Historic House Colors
Exterior Color & House Paint Consulting
To read more about the home and the color selection process click here.
This pre Civil War home near Chicago was built by William Currier.
Before painting the home looked interesting but rather bland.
It lacked the attention to painting detail we love in ornate Victorian homes.
The grand front columns are lost to view against a light background. The
wonderful roof belvedere is likewise not shown to its full potential.
This Italianate Villa home was “Modernized” about 1900 with the addition
of large front columns. Often historic homes have important historic additions
or alterations that must be considered when developing a new paint scheme.
The original cupola or Belvedere was another important architectural
feature to consider.
"Just a quick note to let you know how things are progressing with the house. In short, MARVELOUS!!! The columns look like they're 2 feet taller as the main beam support no longer blends with the beam itself.
We have been drawing small crowds who come to stop to look/watch. One guy (hanging out of his car window) shouted to his buddies "Wow! Look at that!!" This doesn't include the cars that are slowing to 5mph as they pass and the increased number of walkers/joggers tell us how much they like the colors and detail.
It no secret to anyone that we're delighted!!! LuAnn Bombard (director of our local museum and community events) stopped by and let me know that she absolutely loved the house and she stated that, "Mr Currier would be so pleased." (It was William Currier who built the home in 1856 then went and enlisted as a private in the Union Army at the age of 50.) She also said we have set a new standard for the district and she thanks us for it. Marcie"
Roof Belvedere before new colors
This architectural element had great potential but rather simple colors. The graceful arching
in the window trim is lost with the use of only one trim color. The image below shows
what can be done by adding in several historic trim colors. You now see not only the
trim arches but the window sash as well.
New colors on the roof belvedere now highlight the trim
arches as well as the window sash. The idea of two
colored brackets was originally shown in paint catalogues
of the 1870s. With the new colors added this architectural
feature is now much more visible from the street level and
adds even more interest to this wonderfully ornate home.
Bay window before new colors
One of the innovative features of the Italianate style house was the inclusion of
bay windows. These devices enabled one to stand inside but feel like you
were actually out of doors. These bays were normally ornate and the pride
of the mid nineteenth century home owner. This rendition of the coloring of this window
sends it popping off the house facade and the white band at the top seems to
suggest it has a lid. Also the ornate brackets are only painted in one color
thus missing an opportunity to show off the great classic wood work.
When repainted, the bay integrates into the whole house. It matches seamlessly with the side entry door. It is always important to have the architectural features of the building work smoothly together to allow for the eye to transcend them easily.
The owners wanted a “Painted Lady” colors scheme with a warm timeless look that highlighted the variety of details on the home. The entire scheme was drawn from late 19th century color sources and reflects the High Victorian Italianate style.
Copyright 2004-2007: Robert Schweitzer. Last revised: December 11, 2006