Painting with the Historical Vancouver True Colours

There are houses that we get to work on that make me really happy that I do what I do. When I pulled into the driveway of this Maple Ridge home to do a colour consultation, I smiled from ear to ear. I’ll be honest though. I was also really nervous. This is a big Queen Anne style home with lots of details and getting the colours wrong could have been disastrous.

The homeowners, Tom and Laura, had bought the house a few years ago when they fell in love with the house, it’s amazing yard and the swing on the front porch. The original owner built the house with all the character of a Queen Anne home and there were tiny details everywhere.

Laura and I discussed the options for colour narrowed it down to either going with a heritage colour scheme to play up the Queen Anne character of the house or to a fresh and bright scheme to help counter all of the shade from the many tall trees surrounding the house. I suggested to Laura that she look at how the inside of their home was decorated to give her direction on which was the best way to go.

They decided to look at a heritage colour palette. This was my first time in using the Historical Vancouver True Colours palette. Introduced in 2003 by the Vancouver Heritage Foundation and Benjamin Moore, the Historical Vancouver True Colours palette is a collection of 35 colours that reflect the history and buildings of Vancouver from 1888 to 1928.

The colours are rich and deep and what I found most surprising about them how bold they appeared even on a sample colour card. Not what I would have expected from house colours that were 100 plus years old.

When Laura and I were looking at colours and trying to decide which green to go with, Pendrell Verdigris (VC-22) seemed such a pretty green. I pointed out to Laura that a Queen Anne styled house was like a house wearing a party dress and it should be in a pretty colour. Pendrell Verdigris fit the bill perfectly.

We tested a number of creams. In the end we chose Oxford Ivory (VC-1) for the trim. It was the softest and least yellow of the creams but was still rich enough to hold up beside the rich green of Pendrell Verdigris.

For the darker green trim, we actually went out of the Historical Vancouver True Colours and went with Benjamin Moore Caldwell Green (HC-124). It offered less contrast than we are using one of the darker greens in the Vancouver palette and we really wanted the focus to be on the cream trim.

By far, the most beautiful colour we used was the red we chose as the accent colour. We went with Hastings Red (VC-30), and it is the most amazing red I have ever used on a home. It is simply stunning. I suspect we will be painting many front doors this colour in the future. Finally, for a small pop of extra colour we used Benjamin Moore Stuart Gold (HC-10) above the second-floor windows.

So, a week later, after a ton of prep work (an absolute necessity to make a house like this really shine) and a lot of cutting in by our hard-working crew, this house was finished. Success for me is when a homeowner pulls into their driveway and thinks, “Wow, I love my house”. 

I have no doubts about the fact that this was a successful project.



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