Transformed Rowhouse Exterior ~Redux

July 27, 2012



I just returned from a completed row house exterior project in Old Town, Alexandria and had to share.




The  row house, dating back to the 1800s, is situated  in a block of  houses that are much the same. Many have been remodeled but most retain the original “facade”. In this particular block, many of the homes are set back with a small front garden and white picket fence.



When starting to pull together color options for exteriors I always take into consideration the color schemes of neighboring houses. This pretty blue one sits directly across the street.



And this saturated red exterior is directly next door.


Entrance before


So here is the entrance of my project.  The house was painted an “anemic” gray with darker trim and a faded  blue door.  Not enough contrast. Very tired. Very bland. Fabulous bones…much room for improvement.



Exterior before


With such a small slice of exterior, three window boxes looked too busy.   Because all houses on the block had white painted fences, I didn’t consider changing that, but the white didn’t relate to anything else on the house.  The door treatment was all wrong. I usually paint the storm to match the door rather than the surrounding trim.


Exterior after


Here is the house with its new colors.  The facade is now more snappy and ordered.  There is nice crisp contrast with the fresh white trim on trim and window sashes (which now relates to the fence).  After testing with large samples, we settled on one of my favorite mid-tone neutral colors for the exterior- Benjamin Moore’s Briarwood. Trim is Brilliant White; shutters and door are Black Forest Green. I limited the colors to three only to keep things clean and simple on this tiny plane (restraint– this is Virginia).  The house sits nicely with its neighbors and is ~ much improved.  All it needs is a spot of  color in that one little window box. Another happy client!


Benjamin Moore Briarwood



Benjamin Moore Black Forest Green





A Visit to the Studio of Nancy Hammond

July 24, 2012


Sorry… it’s been ages since my last post.  I could blame it on the major disruption caused by the July storms here in Virginia, but the truth is that I’ve been super busy with exterior painting projects. I did have chance to get across the Chesapeake Bay Bridge recently and took the opportunity to drop into the studio of local artist, Nancy Hammond. What a treat!




I have long admired and collected her work- full of the local color of my beloved  Annapolis and the Eastern Shore of Maryland.  Her bio states that she “is a painter who loves water life.  Boat yards, black labs, crab feasts, tropical ports, irridescent fish are all scenes from her life of living near the water… All of her limited edition giclees and silkscreens are small in number, printed on 100% archival paper and are signed and numbered by the artist.”










I’ve always taken note of how wall color is used to display art.  The walls of this lively studio are rich backdrops of  chocolate, fern, indigo and orange.






The artist’s works include scenes of the Caribbean, where she has often spent winters.



Her studio also displays other fab, fun things… clothing, ties, placemats and glassware.  The ties!



And labs.. yellow, black and brown!



One my favorite things?  The artist has collaborated with Simon Pearce to produce a collection of stunning etched glass bowls.   When lit from above, the etched words transfer to the table below.



I couldn’t resist buying one (for an anniversary gift)  — etched with the names of rivers of the Chesapeake– (where we often sail).




via Nancy Hammond Studio


Totally worth a quick detour off Rt. 50.   Sublime art, gorgeous studio, friendly staff  … dogs welcome.  : )