Historic House Colors
Making America More Beautiful…One Building at a Time
Victorian - Bungalow - Craftsman - Retro
Receive expert help choosing your exterior house colors using the ease, convenience and speed of email.
You receive custom color schmes designed specifically for your building and custom color placement.
Check out the new Multi-Family Housing section in Completed Projects
Accepting clients for the 2013 painting season
Historic House Colors was named to the "Best Building Pros in America " list published by "This Old House Magazine"
Rob's paint colors appear on the 2012 Palladio Award winning home in "Period Homes"
The Bailey house project that Rob completed is features in the Fall 2011 issue of "American Bungalow"
Rob's project in Dexter, MI is featured in the May 2011 issue of "Period Homes"
One of Rob's projects is featured in the October 2010 issue of "Preservation Magazine"
Just need a couple of quick color scheme ideas for your house? Email me a picture and ask for a quote. Robs@umich.edu
Pricing (What the Service Costs)
Click on the above list of topics for further information on each.
This service is a great investment for your home – perhaps the best money you will spend on it – the client comments below suggest just that!
GRAND PRIZE WINNER
Chicago Painted Lady Contest
This 1856 Italianate Home was restored by Marcie & Bobby Schulien.
Click picture to see more!
1896 West Coast Victorian Restored!
See amazing side by side photos of the transformation.
Click picture to see more!
Riverside Cemetery in Saddle Brook New Jersey
10,000 decisions -
a story of restoration
Click picture to see more!
See Rob's extensive historical contribution to the Kelly-Moore Paints Historic Lifestyles ™ of the West color card. This palette of 106 colors developed by Rob is available now at Kelly-Moore retail outlets in Arkansas, California, Colorado, Idaho, Nevada, Oklahoma, Oregon, Texas & Washington. ---
To view part of the card click on the logo above."
Modest Tudor Make-over
See how this 1950s home was transformed using historic period ideas and images
Click on the picture to see more!
Check back in 2013 for more images of this updated Foursquare
Winner 2012 Palladio Award
Rob’s color scheme for the owners of thishome in Dexter, Michigan helped them with
this prestigious prize.
Read articles on Bungalows and other architectural styles, chick here to view the current list.
Have a question? Email me at Robs@umich.edu
What clients are saying
"This is a picture of the side of the second floor of the house, ... ( I also included the before picture). They should be finishing up in about a week and a half, depending on the weather. They did a great job on the repair work and the paint job looks absolutely stunning. Could not be more pleased. I will send you more pictures when it is finished. Jim Quin, November 2012
"Just another testimony to the work that you do.
Never in a million years would we have selected the colors that are currently on our historic Old West End Arts and Crafts home!! It was thru Rob’s careful selection and guidance that are home is one of the best on our street. We are constantly asked for our color palette and I remind those who ask to consult with you—our home and style can support the strong colors. Thank you for leading us in the right direction and every day I come home regardless of the weather, I love our presence on our street and adding to the beauty of our neighborhood." Skip and Judy Stone Gaynor, 2439 Scottwood Ave, Historic Old West End, Toledo, Ohio September 2012
"Here are a couple of pictures of our newly-painted house. Thanks for your help! It was a pleasure working with you and we're very pleased with how it turned out". August 26th, 2012.
Lisa Gloege, Grand Rapids, Michigan
" Hi Rob, First and foremost....I love the colors of my house!! I've had friends who have visited me for decades drive right by ...because it looks like a totally different house. I've actually had neighbors come to the door to tell us how amazing the house looks...so thank you for your expertise." Maureen Minaudo, October 2011
" Rob, Here is the link to the Oakdale Leader article about the renovation. You are mentioned in it, but I was hoping that they would have put in the website information that I gave them and more about how you helped us. Thanks again for all your help I would recommend you to anyone." Ken and Maureen Boone February 2011 -
Just another testimony to the work that you do.
Never in a million years would we have selected the colors that are currently on our historic Old West End Arts and Crafts home!! It was thru Rob’s careful selection and guidance that are home is one of the best on our street. We are constantly asked for our color palette and I remind those who ask to consult with you—our home and style can support the strong colors. Thank you for leading us in the right direction and every day I come home regardless of the weather, I love our presence on our street and adding to the beauty of our neighborhood. Skip and Judy Stone Gaynor, 2439 Scottwood Ave, Historic Old West End, Toledo, Ohio February 17, 2011
"We cannot thank you enough for the fine historic (and artistic) coloring advice you gave us on our bungalow. The color scheme you devised truly enhanced the house's curb appeal - and it's one of the reasons, I think, that we got multiple offers for our house and sold it the first weekend it was on the market!! [you can feel free to quote me on this, btw!!!]
