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Architecture/Advice Selecting Exterior Trim Color


Hi... I am about to begin construction of a new home and need advice regarding the exterior trim color.  The house will be located in the mountains and will have generally a "mountain rustic" exterior design.  The exterior will be of Hardie siding material with some cedar shakes and wooden decking/railings.  

We are planning to use Sherwin Williams Black Fox-7020 (flat finish) for the color of the main body of the house.  The color of the roof will be CertainTeed Cottage Red.  

We are having difficulty deciding on a trim color.  The use of trim color will be minimal (primarily window trim) and we want a subtle contrast between the main body and the trim... nothing very stark or bold.  The S-W colors we've looked at so far all tend to be too light and/or have too much of a green tone.  We are looking for more of a gray or brownish/gray trim to go with the Black Fox.

Any suggestions?


Certainteed Red Shingle
Certainteed Red Shingl  

As you already know, color is very subjective.  Personally, I have found high contrast will garner more attention compared to something homogenous.  I tend towards the monochromatic but I remind myself that doing so will camouflage my designs so very well - that nobody will ever care to look at them.  That's very dull.  So if you do not like white trim then I recommend a color that will match the shingles = Tanager SW6601.

Good luck and let me know what you decided.

Richard Burton, AIA
Registered Architect
ICC Certified Plan Reviewer
NFPA Certified Fire Plan Examiner


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Richard Burton AIA


A combined total of 25 years experience with construction, architecture, and building code enforcement. Ask me about residential and commercial design. Ask me about design aesthetics, structural methods, and building something that will withstand severe weather conditions. Ask me my opinion about YOUR design ideas and I will tell you the merits of good design and challenge your thinking about practical issues. Ask me how to best find and work with your local architect and approach general contractors to get the most value for the least amount of headaches. You can ask me about improving your energy efficiency and things that are both green and practical. But don't ask me about solar panels and wind turbines unless you are currently paying your utility company 35 cents per Kilowatt. Otherwise the math does not justify the initial cost and return on investment. Ask me any building code question and how to get a building permit from the most difficult enforcement agencies.


Here in the midwest, we design and build "green" in ways that make sense. My construction methods prioritize weather resistance, ease of maintenance and durability. While a graduate student in San Diego, I taught drafting and history of architecture. After working ten years for other architecture firms, I have started my firm Arrow Architecture in 2008. More than half of my work involves commercial office buildings. But my portfolio of work also includes custom homes, residential additions, home remodels, and second story additions.

President-Elect of American Institute of Architects - Lincoln, NE

B.S. Architecture - (Interior Design) University of Nebraska Lincoln 1997 Master of Architecture - (Urban Design and Professional Practice) NewSchool of Architecture - San Diego 2004 Graduated Summa Cum Laude ICC Certified Building Plans Examiner

Awards and Honors
AIA Henry Adams Medal and Certificate

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