|Historic House Colors||Exterior Color Consulting|
|The Color Selection Process||
by Robert Schweitzer
Historic - Contemporary
Victorians - Bungalows
Arts and Crafts - Retro
|About Robert Schweitzer How to Get Started Completed Projects|
Generally the following steps describe how we work together through the process to bring about
a dramatic change in the exterior of your Victorian, Bungalow, Colonial or Modern home.
To read an example of the color selection process from the clients perspective click here.
1. Complete the steps in the "How to Get Started" Section of this web site.
a) fill out the Customer Data Form with information about your property and preferences. [the form can be completed on-line or it can be printed and completed by hand and mailed to me.]
b) take photographs of your building, digital images or standard prints (see Photo Hints), then send the images [email digitals or have film images placed on a cd and mail those to me.]
c) make your payment - see the Pricing Page. You may also pay by check or credit card, see the Payment Options Page
2. When I have your materials in-hand, I first determine the architectural style your house (Queen Anne, Bungalow, Italianate, etc.), and its approximate period of construction. Many buildings are mixes of styles, and my color suggestions often can reflect that fact. The house's architectural style will provide clues indicating some suggested color schemes.
3. Employing the information you supply on the Customer Data Form, and an extensive check-list of items such as location, roof color, amount of detail, I determine which of the four methods or theories of coloration might be applied to your building:
a) Original colors (what was on it when it was built)
b) Appropriate to the period colors (what could have been done when the house was new)
c) Colors it might have been during another historic period.
d) Post-modern colors (something like the "Painted Ladies") using modern colors and themes to decorate the building.
To see how historic sources provide colors for your home click here.
It should be noted that you, the resident, have to live in the building every day and see it every time you approach the front facade, so that personal color preference, if any, (especially for the body color) is an important factor to consider.
4. When your materials reach me I will email you preliminary information as well as instructions on collecting color cards. After a full analysis of your materials I will provide you with several suggested body colors to consider. These colors will likely be culled from historic period sources such as paint brochures, house plan books and magazines. [to see how this is accomplished click here] I will also provide you with my "Color Testing Instructions." These have proven very successful in assisting my clients in the color decision process. After you decide on the body color(s), I supply suggestions for several different detail color combinations. (trim and accent colors) These are sets of colors that "work together" to highlight major elements and show off the architectural style of the building and are based on historic color schemes in my reference materials. These include old painting manuals, paint supply catalogues and historic photographs. The colors I suggest will match readily available national brand paints.
5. Since color is such an individual choice, I urge clients to "test-paint," with supplied specific instructions, and to provide feedback on their impressions, thoughts and feelings about the color suggestions. This testing of the various colors allows you to see the "real color" in your light conditions in your landscape. The finalized color scheme is then turned into "color placement map pages." These are gray-scale prints of your photos marked up with colored pencil and labeled to indicated in detail what colors go where on the house facades. [to see an example of that process click here] This device provides an overall idea how things will look, as well as specifics about what colors go where on porches, windows and other architectural details, to give to your painter. Paint contractors love these "map" pages as it makes price quotes and paint placement much easier.
6. This is an interactive process that works with your schedule. I work with a priority system where "Rush" clients have first call on my time followed by "Top" and then "Basic" level clients. We work together through combinations and themes that you can take "as is" or adjust to fit your own taste. In the end what we both want is something that looks stunning and improves the presence of the house on the street, or shows off the architectural features of the building to their best advantage. I do supply specific color information that can be reproduced by your local paint store and employ national brand colors that are easy to acquire.
P.S. If you are reroofing or planning on renovating an exterior feature, a porch for example, I would be happy to offer suggestions to assist you in these projects as well. See the "Extra Services" section of the "Pricing" page.
To see an example of the final product click here.
Mr. Schweitzer can be reached via
3661 Waldenwood Drive
Ann Arbor, Michigan 48105
Copyright 1997-2012: Robert Schweitzer. Last update: February 6, 2012
New Color Process pages link