The new owners have told us that they love the exterior paint scheme...I left them your contact info just in case they're thinking of doing something different :) ."
Many thanks, again, and best wishes,
Sari Kalin August 2010
I am in possesion of the color placement maps and am utterly delighted. They are so personalized. They remind me of a set of original plans I once found in a another historic home I owned in NY, dated 1923. They were marked by the architect in hand writing, delineated with arrows. I was so smitten by them, I had them framed and the new owner has them on display in the home. I am going to save these plans you have created, with the homes paperwork, and maybe one day, well into the future, these will be treasured in same manner. It would be an honor and a privelege to send you pictures of the finished product. The vision is spectacular and I am beside myself with anticipation. The painters are almost ready to begin the painting process. Thank you again so much. You are truly a credit to the history of these homes. I feel fortunate to have found you. Sincerely, Sonia Slevira, Manchester, NH, August 2010
"The house is *finally* painted and so we're now able to share the photos. We've already had a number of compliments both from new neighbors and contractors coming by to do touch ups in the house. Even our builder, (who was leery of our color choices on paper) told me "Whatever you paid that guy - it was worth it!" ;)
Thanks for all the help. I think together we made one beautiful home! "
Sincerely, Kristi Holzer November 2009
"Hi Rob, I have attached a couple of photos from our now completed project. Needless to say, we are exceptionally pleased. The response from the neighborhood has been overwhelmingly complimentary and our location on a highly visible corner lot in this historic neighborhood has made many people proud. Your services have proven to be invaluable and the process was inclusionary, educational and painless. Thank you again for you outstanding work and please feel free to use us as a reference for the future." ---Matthew Daniels October 2009
"Thank you so much for helping us to come up with colors for our home. My wife and I cannot say enough about your vision for our home, and about your expertise in assisting us with color choices. We are so proud of our home, please feel free to use our images on your website. Using your services was by far one of the BEST investments we have made in our restoration. Sincerely, Robert & Pamela Griffiths December 2008
The painters just finished spraying out the body colors today and unwrapped all the windows, doors, etc.
It looks amazing. We never would have come up with such a pleasing scheme without your assistance. It is amazing how well it fits in with the yard, yet highlights the features of the house. We are ecstatic with the results". Lew Guenther September 2008
" I wanted to tell you thanks again for the help you gave Cheryl and I eight years ago. We are happy with the colors and as you know so are a lot of other folks that have used you in Birmingham, AL. Keep up the good work." Ethan and Cheryl Lewis October 2008
"Thanks so much for all your help. Youve made what would have been an impossible and stressful task really fun and easy for us, and I know the results will be so much better than what we could have done on our own!" JenniferMonroe July 2008
"Painting has begun. We are very pleased with the color choices and placement. We will be certain to send you photos of the completed project. Thanks again. We feel very fortunate to have had the opportunity to work with you on this project." Best, John and Marsha Ellis, June 2008
"I have to say I am extrememly happy with the colors. They look beautiful. I have had numerous neighbors stop me and tell me they love the colors. I had one neighbor say the colors are very elegant. That is exactly what I was going for. There are so many yellow and light blue houses in our neighborhood. Ours really stands out now and in a good way. I can't wait to show you the pictures!" Dawn Harris, June 2008
"The house turned out great! We didn't paint the background of the teeth yet. Hopefully we can do it in the spring. We really appreciated all of your input during the decision process. It's amazing how much more detail stands out than it did before with the house painted all white. People thought that we added details when they were there all along. Once again, thank you for all of your help. The house turned out wonderfully!" Mary Robertson March 2008
"I must tell you that your service was worth every cent. We are very happy with the way our home has turned out and we are receiving comments almost daily. Thank you so much." Tom Halay August 19, 2007
"Thanks for helping us Rob! You made this very daunting porject A LOT EASIER!!" Lindsey and Jeremy Thesis, April 1, 2007
"We continue to get calls on the home. I just got a call Tuesday from someone who had just moved up to Whitefish asking who painted our house. I told her who painted it but then went on to advise we went through a process with you to come up with the scheme. We definitely achieved a great result; very happy with it". Dane Boat, Whitefish, MT, March 15, 2007
