912, 49.

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