I have been trying out ideas for a colour scheme for the three "Seafarers Cottages" we are renovating in the quaint seaside village of Currarong. (It seems I have a bit more time than anticipated as our renovation plans have been held up by the local council).
I really like a slightly darker than bright red for the central cottage. This is an unusual colour here in Australia but I have seen a few photos of old port houses painted deep reds in Scandinavia and on the east coast of USA.
Now as an art director I am right into colour and not afraid of trying daring shades, be they very dark, murky or very bright, but it is always a challenge to find just the right shade. I apply the same advice I give to other people - Have a theme. Then create a mood board of photos of all the houses or rooms you really like for this project.
My theme is "Nautical" as the cottages are called the Seafarers Cottages after the local festival which is held right in front in the beachside park. The history of the area also gives some clues - there were quite a few shipwrecks over the years as the headland juts right out into the Pacific Ocean, so I am inspired by nautical and stormy colours, driftwood and the reds used on lighthouses.
BTW... There is one famous story about a shipwreck of an old steam ship called the Merimbula that ran into the rocks in a storm in about 1928. The ship was wrecked but everyone on board was saved.
The other interesting factor is that the walls of these old cottages are fibrous cement sheeting which suits strong colour with a matt finish. I like to use a paint by Australian brand Porters Paints (now available in USA under name "Sydney Harbour Paint Co") called Stonepaint Fine on fibro. It s a more expensive, hand made paint but the results are worth it.
I am thinking of painting each cottage a different colour, though the two smaller ones will be similar shades.
The best way to try out paint colours for exteriors is to buy some sample pots and paint up sheets of masonite or anything laying around the building site such as fibro or even plasterboard. Pick sheets that are at least waist height. You can then move them around to different spots to see how the colour looks in light and shaded areas. When you think you have narrowed it down to say, two colours, get a small amount mixed up in the actual paint and try that directly onto the walls of the house.