“We can't begin to tell you how happy we are with the finished product. To say we had a hundred people stop in our yard and admire it would be an understatement. In fact, the local paper (Caroline Progress) and the Richmond-Times Dispatch newspapers are doing articles on the home and the color scheme. Again thanks for all of your expert guidance in turning our home into a real show place that the entire community now enjoy. We certainly love it...came out better than we ever could have imagined.” Ken & Mary Barnett, Bowling Green, VA, October 25, 2006
"Once again, thank you for your help! If it weren't for you, this process would have been very stressful and time consuming. I'm glad you provide this great service! Elaine Ladwig, April 14, 2006"
"The general feeling around town is that everyone LOVES the color scheme! People just stop and stare and are so appreciative that an old house in the middle of town now looks like this...it's been a huge hit primarily due to the colors. THANKS! Your service was worth every penny ;-) Steve Perricone, May 2, 2006"
"As we have painted the front of our home we have had many compliments. Every day we have at least 3-4 people walk by and look at the house. We have even had people from other neighborhoods tell us that they now take their morning walk past out house now so they can see the progress and new colors. I am so excited about the house colors and can hardly wait to see the end results! Once again, thank you for your help. The house colors we chose look fantastic!" Elaine Ladwig, BSSW, LSW, Marshall, MN, July 9, 2006
"Wow, this house is really coming together after a month of grime and noise. And your help has been invaluable!
It's such a leap of faith to trust your suggestions, but as the job is completed I see the rhyme to your reason and thank you for it. We've had nothing but positive feedback about your choices and love it ourselves." Janise Hawes, August 18, 2006
Articles, Lectures & Media information - Rob in the News
North America has been graced with many types and styles of historic architecture. The Georgian Colonial of the South and the Federal homes of the North were constructed in the eighteenth century. Greek Revival, Gothic Revival, along with Italianate homes, were the popular house types in the early nineteenth century. The Second Empire and Stick Styles were fashionable after the Civil War in what we label the early Victorian house period. Toward the end of that century Queen Anne homes with large verandas were in vogue as well as Colonial Revival and English Tudor styles. Bungalow and Craftsman homes with an Arts and Crafts influence were early twentieth century types. By the twenties Dutch Colonial homes and Cape Cods were favorites. Ranch and Retro style designs followed in the post war years, and today we have a wide variety of Modern and Post Modern architecture. My architectural history experience includes thirty years of university level teaching, extensive period research and preparing color schemes in both historic and modern paint colors for all these styles.
Paint stores today offer a bewildering range of color choices. One inch paint chip samples frequently turn out differently on your house than they look in your living room. Often people turn to white or taupe exterior colors out of the sheer frustration of selecting a proper, acceptable color scheme for their house. Now there is no need to settle for something bland. Do you wonder how those classy Victorians, Bungalow and Architect/designer homes turn out so stunning? Now there is a service that will assist you in developing an exterior paint color scheme for your home, office or commercial building. The methodology for this service has been proven after many years of testing with hundreds of clients. Color combinations are drawn from historic period sources and modern color theory. The colors suggested are readily available in your area. View Client List
"There is one color...frequently employed by house painters, which we feel bound to protest against most heartily, as entirely unsuitable, and in bad taste. This is white, which is so universally applied to our wooden houses of every size and description. The glaring nature of the colour, when seen in contrast with the soft green foliage, renders it extremely unpleasant to an eye attuned to harmony of coloring, and nothing but its very great prevalence in the United States could render even men of some taste so heedless of its bad effect."
-- Andrew Jackson Downing, 1842, Cottage Residences
The color you paint your house is more important than the color you choose for a car or your wardrobe. The house color remains constant throughout the years and is the residents' statement of feelings towards their home and neighborhood. Many buildings today, you will agree, are poorly colored and this does nothing to highlight special architectural features. Adding an appropriate color scheme to your building increases its value, not merely in terms of dollars, but in how the entire neighborhood is perceived. Historic colors increase personal pride in ownership. The house just feels good to come home to. Once hidden features now delight not only the owners, but casual observers, as well. Buildings take on a new charm, a whole new identity when the correct colors are applied.
Contact Historic House Colors at: Robs@umich.edu
Copyright 1997-2013: Robert Schweitzer - Last revised: March 4, 2013