1920 Foursquare exterior is boring! Suggestions for trim colors are welcomed!

Hello, everyone! This is my first time posting here about my "new" house (I was here about 3-4 years ago when I owned an 1857 Victorian).  My new house is a 1920 foursquare that is mostly Craftsman with some Neoclassical thrown in.

The previous owners did a great job maintaining the original features on the interior of the house, but unfortunately they chose light gray vinyl siding for the exterior.  The white metal flashing around the windows is new, and the eave brackets are sadly long gone.  

I would like to add a trim color to the house, probably just around the windows.  I love bright and vibrant colors and for some reason keep leaning towards a burnt orange color for the trim.  I would love to hear other people's opinions about possible trim colors and which parts of the house could use color.  Only caveat is that it has to work with the darn siding somehow.  Sadly, the vinyl is here to stay, as it's nearly new and it would be way beyond our budget to remove and repaint any wood underneath (assuming it's even still there....gulp.)  

Here is a palette I was using:


Thanks, everyone!

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Gray siding, white trim, burgundy sash is a very elegant scheme.

Thank you! I like the burgundy idea, very classic.

I hate to be the one to suggest this but vinyl can be painted very easily with the proper paint.  I  painted mine 14 years ago and except for the south end that has faded a little it looks just like the day it was finished.  The paint sticks better if the vinyl has been exposed to the weather rather than just out of the box.  Just something for thought.  Lair

That is AWESOME news!  Lair, may I ask what kind/brand of paint you used and if you roughed up the surface of the siding at all first?  I would love to do this but I just didn't know if the paint would adhere or not.

Here is a helpful article from the Ben Moore site: http://www.benjaminmoore.com/en-us/for-contractors/painting-vinyl-a...

I don't remember what kind it was but it was latex primer made by Diamond Vogel.  I had it tinted half way between the white and the green of the final coat.  With the colored primer one top coat coverage was great. Ask your paint dealer which you should use for the type of primer you need.  Lair

Thanks very much, Lair and Casey!

Hi - nice new home. Love the double bays on the 2nd floor.

That light roof could be troublesome. Unless you're going to re-roof the house, keep the whiteness of the pale grey roof in mind as you select colors. Roof color is often a significant component of the color and texture of the exterior. You have a great dark colored foundation (I recommend not changing that - deep colors are grounding and stabilize the structure to the ground.)

Even if you repaint the vinyl you have to address the roof color in your overall scheme. Dark roofs are easy to incorporate, light roofs not so much, since choosing dark or bright colors for the house can make the home look like its head is missing. Consider contrast in selecting colors - increasing contrast makes things look like bits and pieces, decreasing contrast brings everything together into one whole. 

Finally, what about a "boutique" approach where the colors are all similar in value (light) but different tints (buff, pale grey, light violet, etc.) so your roof looks purposeful ? it worked well in San Francisco for years. 

I'm sorry for my late response - I just saw this now!  I love the boutique approach and hadn't thought of that before. Thank you so much!


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