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Dark Matter: 10 Design Ideas to Steal from Houses with Dramatic Facades

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Dark Matter: 10 Design Ideas to Steal from Houses with Dramatic Facades

October 25, 2016

Dark is the new black. When it comes to exterior paint colors, we’re admiring deeply saturated shades including green and gray and blue because of the magic they work on a surrounding landscape. Of course, this doesn’t mean we’ve abandoned black….

Here are 10 design ideas to steal from houses with dark facades:

Gothic Green

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Above: When architects Calvin Tsao and Zack McKown remodeled a former farmer’s cottage in Rhinebeck, New York, they embraced its Gothic roots. A dark green wash on the facade and stoop contrasts beautifully with the stacked-stone retaining wall.

The Blackest of Black

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Above: Photograph by Alexa Hotz.

In northern California, the formerly white facade of Sir and Star restaurant gets a modern, sleeker look with Benjamin Moore’s Black Panther paint. “The trim is subtly different, with more sheen and pop to show detail,” notes Alexa.

See more in Restaurant Visit: Sir and Star in Olema on Remodelista.

A Touch of Sunshine

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Above:The facade of filmmaker Derek Jarman’s black seaside cottage in Dungeness, Kent looks welcoming even against dark skies—because of its yellow trim. For more of this garden, see Garden Visit: Derek Jarman’s Prospect Cottage at Dungeness.

Black Timber

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Above: Photograph via Airbnb.

In Iceland, a house clad in black timber has cloud-white trim details to tie it visually to the expanse of sky and dramatic mountainous backdrop.

Mirror Image

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Above: After architects Lucie Niney and Thibault Marca of Paris-based NeM Architectes discovered “a vacation home frozen in time” in Brittany, they complemented the existing white cottage with a dark addition. For more, see Before & After: A Charred Wood Cottage on a $45K Budget. Photograph courtesy of NeM Architectes.

The Natural Look

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Above: In northern California planned community Sea Ranch, architect Nick Noyes clad a facade in cedar shingles, encouraged by wind and sea salt to weather to a soft gray. Dark window sashes add emphasis. Photograph courtesy of Remodelista Architect/Designer Directory member Nick Noyes Architecture.

Spiky Contrast

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Above:  A black Victorian facade in San Francisco needs nothing more to dress it up than a single spiky succulent, a multi-branched euphorbia next to the front stoop. Photograph courtesy of Grant K. Gibson.

Playing the Blues

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Above: Photograph by Michael A. Muller.

A custom shade of Oxford blue paint keeps a facade looking crisp, even in the heat of Texas. For a similar color, consider Benjamin Moore’s Hale Navy.

For more of this facade, see Get Out of The Heat: Josephine House in Austin on Remodelista.

Black and Green

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Above: In Mill Valley, California a cedar-shingled house is painted in Benjamin Moore’s Black with China White trim. For more of the garden, see Garden Visit: Landscaping a Live-in Summer Camp.

Black is a good foil for green. In a garden, black will recede and focus attention on foliage. This enables the eye to draw better distinctions among different shades of green.

Monochromatic Gray

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Above: Photograph courtesy of Belathée Photography.

In Seattle, siding and trim are painted a dark gray (the paint color is Sherwin-Williams Iron Ore) to give the house a crisp modern feel and blend into the landscape. For more, see Sleekness in Seattle: Modern Garden, Midcentury House.

The Geometric Look

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Above: Amsterdam-based architect Serge Schoemaker covered a 323-square-foot guest house with 2,000 black-stained cedar shingles. For more, see Outbuilding of the Week: A 323-Square-Foot Backyard Guest House (and Storage Shed).

Finally, get more ideas on how to upgrade your home’s facade with our Hardscaping 101: Exteriors & Facades design guide.

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